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Microwave Sensors vs PIR Sensors: What's the Difference?

Updated: Feb 26

New age LED Lighting can now incorporate sensors to make them even more effective. With Motion Detectors, the lights are triggered only when they are needed, making them more energy efficient and cost effective.

There are two main types of motion detection sensors available, Microwave and PIR (Passive Infrared) but which one's right for you? Let's delve into their differences and guide you towards the perfect illumination partner.

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PIR (Passive Infrared) Sensors: 

Imagine tiny heat detectors scanning the room. That's essentially how PIR sensors work. They detect changes in infrared radiation, which living beings naturally emit. When all the beams sense the same temperature again, the lights will be deactivated into dim mode or switch off entirely.

Microwave Sensors

Think about miniature radars constantly emitting microwave signals, and measuring the time taken for the signals to be reflected back to the sensor, which is known as echo time. The echo time is used to calculate the distances from all the stationary objects in the detection zone, to establish a baseline to work from. When a person moves into the detection zone and causes a disruption in the microwave beam, this changes the echo time and activates the lights.

So which one is for me?

We have prepared a comparison table to share the pros and cons of each sensor type:

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Both microwave and PIR motion sensors have their unique advantages and limitations. By understanding the differences between these sensors and considering the specific needs of your project, you can make an informed decision about the best motion sensor to meet your requirements.

If you're considering Microwave Sensors, Brite has developed a full range of motion sensor lighting products that can help your facility/estate/building reduce your lighting energy consumption by up to 90%!

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If you are ready to feel the BRITE difference and to make the upgrade for your MCST, commercial building or condominium, contact us at 6753 9553 or for an assessment and customised energy saving proposal from our team of energy saving specialist.


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