Home Life 4 Tips Before You Purchase a Driveway Motion Sensor

4 Tips Before You Purchase a Driveway Motion Sensor


A driveway motion sensor is a device that will sense or detect movement as part of a driveway alert system. This device works in tandem with a wireless transmitter to create an alert system that will inform you when there is movement in the area where you have placed the sensor.

1. How does the device work?

The driveway motion sensor will need to be placed outside near the area you would like monitored. The sensor can be attached to almost whatever you like. The best examples are probably posts, walls, fences, and trees. Just make sure it is secure and not blocked in any way from the area you want detected.

2. Detecting movement

When movement occurs within the sensor’s range, it will send a signal to its counterpart – the wireless transmitter you would have put in your home. When the transmitter receives a signal, it will emit a sound to let you know there has been movement outside of your home. Many transmitters have more than one chime or sound for you to choose from, and many also have adjustable volume on that sound so that you can customize it to your preference.

3. About the sensor

Every unit is different. This is great because you can find one that fits your needs, but in can be overwhelming when something so small comes with so many features. Some things you might want to look out for are:

  • Sensor range: This is how far the sensor will detect movement for. Many sensors will reach between 30 and 40 feet.
  • Sensor to transmitter range: This is how far away the transmitter can be from the sensor. Depending on your needs, this may not be important. Maybe you can just pop it in your front window and not have to worry about the signal. However, if you are in a situation where you need more distance between the transmitter and the sensor, there are some units that boast a sensor to transmitter range of up to half a mile, or about 800 meters.

4. Different types & features

There are an endless number of different units with different combinations of features. Your best bet is to define what your needs are so that you can get the motion sensor system that will work best for you.

Here are a couple of helpful guidelines for driveway motion sensors:

  • Active or Passive Infrared: This is an important one because it is based on exactly what you want to detect. Active Infrared (AIR) will detect movement. Depending on the sensitivity you set your device to it can detect everything from cars, people and large animals to very small animals like rats and other rodents. Passive Infrared (PIR) detects heat movement, so it isn’t always as efficient for sensing vehicles.
  • Additional sensors: Some units come with one sensor, some come with more. Additional sensors will increase the area you are able to monitor with your unit. Some of the units that come with only one sensor have the ability to add multiple additional sensors. If this is a feature that interests you, keep an eye on how many sensors you would potentially like to add, because this can range between 3 and 20 or more.
  • Power source: Some driveway motion sensors are exclusively battery powered. This can be great because it doesn’t limit your location to somewhere close to a socket. However, you may want to plug your sensor in if you can, especially if you are using multiple sensors as this can eat up battery power pretty quickly. If this is the case, you may want to opt for a unit with a power supply.


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