Set Up Tips: Alarm Motion Detector (1st Gen)

With so many of our neighbors expanding their ring of security with the Ring Alarm, I wanted to take the time to share some tips for installing your motion detectors. Ring motion detectors are designed to give you peace of mind by letting you know if there is movement in certain rooms when the Alarm is armed. Everyone’s home is set up a little different so pick and choose the tips that fit best with your possible setup!


Your motion detector has a passive infrared sensor that detects large heat signatures. This means your motion detector passively waits for someone to walk into its field-of-view. When it detects a large heat signature while the alarm is armed and set to Away mode. If the alarm is in any other mode when it detects motion it will just send you a notification that it detected motion.

If you take a look at the image below you will see it has 81 degrees of heat signature coverage vertically. Also, From the center of the detector the sensor covers 45 degrees horizontally on either side, 90 degrees total.


You may be thinking, “But what about our amazing pup? Won’t he set off the motion detector every time he goes for a nap on the living room couch while we’re gone?” I am happy to say our motion detectors have “pet immunity.” They are designed to usually ignore anything under 35 pounds. If you set it to minimum sensitivity (less motion events), it will usually only alert you to anything over approximately 55 pounds. So your pup can take a nap without sending you a false alert :slight_smile: Learn more here.


Though your motion detector does not have a camera, it is best to think of the “view” from your device when choosing where to place it. Using the image above you can imagine how a motion detector installed seven feet high on a wall would cover the area in front of it for motion.

  • Height - The ideal placement height is seven feet for most rooms.

    • Higher than seven ft. install can result in a large area under the motion detector not being covered. This makes it possible for motion to be missed.
    • Shorter than seven ft. install will lessen the sensor coverage of your room so someone has to walk farther into a room to trigger the sensor, which can lead to missed alerts.
  • Corner vs Wall - The corner is often the best place to install your device because it is less likely to be noticed by anyone. Also, it is able to better scan more of the room from an angle.

  • Angle - Infrared sensors like the one in your motion detector are triggered easier by someone diagonally crossing the motion zone versus walking straight into it. This is another great reason to install it in a corner of the room.

  • False Heat Signatures - Your device senses motion by heat signature so it is best to avoid placing it in a location where a fireplace or heating vent is in its field-of-view.

  • Direct Sun - When placing the motion sensor it is best to avoid placing it somewhere direct sunlight will hit it.


A lot of people think that installing one inside the master bedroom is not needed. Actually, it is one of the most important places to have it. This is one of the main places that burglars hit first for valuables. Note: You will want to ensure any bedroom motion sensors are not included in the armed mode or are excluded during night time arming. This will prevent the Alarm from sounding if there is movement in the master bedroom while the system is armed.