What is a Beam Detector

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A beam detector is made up of 2 separate units. There is a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter projects a beam towards the receiver. The receiver must receive a designated amount of signal in order to maintain secure operation. When an intruder walks across the beam, the beam is broken and the unit will trigger.

Uses of a Beam Motion Sensor

There are wired and wireless types of beam detectors available. If you install a wired version you will need to have power run to both the transmitter and the receiver. Depending on the location of the units this can be difficult. The wiring should be concealed in conduit or PVC which will involve either digging a shallow trench out to the units or possibly mounting the pipe along a fence.

Advantages and disadvantages of a beam detector

Beam detectors offer a distinct advantage over traditional motion sensors. These devices can be thought of as an invisible fence. If anything crosses the beam then the contacts will open. These devices are not stand alone systems and will need to be connected to another control panel in order to sound an audible device or send a signal to a central station. A typical motion sensor does not have the ability to protect an area as large as a beam detector.

The big advantage to this type of wired detector and most types of wired security devices is that they will work with most brands of security systems. If you use a wireless type of device it will have to be designed to work with what brand of security system you already own. You also need to be aware of the need for batteries when using a wireless system. This may seem to be a trivial concern but if you consider a wireless system that incorporates 20 devices then this could cost $60-$80 per year for replacements.

Installation of Beam Detectors

Before actually mounting your new detectors you will need to think ahead about the area that you are trying to protect. Keep in mind what changing weather conditions may bring to the area. Windy conditions typically cause the most trouble. If boxes or paper blows across the beam and the sensitivity is set too high then you can have false alarms triggered. You must also consider pets that may trigger the alarm. If you live in an area with a lot of wildlife this could also cause problems. If you mount devices high enough that will cut down on the false alarms but take care to not go too high so intruders cannot duck below the beam.

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