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Every object that has a temperature above perfect zero emits thermal energy (heat) in form of radiation. We, Homo sapiens, radiate at wavelength of 9-10micrometers all time of the day. The PIR sensors are tuned to detect this IR wavelength which only emanates when a human being arrives in their proximity. The term “pyroelectricity” means: heat that generates electricity (here, an electric signal of small amplitude). Since these sensors do not have an infrared source of their own, they are also termed as passive.
How does PIR sensor selectively responds to human radiated IRs? Upto what range can this sensor work? What lies inside this sensor that makes it work? This and answers to more questions in this Insight on PIR sensors. What adds more charm to this Insight is that the Panasonic 10m sensor taken is also one of the smallest PIR sensors commercially available till date.