How to reset a PIR Motion Sensor

19th July 2022

How to reset a PIR Motion Sensor

PIR Motion Sensors are often a very effective deterrent against intruders for your home or business, as well as providing vital visibility when occupants approach a building or when moving objects around a site at night-time. However, just like any electrical fixture or appliance, these sensors can run in to problems, but by simply resetting the device, you could eliminate the need to splurge on entirely new sensors.

Company Logo


How do PIR Motion Sensors work?

PIR - or Passive Infrared Sensors, are controlled by two sensors that detect either the natural or man-made heat from an object when in motion, including people, animals and cars. When the heat is detected, the signal differential changes between the two sensors, causing the light inside the sensor to activate.

PIR Motion Sensor Component

When should I reset a PIR Motion Sensor?

If your PIR Motion Sensor is not functioning as you expect it to, performing a reset will always be a reasonable course of action to take. This can be caused by a number of factors, including if the sensor has been installed for an extended period of time, or if there is a brief disruption of power.

There are a number of ways to spot if your PIR Motion Sensor is malfunctioning, including:

·         Changes in the consistency of detecting motion

·         The light in the sensor stays on for an extended period of time or does not turn off after a few minutes

·         The sensor is not detecting even larger objects such as people and cars

It may be the case that the battery in your PIR Motion Sensor has reached then end of its life, this usually occurs after 1 year of use, but in high traffic areas it may be less.

How to reset a PIR Motion Sensor

There are a number of ways to perform a reset on a PIR Motion Sensor, depending on the particular sensor you have:

·         If your sensor has a switch, you can either turn the switch on for 2 seconds, then off for 2 seconds, then switch it back on again. Alternatively, you can try turning the switch on and off in quick succession either about 4 or 5 times, or until the light stays on. Once the sensor is at a stage where the light remains on, you can then turn it back on and resume normal function.

·         Try turning off the sensors circuit breaker for at least 30 seconds, but make sure that you do not do this too frequently, as flipping the switch on a circuit breaker multiple times runs the risk of causing damage, including potentially dangerous electrical hazards.

·         To ensure that the issue with the sensor does not involve the light, it is best to replace the bulbs then test the sensor again

PIR Sensitivity

If your PIR Motion Sensor has the option to customise the sensitivity, it is important to make sure that this is customised to your specific needs. If your sensor is too sensitive, it will be trigger by every small object that passes through the radius of the sensor, but on the opposite end of the scale, if the sensor isn’t sensitive enough, it will not detect everything you need it to detect. Simply adjust the sensitivity, then test the sensor with varying sizes of objects until you’ve found just the right level for your specific needs.

Expanding your knowledge on PIR Motion Sensors and knowing when issues can be fixed with a simple reset will allow you to keep the security of your home and business operating to the highest standard. You can shop our range of standard PIR Motion Sensors here, and for PIR Motion Sensors with extra features and convenient control on the go, shop our range of Smart PIR Motion Sensors.