It is for indoors, but I was wondering if anyone uses a similar PIR motion detector outside? I want to put this under my deck near the front door. So it will be out of direct sunlight and rain. The deck is also covered so i don’t think the sensor will get too much weather exposure. Any advice? Also what is any experience of using a PIR motion detector through glass?
I put 2 PEQ motion sensors outside. Each in a small plastic Home Depot electrical box. To eliminate outside false alarms I drilled a 1" hole in the front of the box and inserted a 2" length tube into the hole so that the motion sensor only sees a small area for foot traffic. Works well.
I have a Ecolink PIR motion sensor mounted in my carport in a plastic, outdoor gang box. No issues (aside from some of the larger bugs setting it off from time to time). Even with the heavy rain we have been getting recently, it is still chugging along nicely.
Here’s a picture. Located about 80 feet from the house hub. Use it to turn on outside yard lights and to trigger a Arlo camera. Picks up coyotes and people walking on the easement. Extension tube provides a narrow detection field which almost eliminates false alarms, bugs, wind, sunlight, etc.
Here are more pictures. Sorry that the pictures are rotated. All parts are from Lowe’s. I decided to just use masking tape across the sprinkler pipe where it enters the electrical box hole. Just wrapped the tape until inserting the tube into the box was snug to prevent water going in. The sprinkler pipe is pushed in until it rests on the motion sensor and it is centered over the sensor. Cut the tube to the length your want to eliminate false alarms. Mine is about 3 inches. I drilled some holes in the bottom of the electrical box so it has some breathing room since the temperature can get up to 105 degrees.
Forgot to add that the motion sensor just sits in the box. You can tape it or velco it to the back of the electrical box so it won’t move around. You want to make sure the sprinkler tube is centered over the sensor.
This is an interesting approach. The problem with most outdoor PIR sensors is too many false alerts because of brief changes in heat caused by gusts of wind, sun going across a cloud, Or even an insect crawling across the lens. So many people end up deploying three or four sensors in a zone and only counting a positive alert if they all three report motion.
But if use of the tube narrowing the detection zone to a very specific area is working for a particular use case, that makes a lot of sense. Some people do that indoors if they have pets, and they will mount the sensor at around shoulder height for an adult human and use a tube to limit the detection zone. So it really comes down to the details of this case.
Another benefit of the tube that you may not of been aware of when doing the design is that it should eliminate the issue of Direct sunlight crossing the lens. It should also limit the number of false alerts because of insects.
I did want to answer one question that was brought up in the original post that I don’t think anyone mentioned yet. You asked if the PIR sensors can detect through glass and the answer is that no, they cannot. Infrared does not come through glass.
If you need to detect motion through glass, then you need a different kind of technology.
For those who want to cover a broad area, such as for a security sensor in the backyard, there are detailed discussions of outdoor motion sensing in the following FAQ:
But if you just want a very narrow detection range, typically more for a home automation type of use case such as having the porch lights come on as you approach the door, then the method discussed in this thread might work very well as long as the temperature doesn’t go much below freezing.
Battery operated devices do have problems as the weather gets very cold, so if you live in Minnesota or Canada you might need to look for a different kind of device.
Nice ideas… i think i’ll modify the idea a bit and post it when i get it done… (busy at the moment)… i do have a question about battery life… my sensor takes a 3v CR123A battery. Any one can comment on this?
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