Do Motion Sensors Have Cameras?

Last updated: December 4, 2022


Motion sensors, also often referred to as motion detectors, are technological devices that are now integrated into a wide variety of home security devices. Motion sensors detect any movement that occurs within the device’s “field of vision” or, in other words, the area within your home that the product monitors. 

Within their effective range, they can detect sudden and suspicious movements. If you don’t know much about motion sensors, you might assume that they have to involve some camera. Since these devices detect motion, they must be able to see the movement, which means that motion sensors have built-in cameras– this assumption is incorrect. 

To discover whether motion sensors have cameras, continue reading the article below. 

How To Tell If A Motion Sensor Has A Camera

Do Motion Sensors Have Cameras To Detect Movement

A motion sensor is usually a pretty discrete device that is either attached to or situated close to an LED light. However, they can also be separately installed on any key entrances into your house, like a window or the front door. These devices are programmed to scan over a wide area from a high angle for better efficiency. 

Sometimes, you may spot a security camera next to a motion sensor. However, this does not imply that the motion sensor uses the camera to detect motion and send out loud chimes to alert you of anybody’s presence. Instead, the motion sensor works with the surveillance camera as part of an integrated smart home security system for improved safety and protection.

Do Motion Sensors Have Cameras To Detect Movement?

Motion sensors detect motion without the need for a camera. They function using either an active emitter or a passive receptor, depending on the type of motion sensor (sometimes with a separate receiver). Several cameras have a motion sensor built in, but the motion sensor works separately from the camera.

Do motion sensors have cameras? Instead, they are equipped with either a passive or active sensor to detect movement. Passive sensors are designed just to detect movements or changes within their effective range. 

On the other hand, active sensors “actively” send out a signal, either to a separate receiver or a signal which is designed to bounce back to a receiver on the active motion sensor. If there are any changes detected in the rate at which the signals bounce back, the motion sensor may send out an alarm to notify you of someone’s presence. There are no cameras involved at any point. Instead, motion sensors detect movement by using various types of radiation.

For instance, a passive infrared motion sensor scans for changes in infrared radiation, typically caused by heat, within a specific area. This does not mean, however, that it is equipped with a built-in thermal camera. It is simply a motion sensor triggered by changes in infrared radiation and does not capture any footage in any way. 

Is There A Motion Sensor With A Security Camera?

A wide variety of security cameras come with a motion sensor available in the market today. However, remember that if you spot a camera with a motion sensor attached, the sensor is not using the camera to detect motion. 

Instead, the camera uses the motion sensor to know when it needs to switch on a record. A motion-activated security camera only records when there’s a motion detected or when the sensor picks something up. Otherwise, no recording will be relayed to the digital or network video recorder. 

Benefits Of Cameras With Motion Sensors

Benefits Of Cameras With Motion Sensors

Cameras with motion sensors are essential for two main reasons. People will gain a few advantages when installing motion sensors in their spaces.


The first is cost. Cameras with built-in motion sensors could initially cost a little more than a standard security camera. However, they are designed not to record continuously, and video footage—especially quality HD footage—requires a lot of storage, which is expensive to purchase.

Expansive Storage

By simply recording when there is motion detected, you won’t need to worry about having massive file backups or costly cloud storage solutions. With a sensor that toggles the camera to record only when necessary, you will only have a few clips that last less than 30 minutes per day rather than 24 hours of footage. 

Not only does this save you storage space, but it also eliminates the need for hours of skipping through the recording to find any suspicious activity. 

Live Viewing

The live view feature of smart cameras is the second reason. You’ll never be able to tell if someone is attempting to burglarize you without a motion detector installed. 

Instead of stopping them, you would only be able to try and identify them later on using the recorded video footage. A motion-activated camera will send you to live notifications so you can see what’s happening as it’s ensuing and call the authorities if necessary. 

If you want to learn more about motion sensors, check out this beginner’s guide to door motion sensors by Security Forward.

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