Motion sensors are small devices that monitor movement within a defined perimeter. These devices are available in solar, electric, or battery operated units. Powered units can only be used near buildings and automobiles that have access to electrical power sources. The battery operated motion sensor is more compact and it can be used in remote locations where no power source is available.
A solar powered motion sensor is available for most residential applications. This form of sensor requires an adequate sunlight source to function properly. Solar powered units are less expensive than other units but can become inoperable with cloud cover or bad weather.
A battery powered motion detector typically requires two or four batteries to operate. These batteries normally last a few months before they need to be replaced. When using a battery operated unit, rechargeable batteries will be less expensive over time.
Corrosion is the biggest concern for the battery operated motion sensor unit. This form of motion sensor is exposed to water, heat, and natural elements that cause the batteries to deteriorate quickly. These types of sensors require periodic inspection to ensure the batteries are in good working order. Failure to inspect the batteries could result in acid deterioration of the entire sensor compartment, making it completely inoperable.
An electrical motion sensor requires a low-voltage electrical source to operate. This type of unit typically requires the manual excavation of an electrical line in a yard. This form of electrical line takes several hours to install because the line must be buried and connected to an electrical outlet. Most electric motion sensors are used indoors. These can typically be found in banks and museums to deter would-be thieves.
A battery operated motion sensor transmits information without the need of an electrical line. This is easier to configure and requires minimal installation equipment. Most battery operated units include a simple sensor and receiver device. These units can be installed in a few minutes.
The battery operated motion sensor can only transmit signals about 400 yards (approximately 365 meters). This typically provides ample coverage for most residential surveillance systems. Longer range systems are available but require more power to send a more powerful transmission signal.
Hybrid solar powered motion sensors provide a method to constantly charge the batteries of a unit. These devices use a solar panel to provide a low charge for the rechargeable batteries of the unit. Hybrid units are typically more expensive but provide the added convince of long-term battery life, which is more cost effective for a battery operated motion sensor.