January 30, 2013
| by Lisa Montgomery
Motion sensors have the stigma of watching out for the bad guys. Someone walks into your house while the security alarm is set, the motion sensor sees them traipsing down the hallway, and a siren sounds. While they still are designed to perform this function, when integrated into a complete home control system, they can provide so many more benefits to your family and home. Here is a list of some of tricks you can get your motion sensors to perform, when set up appropriately by a custom electronics professional.
•Turn on and off lights.
This function is particularly helpful utility rooms, powder rooms, kids’ bedrooms and closets, and the concept is simple: When someone walks into the closet, for example, the lights activate. After motion is no longer detected the lights turn off. You can work in some cushion time, like a minute or two after you leave, to ensure that the lights don’t turn off too soon.
•Keep your kids safe.
Maybe you have a swimming pool in the back yard. Perhaps you live on a busy road. With motion sensors aimed at these the patio and front porch you can be notified via flickering lights, a chime … whatever, should someone step outside the house. With a motion sensor planted in the kids’ bedrooms, you’ll also be able to know when they get out of bed in the middle of the night.
•Notify you of guests.
A motion sensor can alert you when you have company. A popular way this could unfold in your house: A sensor perched near the entrance trips when someone walks by, triggering a surveillance camera to activate (many surveillance cameras have motion sensors built-in), which send the video to your smartphone or TV screen.
•To set the mood.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can use a motion sensor to set the mood in the dining room, family room, bedroom, or anywhere else. As you sweep your stroll into the family room, for example, the lights could dim, the motorized shades could close and your favorite tunes could start piping through the stereo speakers. Your home control system could be programmed to only allow this to happen at certain times, like Friday nights, for example, or during the holidays.
Related: Belkin Expands Wireless WeMo Line with Sensors and Lights.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.