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8 Common Detection Systems And Their Functioning

The smart home automation uses advanced detection systems for home security purposes. Each of these systems consists of a sensor, a processing unit, and an active network. The sensor or detector monitors its immediate environment.

It sends any and all updates about the changes in its environment to the processing unit. And this detection system finally takes the required decision as a unit. Let us take a look at the types and the working of each of these detection systems.

8 Common Detection Systems

The smart homes and offices employ a number of these detection systems. The technology behind the main ones has been explained below:

1. Motion Detection System

There are two main types of motion detection systems. The active and passive motion detection systems. The active systems work with the ultrasonic sound waves. These detectors continuously send out the ultrasonic waves, commonly used in the pregnancy ultrasounds.

It gets triggered when a disruption breaks this pattern. It causes the system to send out the alarm or turn on the light, whatever it has been coded to do in such case. The passive one works with infrared energy. The passive motion detection systems have two more categories namely the Passive Infrared and the Passive Photo Detection systems.

The Passive Infrared System works by detecting the heat generated from an organism. The Passive Photo Detection System alerts the system when its continuous light beam gets interrupted by an entity. Most of the time, these three are used in a combination of optimum safety.

2. Fire Detection System

A full-fledged smoke detection systems consist of fire alarm, control panels, initiating devices and the notification devices. The main focus is to get the alerts while not sacrificing the speed or accuracy. This way the harm caused by the toxic gas and particle generation from the fire will be minimal.

Fire Detection

The fire detection system uses a combination of the heat, smoke, flame and fire gas detectors. The heat detectors keep track of fire’s convect thermal energy. And it alerts the system when that energy increases the temperature of heat-sensitive material.

The two main types of smoke detectors are ionization and photoelectric. The ionization smoke detector ionizes the air with the help of a radioisotope. It makes it easier to detect the presence of even minute traces of smoke in the air. Photoelectric smoke detectors use a photodiode, lens, and a UV/Infrared/visible light. The presence of smoke obstructs the path of light thus causing the alarm to go off.

3. Water Leakage Detection System

A lot of home-related demages are a result of faulty water pipeline or leaks. They can cause moldy deposits in the basements and the wall behind the furniture. The water leakage detection systems make it easier to detect and identify the problem on time. This will help tremendously in minimizing the overall damage and repairs.

The various areas apt for placing the sensors for water leakage are near the toilet, sink, washing machine, dishwasher, and hot water heaters among others. This system works upon the measurement of water conductivity that in turn completes the circuit. This leads to a signal that can be received on your phone app.

You can even opt for a smart water leakage detection system that alerts everyone in your group on the app. Or, shuts off the water supply to prevent it from a bigger leak and thus minimizes the damage. A survey of the pipeline and main points is often done during the construction or renovation.

Also Read: 6 Cool Tips To Minimize Water Wastage While Showering

4. Pressure Detection System

Pressure sensing is an important aspect of many household appliances. It can also be used in leak testing, flow sensing, and depth sensing. A pressure detection system basically keeps an eye on the pressure of gas or liquid in the current unit. The various types of pressure sensors are Absolute, Gauge, Vacuum, Differential, and Sealed pressure sensors.

They are named on the basis of the pressure ranges that they can measure. Next, we have pressure sensors on the basis of their sensing technology. They are the Force Collector, Ionization, Thermal and Resonant Pressure sensors.

The various types of force collector pressure sensors are Potentiometric, Force balancing, Strain-Gauge, Optical, Piezoelectric, Piezoresistive strain gauge, Electromagnetic and capacitive. These pressure detection systems also go by the name of pressure transducers, pressure indicators, piezometers, manometer, pressure transmitters and pressure senders.

5. Light Detection System

You want a well-lit home. But that does not mean that you need to waste energy even when you are not there to use it. The light detection system makes sure that all the lights not in use are actively shut off. They will adjust the brightness too for you and follow the schedule that you have coded into it.

Light Detection

A light detection system uses a light sensor at its core. This sensor is basically a photoelectric device that converts the photons of light energy into the electrons of an electrical signal. The light energy can be available in the form of UV, visible or Infrared light energy.

These detectors are made up of the silicon semiconductor PN-junctions. The devices are made up of light-sensing and mainly consist of Photodiode and Phototransistor. Their high-level of light sensitivity makes it possible for them to detect light of both visible and Infrared levels.

6. Proximity Detection System

These systems don’t need to have physical contact to know the actual distance of the incoming object. They are present in your touchscreens, bathroom automatic faucets, parking sensors, and various appliances. Inductive, Capacitive, Photoelectric, and Ultrasonic are the four main categories.

Electromagnetic radiation or field is emitted by a proximity sensor to gain information about the presence of any object in the surrounding. It is known as the target. Its presence usually results in a change in the return signal or the field. But, different types of proximity sensors are required to detect different kinds of targets.

The sensing range for inductive sensors is <4 to 40 mm. The capacitative sensor works in <3 to 600 mm range. It is <30 -3 mm for ultrasonic sensors. And the photoelectric sensors have a <1 – 60 mm detection field. The longest reflective range is of retro-refelctive sensors which goes upto 10 m.

7. Temperature Detection System

This is what keeps your devices from overheating and eventually exploding. Basically, it is present wherever you get an overheating signal. That means it is in your charger, car, kitchen appliances and the thermostat among several others. They are installed to regulate and monitor the temperature. And send an alert when it is not within the desired range.

The main types of temeprature sensors are Semiconductor-based sensors, thermocouple Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistor and Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD). A temperature sensor basically converts the temeprature into an electrical value for accurate reading.

It uses an RTD (Resistance Temperature Detectors) or the thermocouple to make this conversion possble. The two different metal constituting the thermocouple generates the voltage levels indirectly proportional to the temperature value. The variable resistor, RTD, will almost make parallel proportional changes to the electrical resistance for mirroring the temperature shift.

8. Glass Break Detection System

Those beautiful ceiling-to-the-floor french windows are not safe enough for your home without a glass break detection system. These detectors are installed near the glass doors and windows in both domestic and commercial setting to alert the owners in case of a break in.

Glass Break Detection

The two main types of glass sensors are the acoustic and shock sensors. You can multiply their limited range by installing a network of them in your home. The shock glass break detectors work on vibrations. They are set to alert once the vibration threshold of the glass breaking is reached. But it can set off false alarms too if you just slam the door a bit too hard.

You can easily get rid of this problem with the help of the acoustic glass break sensor. It uses a microphone to pick up on the sound frequency. Hence, it will alert you only in case of an actual break-in when the glass breaking frequency perfectly matches its trigger frequency.

Make your home smarter and safer today by taking your pick of the above mentioned smart detection systems.


The smart home automation has made it easier for us to incorporate various useful detection system in our home. We can finally worry less and live better without the fear of accidentally burning our place down constantly looming in our heads. Every home can use the many comforts and benefits that come along with these highly useful detectors.

Do you have any of these detection systems at your home yet? How useful do you think they actually are for you? Let us know all about it in the comment section below. Also, forward this article to your kith and kins on your socials to let them know what’s new with the world.

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