Staying safe in your home is important. Because of this, many people want to make sure their security system offers multiple layers of protection. Motion detectors are a key component of many modern home security systems. They often work as a supplement to door and window sensors. They can also help determine if someone is cutting through or near your yard at night. But do motion detectors work through windows? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Several factors come into play, including

  • Whether motion detectors are meant to activate lights only or an alarm
  • The clarity of the glass in your windows
  • The sophistication of your motion detectors

How Motion Detecting Lights and Alarms Work Together

One of the most common uses of motion detection is with the automatic doors at the grocery store. A motion detector senses when someone is approaching and opens the door. Similar sensors can also trigger an alarm.

But not all motion around your home is necessarily alarming. How do you determine the difference between a bunny hopping across the yard and a potential intruder?

Security systems have a more passive system that looks for infrared energy. This is a type of heat detection, that is normally calibrated to detect a human and ignore animals. Infrared light isn’t detected by the human eye, so it doesn’t add light to your yard. Some systems use outdoor cameras, which may be motion activated. Others place the cameras indoors where it is harder for a potential intruder to tamper with them.

There can be an issue with this because the glass from the window can cause blurriness or other distortion to images caught on the camera. You may be able to tell there was a person near your entrance, but the image may not be clear enough to provide any identifying information.

A two storey house with exterior lights and trees in the yard at sunrise.

Proper Light Support Makes for Better Security

One common problem with infrared cameras that are self-installed is that they need other light support in order to provide their best security. The images captured by cameras when it is very dark are rarely clear. You may be able to tell that the intruder was human, but not much else. This doesn’t give authorities much to go on in the case of a robbery or another crime.

If an intruder notices an outside camera, they may do their best to avoid it, but if it can work from inside, on the other side of a window, it may keep the camera more secure. For this to work, exterior lighting is a must to ensure that images taken from inside the window are clear. Whether your camera’s motion detector will work through the window is irrelevant if your camera can’t capture a good image. If the excess light annoys the neighbors, of if you worry about using too much electricity, it may help to use motion-activated lights. The surprise of a light coming on may be enough to deter some intruders, especially if the lights are floodlights.

You can also increase clarity on a video by turning off infrared lights and shooting the video in monochrome. A grayscale image actually provides more discernable detail than color. Angling the camera helps too, as well as keeping it as close to the glass as possible.

Home Security Basics

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    What Do You Need to Feel Safe?

    Home security is not a one size fits all venture. What you need depends on your neighborhood, and how safe you feel.  When it comes to protecting your home, there are a lot of options and plenty of professional help that can provide you with proper guidance as you make the important decisions regarding the level of security needed in your home and for your family. If you have questions about whether your motion detectors will work through windows, or about other equipment, give us a call. At Protect America, we provide that guidance with checklists that offer different levels of protection, depending on how you feel about any potential threats in your neighborhood.

    Basic protection features benefits like door and window locks, densely made, secure wood and metal doors, motion-activated floodlights, ad a home security yard sign. For an extra boost, we can provide additional door and window sensors as well as HD security cameras. Smart Home features such as remote lights and locking doors, and well as video surveillance with cloud storage, and monitoring service in case of fire may also put your mind at ease.

    Even when you think you know your neighborhood, there still may be an unwelcome surprise around the corner. At Protect America, we want to help make sure you feel as safe and in control as possible. To learn more about all the security and home monitoring services we provide, contact us to get a  free quote from Protect America today.