What is a PIR?

What is a PIR?

A PIR sensor, or Passive Infrared sensor, is an electronic devices used to detect presence – or absence – in an area, and is often used in conjunction with other devices, such as lighting, to switch on, or off, when something is detected.

There is a wide range of PIR sensors on the market, offering different levels of quality as well as various functions. PIRs can have wide or narrow detection beams, to ensure that the right area is being covered. Suited to almost any application, high quality PIRs offer intelligent and highly reactive presence or absence detection, without false triggering. Though like any electronic product, cheaper inferior versions are prone to faults.

Though commonly referred to as motion detectors, PIRs don’t just look for movement, but instead look for sudden changes in temperature, as caused by a person walking in front of the sensor, for instance. This separates PIRs from microwave sensors, which detect all movement, and are therefore unsuitable for areas in which vibrating machines or even paper coming off a printer would be likely to trigger the microwave sensor’s purely movement-based detector.

The most important factors to consider when choosing a PIR sensor for your lighting system, are the height from which the sensor will stop picking up movement and the spread – or the area in which the sensor is effective – as well as any necessary IP rating if required.

PIRs are an extremely effective way of reducing energy costs and consumption in low-to-medium occupancy areas, such as warehouses, factories and storage facilities, but also work well in offices, only picking up the movement of people, and quickly.

PIR sensors are available for use with almost all of our product range, if you’d like to discuss utilising PIR sensors on a lighting project, feel free to contact us today

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