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7. Advanced Techniques > 85. Outsmart Motion Detectors

Outsmart Motion Detectors

Motion detectors are an essential part of a smart home, but they have some limitations that make them less than perfect. However, with some clever positioning and scripting, you can overcome most of their quirks.

To use motion detectors effectively, you need to see the world as the motion detector does. The type used for home automation usually works on the passive infrared (PIR) principle. The physics of PIR are best left to scientists; all you need to know is that motion detectors work by noticing the movement of hot or cold objects [Hack #6]. For example, when a person enters the motion detector’s field of view, the motion detector sees the person as a moving object that is radiating a different temperature pattern (higher, in most cases) than the surrounding background.


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