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curt312000's profile

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 3:36 PM

Motion detector sensitivity switch

Hello I'm new here and I've just recently had my simply safe system for oh I guess going on and maybe two months now but I have a question concerning the motion detectors I understand that they're three switches on the back panel that adjust the sensitivity The sensitivity could somebody explain exactly what they mean by the sensitivity is is that how much movement that is needed to trigger an alarm. For example for lower sensitivity with that require more movement to actually trigger an alarm and perhaps lower the number of false alarms im just a little confused and  looking for some clarification on this so I'm sure that I have the motion detectors set up correctly hey thanks guys really enjoy being here. Tom

Official Solution

Community Admin


5.5K Messages

2 years ago

Hi @curt312000 ,

It helps to start by explaining how the Motion Sensor works. Ours are the infrared type: essentially, the sensor is looking for objects that generate heat moving around, in contrast with the rest of the room.

So that sensitivity switch is really changing the threshold for how much hotter the moving object has to be, compared to the environment. Lower sensitivity means that the object needs to be much warmer before it can trigger an alarm.

This also has a side-effect of altering range. If you set the sensor to high sensitivity, it's able to see triggers about 10-15ft further. But of course, because it all depends on temperature, the actual range will change based on the environment.

6 Messages

What's the recommended range then to get the least amount of false detections Thanks a lot I really appreciate it Tom


Community Admin


5.5K Messages

@curt312000​ I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The sensor will trigger for anything that generates heat, and is moving around. So to avoid false alarms from your Motion Sensors, you just want to make sure that it's not pointed at anything that generates heat.



5.9K Messages

2 years ago

@curt312000 First, here is a good artilce in the help center that gives an excellent overview of the settings available for all of the sensors, not just the motion sensors.  


Second, here is an article explaining how the motion sensor covers an area, at what angle and, on high, it goes covers out to approximately 30 feet!


You are spot on that if the motion sensor is set too high it can cause false alarms. Great example: When I first got my SS3 system, if someone went through the kithen door from the garage (sensor not on instant trigger) sometimes the system would alarm before the person could enter their PIN on the keypad only 4 feet from the door.  The issue (after 3 calls to SS support and me sending a complete house floor layout of my sensors, hvac and location of my sensors) did a SS engineer discover the cause to be a motion sensor almost 30 feet acroos my kitchen picking us up and sending the signal to the base just befor the entry sensor started the countdown sequence!  A quick adjustment from high to medium on the motion took care of the issue immediately.  At this time I have 10 motion sensors, and no false alarms in years.

More questions? Call SS support. My advise: position all motions on outside walls if you can, point way from windows and dial down your sensitivity when you can (all of mine are on low or medium and coverage is fine) and then test them.  Same for Glassbreaks.

Finally, remember "layers of protection". If someone gets by my motions on the first or 2nd floor, entry sensors on all of the doors, there are more surpises for them with drawers, closets etc that are also covered.

Again, if more questions, call support. They are more than happy to assist.

To SS: articles in the Help Center still a bit tough to find, and please put up quick reference chart to show approximate range of all 3 settings on the motion sensors.


Curt, just noticed I responded to you in another thread yesterday.  Strongly suggest you do contact support to answer any and all questions you may still have on your system.


4 Messages

@captain11​ Thanks, Captain, for this reply comment that "**on high** [emphasis added], it goes covers out to approximately 30 feet"! It is disappointing that this first and only acknowledgement of this that I've seen, is not from any official SS documentation.

New purchaser here. I can accept that the sensitivity switch needs to be set to H (high) to actually get the 30 feet range Simplisafe claims in the sales website, the manual, and multiple "support articles," (although i'm getting less -- 25.5 from gen 1 motion sensor) but it'd be nice if they'd say so in those places or at least in the few places where the sensitivity switch is mentioned. In short, you are right on to say to them "please put up quick reference chart to show approximate range of all 3 settings on the motion sensors."


1 Message

2 years ago

We have had our system up and running for about 2 years. We now have 2 cats and have had two false alarms while away from home. The motion sensors are mounted about 5 to 6 feet above the floor since the cats do like to climb on things. Am I correct to set the sensitivity of my sensors at the Lowest settings?

105 Messages

@tom_4819​ You could turn the sensor upside down in the holder also. I believe that SimpliSafe recommends doing that if your pet is 40 lbs. or bigger but I had to do it on mine because of my cats climbing.

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