The PIR and Door/Window Sensor – what’s the difference?

The PIR and Door/Window Sensor – what’s the difference?

Motion sensors form the basis of most home alarm systems. They detect a motion and send a signal to the control panel, which triggers the alarm.  A very typical form of sensor is a PIR, often found in the corners of rooms, but you can also get specific sensors to protect door and window opening movements.  

To fully protect your house, it’s the best to implement both into your security system. However, if you prefer to choose just one, we’re here to guide you which one fits your household the best. 

What is PIR Motion Sensor? 

The PIR sensor or Passive InfraRed sensor is an electronic device that detects motion by receiving infrared radiation. It uses heat to sense if an object or person is in motion. Simply speaking, the sensor is designed to determine if someone is currently in your home. 

How does it work? 

The PIR Motion Sensor covers a wide radius, so usually one sensor will protect an entire room. In the case of ERA Protect, he PIR sensor detects motion up to 12m away with a detection zone of 90 degrees. That means that it doesn’t matter how the intruder entered the house or how they move around the property, as long as they pass within the range of the sensor, their motion will be detected.  

The ERA Protect motion sensor is also pet friendly. It is set to disregard pets up to 25 kgs, so they can walk around freely without triggering any false alarms. 

Where to place the sensor? 

The best spot to fix your PIR Sensor is in the corner of the room with a clear point of view. This way you gain maximum coverage of the space and minimise the blind spots.  

Consider placing the PIR motion sensor in the rooms where you keep the most valuable possessions or nearest to your home’s main entrance and exit points.   

Remember to never place the sensor near a heat source. As the PIR sensor works by detecting body heat, fixing it near the radiator or in the direct sunlight may affect the accuracy. Another place worth avoiding is the bathroom as the steam and moisture can reduce a sensor’s sensitivity. 


What is a Door/Window Sensor? 

Windows can be the weakest entry point of a house. According to recent research, over 76% of burglars gain entry via a door and 1 in 5 of them enters through the window. That’s when the Door and Window Sensor becomes useful. The smart device is designed to, by use of magnets, detect when the point of entry has been broken. 

How does it work? 

The sensor comes in two parts; one contains a sensor and the other a magnet. When the door or window is opened the connection between the two parts is broken and the alarm is triggered.  

Where to place the sensor? 

The crucial area to place the Door and Window sensor is the main entrance and the back door. Those are the most important entry and exit points of each property. However, if you have additional home entry doors, for example a door connecting to a garage, we recommend adding a sensor there as well.  

The Window Sensor should be fixed on every lower floor window. If there are trees or other buildings granting easy access to your house, you should consider adding extra sensors at windows facing them. 

So, which one to choose? 

We recommend both! Both sensors will complement your home security system and each will provide different benefits. The PIR motion sensor is designed to detect when someone is already in your property, while the magnetic Door and Window Sensor alerts when the point of entry is being broken. 

For maximum protection you should use different types of sensors and motion detectors in different areas. Consider fixing the PIR Motion Sensors in the busiest rooms and place the Door and Window Sensor on each entry point. The ERA Protect system and app can hold up to 96 accessories, so you can buy as many sensors as you need to cover all the main entrances to your home – all controlled via the same easy to operate app. 

If you want to learn more about how to choose and expand your home security system, you view our products here.