Set the motion detector

Motion detectors switch on an electrical consumer for a defined period of time. Switching on is influenced by various factors that can be set according to the motion detector model. Below is a general but detailed guide to setting a motion detector.

Typical tasks of motion detectors

With motion detectors different electrical consumers can be switched. It is most often used to turn lights on and off (inside and outside), but alarms and doors are also controlled. Because the switching of light sources is so widespread, the following instructions are designed to do so, with the setting for other purposes following the same steps.

The different types of motion detectors

In addition, the different types of motion detectors must be distinguished:

  • Infrared detector (PIR)
  • High-frequency, radar or microwave detector (HF)
  • photocells

Mostly used detectors

It is the infrared detectors that are the most widely used. Therefore, our instructions are based on such PIR motion detectors. In particular, keep in mind that PIR detectors react to heat and no non-transparent objects may be present in the coverage area.

In contrast, HF detectors can also be mounted behind objects (inside the building behind walls, behind stems, etc.). Otherwise, the detection range is defined just as with PIR detectors. However, these motion detectors do not respond to heat but to reflective radiation.

Setting options (depending on the device)

The settings of the motion detector are made differently. The later settings depend on the following factors:

  • Height at which the detector is installed
  • Lens setting for covered area and range (if adjustable)
  • Setting the light factor (if possible, in lux)
  • Setting the switching time

Instructions for setting a motion detector (PIR)

  • motion detector
  • Assembly tool (ladder, drill, screwdriver, cordless screwdriver, etc.)
  • Adjustment tool (depending on the setting options)

1. Positioning and mounting of the motion detector

First, you must connect the motion detector. Use our extensive descriptions of the installation of motion detectors.

It is important to remember that the power output of the load to be connected must be within the specified switching range of the motion detector. In addition, special features of LED lights must be considered (the detector should at least be protected relays, as LEDs also react to residual current, which can also flow to detectors).

2. height, orientation, further considered

The decisive factor is above all the height. For a light circuit with an average large area, a height of about 2.50 m has been well established. In addition, make sure that the lens is optimally aligned.

Motion detectors work best when living beings or objects move laterally into the covered field. For elongated entrances or access roads it is therefore recommended to install the detector with the lens if necessary. In addition, trees or bushes reaching into the detection area should be taken into account, as well as children or pets (children, so that they too can trigger, pets, so that they do not trigger).

3. Adjust the lens

The plastic cover is usually a Fresnel lens. That is, this lens consists of many small lenses, so that the infrared beam is optimally broken in all directions. This lens can be adjusted either via a small adjuster (higher-quality motion detector) or by moving the detector housing (up, down, sideways).

4. Adjust the photosensitivity

Also, the setting of the photosensitivity is not possible with every motion detector. If it is possible, there is an adjuster (in steps or stepless) on the housing. A scale should be described as lux. The higher the light factor, the brighter the point at which the detector triggers the circuit.

5. Setting the switching duration (operating time)

The switching duration can also not be influenced by every device. As with all other settings, device description and instructions give information about it. If the switching duration is adjustable, the switching time is usually in a range between 10 to 60 seconds (possibly more or less).

Tips & Tricks

In order to be able to switch the motion detector without movements, it is recommended to interpose a light switch in the connection. You can then install it inside your house. There are two options here: switch off the motion detector or switch on the motion detector. For both connection options you will find detailed guides.

Video Board: Understanding Motion Lighting