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The Role of Sensors in Home Security

Sensors are an essential part of any home security system. They are some of the new IoT (Internet of Things) Smart Home products you may have been hearing about. They are the best way to raise an alert if any condition changes around your house. They are especially effective in detecting visitors, whether expected or not, of any kind.

These new sensors have become even more helpful and practical with the latest technology, as they are now wireless and have long-lasting batteries. There are several types of sensors and all of them can make your life easier. And there are ones specifically designed to work as a home security system. This article will help you understand the different uses, attributes to look for and even discuss installation.

Sensor Types

There are three main types of sensors that are used in a home security system. Several of these have other functions that, while not specifically used for home security, can make your home safer.

Motion Sensor: Motion sensors do exactly what their name implies. They detect motion of any kind in their monitoring area. The technology inside these sensors is usually infrared. Which also allows them to measure things like humidity (flooding) and temperature (fire). The Onvis Environment and Motion Sensor is just such a device and works natively with Apple’s HomeKit, You can take a look at it and then purchase it here.

Contact Sensor: The contact sensor is used to monitor if a door or window or any other closure has been opened. It can be placed wherever a motion sensor may not be practical (high traffic area) but can still alert when a change in status of closure has happened. In addition to use in home security systems, this sensor has such helpful capabilities as turning on the hall closet light every time the door is opened.

Alarm Sensor: The alarm sensor is tailored almost exclusively for a home security system. Depending on the sensor, it can be a contact sensor. Or some also have the ability to sense a change in motion, as well as things like humidity and temperature. What makes this sensor different from a standard contact sensor is that there is a loud alarm built right into the sensor.

So in addition to providing an alert to your phone or tablet whenever triggered, it will also emit a piercing alarm automatically right at the sensor location. This can be a great deterrent for anyone who still has any ideas of entering your home.

What To Look For In a Sensor

The best of today’s sensors should all have the specification: Bluetooth 5.0. This means that it is a wireless device that utilizes the latest technology in power conservation. So your device will run for a long time without ever having to replace the battery.

For motion sensors, in addition to Bluetooth 5.0, the degree of view and length of the active sensor area are the things to note. Any with a viewing angle of 90 degrees or more and a sensor area of 5 meters or more is a quality sensor that should meet the needs of any home security system.

A vital attribute to note is with what system does the device work? On the outer packaging of any Smart Home product, including all home security system products, you will see that it lists the systems within which it will operate. The main systems are Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home.

The advantage to this is if you have, say, an iPhone, any device that says it is compatible with Apple HomeKit can be completely configured and operated from within the Home app, already on the phone. An item to note is that even if a product doesn’t work directly within the iPhone Home app, most other major products (Nest, Ring) have iPhone apps that will allow you to control and configure them.

And, in selecting products for your home security system, be sure to pay attention regarding the product usage. Specifically, whether it is for indoor or outdoor use. Those for outdoor use must be specifically designed for this type of use to withstand sun, snow, and rain and still perform their function. For a home security system, the sensors will almost exclusively be deployed within the house. While items like motion-sensing cameras specially designed for the outdoors will be mounted outside.


While home security systems of the past were complicated, difficult, and expensive to install, the new Smart Home home security system devices are fairly easy, especially the sensors, as they are wireless and lightweight.

All sensors will have mounting tape on the back so that you can just peel and stick your sensors in the areas you desire. It can’t get easier than that.

A note regarding installing cameras in home security systems. Cameras can be more difficult to deploy as they may require mounting at their location via screwing the base into the surface (wall, ceiling, joist, etc). They may also require wires be attached and run back to an internet connection to record video.

Next Steps

If the sensors are Apple HomeKit compatible, the next steps after installing are easy and kind of fun. You can now set the sensors to alert you when conditions change:

  • Motion is detected
  • A door has been opened
  • Raise an alarm if a specific closure has been opened
  • And, with certain sensors, also warn of excess humidity (flooding) or increased temperature (fire, or indoor temperature control.)

And if you have purchased such compatible products as cameras, lights, plugs, thermostats, and door locks, these sensors can trigger all of these to turn off or on at certain triggers.

  • Motion is detected at the front door? The hallway light comes on.
  • Does the temperature get above 84 degrees? The air conditioning turns on.
  • Does an alarm sound for a window? A camera activates and begins recording.

The possibilities to make your life easier are endless. And perhaps even more important, with sensors as the backbone of your home security system, you can rest easy knowing there are devices watching out for you and your family day and night.

Applied Magix offers different wireless motion sensors to make your home secure and safe. All the Applied Magix products are Apple Home Compatible which means that you can control your home security in just a few clicks.