motion sensor

I want to use the motion sensor on the opened front door of my business so that I can detect when someone enters. What is a good positon that will detect entry only?

@RushBowls wrote:

I want to use the motion sensor on the opened front door of my business so that I can detect when someone enters. What is a good position that will detect entry only?

Hello @RushBowls ,

Ah, that’s a good puzzle question that has got me scratching my head. If I understand you correctly, you normally leave your business door constantly opened during business hours, so a Contact Sensor on the door is not able to provide you what you are looking for.

Using a Motion sensor, which will detect a moving heat source within it’s Field-Of-View (FOV), does present an issue. It’s FOV detection is similar to a ‘cone’ in front of the sensor. In order to do what you desire, you would have to point the motion sensor to detect when people pass through its view.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that a characteristic of Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor of the Motion Sensor is that they are most sensitive with motion across the field of view , and least sensitive directly toward or away from the sensor. It is a delicate ‘balancing act’ between high reliability vs false alarms, so these motion detectors cannot act like just a simple “on/off” switch. So try to optimize mounting your detector’s mounting location to take advantage “across movement” while keeping in mind the location of any nuisance alarm sources.

To prevent it from ‘seeing’ undesired motion (outside the door; or too far inside the room, etc.) it seems you might need to mount your sensor:

  • On a wall to the left or right of the door, and possibly using some type of obstruction (like a 'horse blinder") adjacent to the sensor to ‘cut-off’ and limit the sensor’s FOV. An example would be like an “automobile licence-plate-shaped barrier” mounted to limit the FOV.


  • Mount the motion sensor on the ceiling facing downward directly over the door, and possibly that will work alone, but you may still need an additional ‘horse blinder’ type barrier mounted adjacent to the sensor if it can ‘see’ too far into the room. Note that the motion sensor was not designed to be mounted this way on a ceiling, but rather normally on the wall or corner walls, so the mounting bracket has a slight ‘tilt’ that normally angles the FOV downward into the room. You might have to try ceiling mounting the bracket with the tilt angling it towards the door (but may detect movement just outside the door) or maybe reversing the ceiling tilting towards the interior of the room (but may detect movement too far into the room). How close or far, from where the door’s wall meets the ceiling, can also determine the FOV. Another thing is if mounted on the ceiling, how will moving sunlight and shadows on the floor be interpreted by the algorithms and will they too trigger the sensor? Adjusting the sensor’s “Motion Settings” (Low Detection, Medium Detection, & High Detection) might also need to be ‘tweaked’ and experimented with.

There are many variables I’m not aware of that can affect the motion detection, since you stated that this was for at your business (not a typical house). Is the header wall above the door solid or glass? How high are your ceilings? But whatever mounting choice you go with, I would highly recommend you initially use temporary tape and then test out to see the results. Use the “Test Motion” feature and experiment, and then ‘tweak’ the mounting location/orientation before you use the mounting tape (or screws) to more permanently attach the sensor.

Main Menu (3 horizontal lines, upper-left-corner of dashboard) > Devices > Alarm Base Station > select this motion sensor > Test Motion Icon button.

Unfortunately, toggling ON your “Motion Alerts” (to receive the test-type ‘pushed’ Notifications to your App) and/or the “Chirp Tones” (sound you hear on your App, Keypads, and Base Station) are basically an ON or OFF only function. And these will occur anytime a Motion Sensor detects motion that the device’s algorithms determine is a valid triggering movement. So therefore, you will get a Notifications and/or a Chirp Tone sound when people enter AND exit (not just as they enter). But I don’t think you’ll mind hearing a Chirp as your customers leave.

I hope you find this information useful, or at least given you some stuff to consider that might lead you to a solution. And I’d be curious to hear what does becomes your final solution. :slight_smile:

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