Motion Detection Camera: Why Should You Use One?

Motion Detection Camera

Installing a home security camera that detects motion allows you to better secure your family, home, property, and business.  Motion detection has become one of the most sought features of a security camera for many good reasons. What is a motion detection camera and do you need one?


Find out below how a motion detection camera can enhance the function of your home security system.

You may also like: Home Security Camera: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Smart Decision

What is a Motion Detection Camera?

A motion detection camera is a security camera that is activated by motion detection. This security camera does not record footages the whole day, instead, it only records when its motion sensor is triggered.

Motion detection cameras are equipped with built-in sensors that monitor the view field of view for any movement. When any suspicious activity is detected, It will start to record footage. 

What is a Motion Detection Camera
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How does a Motion Detection Camera Work?

Outdoor security cameras deter burglars from entering your property. With motion detection technology installed in your security camera, you will get to sort through less footage. A security camera with motion detection will only record important moments.

Similar to window and door sensors, motion detectors are security system essentials. Window and door sensors notify you when someone enters your home. Motion detectors, on the other hand, sends you an alert when someone is roaming around your home.

Your security camera can be equipped with different types of motion detectors. Most, however, rely on motion detection technologies to detect anyone that intrudes into your property. Motion detectors pick-up tiny changes in things such as vibration, temperature, or radiation within their field of view.

There are many ways you can use the motion sensors of your motion detection camera.

  • Trigger the motion sensor of your security camera to start recording footage when someone enters the field of view.
  • Set up your camera to automatically switch on a light when someone is within the field of view of your security camera.
  • Set up your camera to send an alarm or movement when movement is detected.

Your motion detection security camera will be recording footage 24/7, and you will have to keep a constant eye on your computer or phone for any unusual intrusion. Isn’t this that too impractical?

Motion detection, on the other hand, can also have a frustrating or confusing feature. Too many alerts can be annoying. Meanwhile, too few alerts can make you wonder if your security camera is working.

The trick, therefore, is to properly set-up your camera. When setting up it for motion detection, you will need to get the best balance with the motion detection settings. Understanding motion detection means understanding how your security camera works.

Inside your camera is an image sensor. You will need to set the sensitivity of the image sensor for it to know when to trigger an alert. A high level of sensitivity will easily pick up more changes to set off the alarm or alerts.

The level of change depends on the percentage or level of sensitivity settings you set on motion detection. If you are monitoring a door, for instance, setting the sensitivity level of your security camera at 50% means an alert will sound off when something large enters your property, such as a person, but will ignore something smaller such as a dog.

In simple terms, this is how a motion detection security camera works- an intruder to your property steps within the field of view of your security camera. The alarm of your camera will be triggered. The sound of the alarm will scare the intruder and let him flee. Most of the time, the would-be-intruder is either identified or caught by local authorities.

To maximize the use of the camera, install it in strategic corners of your property including:

  • Parallel to pathways so intruders will walk past your motion sensor, instead of toward it.
  • Areas where people tend to walk through such as hallways, doorways, or stairwells.

It is also important not to install it in areas exposed to direct sunlight or near supply vents of your HVAC. The sudden changes in temperature can cause motion sensors to malfunction.

Why do you Need a Motion Detection Camera?

If you have a smart security camera, chances are, it has a motion sensor it comes with a built-in motion sensor. The built-in motion sensor allows your camera to record and sound off an alarm when something out of the usual happens.

Your home and business can benefit from having a motion detection camera in many ways:

  • Enhance the security in your home or business because you can configure the camera’s app to send alerts or notifications when the security camera detects motion.
  • Increase the recording time of your security camera because recordings will only be done when movements are detected, instead of recording the whole day.
  • The footage in your security camera can help speed up the post-investigation process because the police will only view the time frames when the supposed intrusion occurred.
How does a Motion Detection Camera Work
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The specific reasons your homes and businesses need motion detection cameras may include:


It can protect your home in various ways ranging from keeping it safe from intrusions of unauthorized people or animals to keeping your small children away from restricted areas in your home.

How will you benefit from having a motion detection camera in your home?

Remote Monitoring

You will have peace of mind each time you leave your home because you know that you can check on it anytime. Most security cameras come with apps so you have access to whatever is happening in your home from anywhere.

What can your camera monitor?

  • Burglars or any illegal intruders
  • Arriving guests
  • Wild animals or stray pets
  • Small children who are not supposed to be in areas in your property that is unsuitable for them, such as near the pool or your home workshop.

Instant Alerts and Notifications

When you connect the app of the camera to your phone, computer, laptop, or tablet, it will send you alerts and notifications in the very instance the motion sensor of your security camera is triggered by an unusual movement.

The real-time alerts and notifications can likewise benefit you in many ways:

  • It can provide better protection for your family because it provides better security by allowing you to be alerted and notified of anything unusual events.
  • You do not need to spend most of your time monitoring your home against any intrusion. Your camera will be on standby mode and will only start recording when it senses a human or animal. When the movement stops, your camera will return to standby mode.
  • It is more reliable because it captures, records, and sends an alert or notification when it senses motion. This is to say that once you get an alert or notification, it is necessary that you do so.

Your home can always be a target of an invasion. The same risk is true whether you live in a tightly guarded neighborhood or in a secluded area. A burglar is always on the lookout for homes they can steal from. Preventing any intrusion is the most important aspect of securing your home.

You can set up your camera in any or all corners of your property. When you set your security camera its motion detector will record and send you an alert or notification when it is triggered by any movement.


A motion detection camera in your business serves the same purpose as in a home, except that there are more areas to cover. A business needs a motion detection camera to send an alert or notification to security officers on duty when these situations arise.

  • When trespassers enter the property after store or office hours.
  • When any forms of vandalism are committed such as grabbing something from display windows or throwing a rock on the window.
  • When stowaway burglars enter the premises during the day and remain after store or office hours to steal.
  • When unauthorized personnel enters restricted areas.

A motion detection security camera can protect your home or business from internal and external threats. By monitoring activities in your home or business, whether from the inside or remotely, you can have peace of mind that you are on top of everything knowing everything that is going on.

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Types of Motion Detectors

Motion detection cameras use a number of technologies to detect motion including radio waves, thermal measurements, and light pulses. Consumer security cameras, however, commonly use computer vision and passive infrared (PIR).

Computer Vision

Computer Vision (CV) is a method wherein the software of the security camera dissects the sequential frames of the live videos and registers motion events when it detects a big change.

The computer vision method is to detect motion and determine the shape of the object in motion. Advanced methods can also be used to further classify the moving object as a person, vehicle, tree, or animal. The user needs to highlight the relevant objects such as persons, animals, and vehicles and suppress irrelevant objects such as trees.

Passive Infrared

Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors can monitor ambient heat released by living things. When a PIR sensor detects enough movement from these warm objects or differences in temperature between the background scene and the object, it will signal the camera to record and send an alert r notification.


Microwave (MV) emits microwave pulses to detect movement. It is mostly used in commercial and industrial spaces because it can cover wider areas and longer ranges than PIR.

Area-Reflective Sensors

Area-reflective sensors are integrated into LEDs. Infrareds are then emitted so the camera can detect motion within the reach of a lighted area.

Vibration Sensors

Vibration sensors are one of the most cost-efficient sensors. Vibration sensors are activated by a switch so it can send a vibration to detect motion.

Ultrasound Sensors

Ultrasound sensors radiate ultrasonic sound waves. Ultrasonic sound waves reflect on objects and bounce back to its original point. When a moving object gets in the way of the waves, the sensor gets triggered and the desired action occurs.

Dual-Technology Sensors

Dual-technology sensors rely on sensors of two motion-detecting technologies to detect motion -microwave and PIR. These sensors are prone to false alarms because both technologies need to be tripped so an alert or alarm to sound.

When motion detectors or sensors detect motion, a corresponding action ensures such as the switching on of lights, the sounding off of an alarm or a notification sent through the security camera’s app.

How to Avoid False Alarms

Problems and glitches are unavoidable even if you have the best security camera. One of the most common issues of motion detection cameras is it being triggered by an unnecessary motion.

Your camera sends you an alert or notification. You panic because this means that an intruder is inside your property. You call the police and later find out that it was your dog that was detected by your security camera.

A false alarm happens when your security camera mistakenly detects a dangerous movement that is not. There are many reasons your security camera may send a false alarm.

There are certain “objects” and situations that can activate the motion detectors of your security camera and give off a false alarm.

  • Pets coming near the security camera.
  • Crawling or flying insects such as spiders who love to rest on the sensors of your security camera.
  • A branch may fall due to strong winds within the range of the security camera due to strong winds.
  • Incorrect entry of the code and activates the motion detector of your camera.
  • Plants or curtains blown by heaters or air conditioning toward the security camera.
  • Other “safe” objects that move near the motion sensors of your security camera.

False alarms can frighten any homeowner and can be one of the biggest problems of having a motion detection camera. False alarms can cause unnecessary warnings to the surveillance company or the police. More importantly, when continuous false alarms happen, you may get used to it and may risk ignoring a true alert or notification.

It is, therefore, important to do something about the false alarms released by your security camera.

  • Do not allow any moving items (humans, pets, plants) to stay in the area you have installed your security camera.
  • Have your security camera installed in a location where your pets can get in the way of the motion sensor.
  • Choose a security camera with motion sensors that can ignore pets that are less than 80 pounds and under 3 feet.

Do not fall victim to false alarms from your security camera.

How to Install your Motion Detection Camera

Motion detectors usually have a range of about 50 to 80 feet. You therefore would want to install your motion detection camera in strategic areas in your home or have several security cameras installed around your home.

There are times when the sensor of your motion detection camera detects a motion even if there is none. Why then does the motion detector gets triggered when it does not detect motion? What is your security camera seeing that is not there? In this case, even if the motion detector of your camera does not detect motion, it will still send an alert – a false alert.

There is no object within the range of your security camera but there may be light and it may trigger your camera to detect a “motion.”

Motion detectors sense shadows and patterns of light to determine movement. It is, therefore, logical that changing light patterns could set off the detector of your security camera and see it as a movement.

This brings an important point – make sure to find the best place to install your security camera to avoid it from detecting something that is not considered as motion. Choosing the right installation location can avoid false alarms that can make you nervous thinking that someone is moving around your property.

The best areas to install it in areas where people often walk such as in the porch, living room, hallways, bedrooms, and staircases. Motion detectors find it difficult to detect people walking towards them but find it easier to detect people walking parallel to it.

Make sure to install it at least 10 feet away from radiators, windows, air conditioning, and heating vents. Any abrupt changes in temperature or airflow from your HVAC may trigger the sensors of your security camera and send false alarms.

Types of Motion Detectors
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A security camera has today become an important investment for your home and business. It is a small price to pay to ensure your family, property, or business is protected from intruders.

A motion detection camera only records footage when its sensor is able to detect any unusual movement. Once motion is detected an alert or notification is sent to you through the app of the security camera or an email.

If you are thinking of investing in it but still have some unanswered questions, please feel free to leave a message in the comments section. 


  1. Why Should You Use a Motion Detector Camera?” Cove Smart, 2020
  2. How do motion sensing lights and burglar alarms work?” How Stuff Works, July 27, 2020
  3. What Is a Motion Activated Security Camera?” Burglar Free Zone, September 28, 2016
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right home security products.

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