SimpliSafe Motion Sensor Guide: Where to Place Motion Sensors

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The ability to monitor unauthorized movement in your home is a crucial aspect of any security system. SimpliSafe offers an affordable motion sensor that can be configured for many different scenarios. Based on this, I wanted to find out the most effective places to install my motion sensors.

SimpliSafe Motion Sensors can detect motion up to 45 feet from the sensor (with customizable ranges). SimpliSafe recommends the motion sensors to be placed in a corner, around 4 to 5 feet above the ground for maximum coverage of your designated area.

The range of coverage and the low price point of the SimpliSafe motion sensors led me to take a more in-depth look into how they could improve my smart home security configuration. Specifically, I wanted to ensure they were placed in an area with the most coverage.

What is the SimpliSafe Motion Sensor?

The SimpliSafe Motion Sensor uses infrared sensing technology to detect changes in temperatures in a given area. In other words, if something with a heat signature, like pets, humans, or other animals, enter a room, the motion sensor will detect the change in temperature and alert your system of a potentially unauthorized intrusion.

It is important to note that the motion sensors require two “core” SimpliSafe devices: the Base Station and Keypad.

Features & Specifications

Let’s take a quick look at some of the features of the SimpliSafe Motion Sensor to get a better idea of the factors to consider when placing and configuring the devices:

  • Customizable Ranges: The SimpliSafe Motion Sensor has a detection range of up to 45 feet (from the sensor). The range can be adjusted to spans of 15 feet, 30 feet, or 45 feet. Additionally, the sensor can be placed upside down if you have small pets to avoid triggering false alarms.
  • Easy to Install: Installation for the motion sensors is very straightforward. They have batteries and mounting adhesive pre-installed, so they’re ready to go right out of the box. Not only that, but the base system can also support up to 100 sensors, making their installation and placement highly customizable.
  • Field of Vision: The motion sensors have a 90-degree “field of vision,” providing extensive coverage when placed in the corner of a room. They can detect motion 90-degrees to the left and right and downward at a 45-degree angle (or upward at 45-degrees depending on placement).
  • Pet Friendly: The motion sensors are designed to detect unique heat signatures of both pets and humans. Dogs or cats under 50 pounds will not trigger the sensors, thus avoiding false alarms. The devices also have sensitivity sliders, allowing you to turn down the sensitivity of your sensor.

SimpliSafe Motion Sensor Placement & Installation

Given the fact that the motion sensors have extensive customizability and easy installation, it is worth noting that there are areas you can place the devices to achieve maximum coverage and efficiency.

What’s Required for Setup?

Before configuring your sensors, you will need the Base System and the Keypad to get started. If you already have these installed, you’re in luck. Installation is just a matter of placing the device, pressing the “test button” on the sensor, and selecting “Devices > Add New Device” with your SimpliSafe keypad.

Now that we know what’s required to install the sensors, where should they be placed?

Where to Place Sensors for Ideal Coverage

Given the customizability and ease of use with the sensors, there are numerous options for configuring your setup. SimpliSafe recommends placing the sensors on a flat wall or corner, about 4 to 5 feet above the ground.

If a wall is not available for placement, they can also be set up on a flat surface (near the edge) as close to the corner of the room as possible. By default, the devices detect motion straight forward and 45-degrees downward, making placement towards the edge of a flat surface ideal (if a corner wall isn’t available).

Additionally, it is recommended that you place the sensors toward an entrance or an area with heavy foot traffic. This will ensure that the motion will have the best chance of being detected, should you have any unauthorized movement.

Motion Sensitivity Slider

The SimpliSafe motion sensors have a physical sensitivity slider, an excellent option for those who have pets or small children. To avoid repeated false alarms, slide the slider towards the “L” on the device’s back to lower the sensitivity. This will allow the sensor to detect minor movements before triggering an alarm, preventing false notifications.

Now that we have a better understanding of where the sensors are the most effective, let’s examine some areas where you should avoid placing the devices.

Where to Avoid Placing Motion Sensors

Due to the infrared technology used by the sensors, there are several environmental factors to consider that may hinder the device’s ability to function as intended.

Avoid Placing Close to Heaters or Air Conditioner Units

If the sensors are in the proximity of a heat source (heater, furnace, direct sunlight, etc.) or cooling unit, the infrared will pick up false heat signature readings, thus potentially triggering the alarm. As a result, these areas should be avoided to ensure you are getting accurate readings with your sensors.

Away High Pet Traffic Areas

Though the devices are designed to avoid false readings from pets, constant motion within 5 feet of the sensors can trigger the alarm. With this in mind, the sensors should ideally be placed in a location where pets do not have immediate access.

In Summary

The SimpliSafe Motion Sensors offer an affordable option for homeowners who want to take their security up to the next level. Though it is recommended to place the devices in a corner on a wall, 4-5 feet above the ground, the customizability and ease of use allow individuals to configure the devices in many ways, providing excellent security coverage.

Motion sensor not working? It may be time to switch out its battery. Check out this article to learn more.

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