Installing an outdoor motion detector is an excellent way to keep the perimeter of your home safe. These devices will allow you to know if anyone has trespassed on your property, and they can help ensure that the appropriate authorities are sent if needed. Outdoor motion detectors can also be used for home automation purposes as well. For example, you can set your system so that your lights turn on and your thermostat is adjusted automatically when your outdoor motion detector is triggered.
Choosing the best outdoor motion detector can seem like a daunting process. You’ll want a motion detector that can provide an acceptable range of detection, maintain a proper level of sensitivity, stand-up to inclement weather and communicate with your security system effectively. Each of these factors should be considered very carefully before deciding on which outdoor motion detector to purchase. You will also need to think about the type of security panel you own and its compatibility with the motion detector that you choose. Additionally, you may need to purchase an add-on, such as a signal translator or a wireless receiver so that your panel will work with the detector.
When considering which outdoor motion detector to use, it’s usually easiest to start by thinking about which type of panel you own. In this guide, we will cover some common security panels and discuss what we believe is the best motion detector for each system.
Outdoor Motion Sensors for the Honeywell Lyric Controller & LYNX Touch Panels
Honeywell’s wireless security systems are generally some of the easiest panels to use and set up with with security devices like outdoor motion detectors. Honeywell even makes its own outdoor motion detector, the Honeywell 5800PIR-OD, that is part of its 5800 Series of wireless devices. With its outstanding features, performance and reliability, not to mention its easy connectivity, the 5800PIR-OD is a great device to use with these Honeywell panels.
The 5800PIR-OD uses passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect the presence of motion. This means that the device looks out for infrared energy that is given off by a person. When the sensor detects a significant change in infrared energy, an alarm will be triggered. A user can configure the pulse count of the sensor to adjust its sensitivity. This will affect how large of a change in infrared energy is needed to activate the device. A higher pulse count will decrease the sensitivity of the sensor and require a larger change in infrared energy to be detected for an alarm to occur. In other words, adjusting the device to a low-sensitivity setting by increasing its pulse count will make a false alarm less likely to happen. The opposite is true for setting the device to a high-sensitivity setting with a low pulse count.
To further prevent false alarms, the 5800PIR-OD comes equipped with two different PIR detectors. Each detector must be tripped in order for the sensor to become triggered. This prevents things like small animals or falling leaves from setting off the device and triggering an alarm. However, a person is almost always large enough that they will activate both sensors and cause an alarm event to occur on your security system.
The Honeywell 5800PIR-OD is effective at detecting motion at a range of up to 40 feet. This range can also be reduced if desired. At this range, the device should be able to detect any events that are happening at important areas outside your home, while also not responding to occurrences that do not concern you. The 5800PIR-OD also features high, medium and low sensitivity settings, making it great for all applications.
As an outdoor motion detector, the Honeywell 5800PIR-OD is ready for almost anything that nature can dish out. The device includes a weather-resistant casing that prevents the detector from being damaged by heavy rain or moisture. This casing also ensures that fine particles such as dust or sand will not be able enter the inner-workings of the sensor and cause problems. The 5800PIR-OD is highly-effective in virtually any type of climate, being able to function properly in temperatures ranging from -4° to 122 ° Fahrenheit.
Setting up the 5800PIR-OD for use with the Lyric and LYNX panels is extremely easy. Like every other 5800 Series wireless device, the 5800PIR-OD can connect with these panels right out of the box. Just simply enroll the sensor with the panel through the system’s programming menu, install the detector in a desired location and it will be ready to use. The process is incredibly straight-forward, and it can typically be fully completed by almost any end-user.
Compatible Outdoor Motion Detectors for 2GIG GC3 and GC2 Panels
While 2GIG makes many fantastic devices for its security panels, the company does not offer any viable sensors for outdoor motion detection. However, just like the wireless Honeywell panels, both the 2GIG GC3 and GC2 function with the 5800PIR-OD with no additional add-ons needed. Because the 5800PIR-OD is such a phenomenal outdoor motion detector, we recommend it for use with these panels as well. Again, it’s as simple as enrolling the device within the panel’s programming menu and then installing the sensor.
Compatible Outdoor Motion Sensors for a Qolsys IQ Panel 2
Qolsys is a relatively young company whose IQ Panel 2 has received rave reviews from security experts. As a newer company, Qolsys is still working on improving its own in-house lineup of security devices. Keeping this in mind, we actually recommend looking to companies outside of Qolsys for an outdoor motion detector. With its amazing features and proven performance, the Honeywell 5800PIR-OD is actually an excellent device to pair with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. The motion will require an external wireless translator to be utilized with the IQ Panel 2, but the 5800PIR-OD is still the best outdoor motion detector to use with the system.
Alarm Grid offers the Resolution Products RE524X, a great wireless translator that will allow the 5800PIR-OD to function with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. The RE524X converts the signal sent by the 5800PIR-OD into one that is accepted by the IQ Panel 2. All you have to do is set up the RE524X with the IQ Panel 2 and then learn-in the motion detector with the RE524X. Once complete, you will be able to use the fantastic 5800PIR-OD with your innovative Qolsys panel.
Compatible Outdoor Motion Sensors for Honeywell Vista Panels
For wired systems like the Vista panels, it is usually desired to use a wireless receiver with in conjunction with a wireless outdoor motion detector. This because the sensor will typically be located far away from the system. A wireless receiver will allow a Vista panel to work with wireless devices.
Most owners of Vista Panels find that using a keypad with an integrated wireless receiver is the easiest solution for using wireless device with their Vista system. This way, they can have a keypad for controlling their security system and a much-needed wireless receiver in just one device. Our favorite keypad for this purpose is the Honeywell 6160RF keypad. The keypad can be easily hard-wired into any Vista panel, and it will serve as an excellent tool for controlling the system. Once connected, a wireless outdoor motion detector can be programmed with the panel. And just like the other Honeywell systems, we are strong supporters of using the 5800PIR-OD with any panel in the Vista lineup due to its great performance and general ease of use.