Best Practices: Mounting a Motion Detector

We generally recommend mounting the motion sensor as follows:

  • In the corner of a room. This gives the sensor the widest possible range of view so that it can cover the greatest possible area.
  • At least 6 feet high, and no more than 8 feet high. Again, this height range promotes the widest field of view.
  • The sensor must be mounted so that the LED has the correct vertical orientation. This will depend on the type of motion sensor that you are using:
 60-807-95R - LED on Top 
 60-639-95R - LED on Top 
 60-703-95 - LED on Top 
 60-511-01-95 - LED on Bottom 
 60-511-02-95 - LED on Bottom 
  • At a 90 degree angle to the floor. In other words, we recommend that you mount the sensor straight up and down, rather than angling it downwards. Angling it downwards can reduce the range of the motion sensor. Only mount the motion sensor at a downward angle if you are trying to cover a small area and wish to avoid even a small blind spot under the sensor itself; for example, a small foyer in front of an entry door, or a small utility/mudroom.
  • If you own small animals that climb on furniture (for example, cats), we recommend that you try to mount the sensor away from bookcases or other tall items of furniture. While most of the motion sensors that we offer have features that greatly reduce the risk of animals setting off a motion detector, it is possible that if an animal passes close to the  front lens of the motion sensor that it could set it off.
  • We generally recommend that you mount the sensor so that the front lens does not face a window that looks out directly on a driveway or a road where there is the possibility of car headlights shining directly on the lens. This has been known to set off motion detectors on a few occasions.
  • Do not mount the sensor at the end of a narrow area such as a hallway. The beams that the sensor uses fan out at a fairly wide angle from the lens. In a narrow, confined area such as a hallway, the beams tend to bounce off the walls and interfere with each other, thus reducing the range of the motion.
  • If possible, do not mount the sensor so that warm air from a heating duct or vent can pass in front of it. If the heat is turned on in a cold room, the motion detector can pick up the sudden rise in temperature of the hot air coming in from the vent and set off an alarm.

If for whatever reason you cannot use the double-sided tape to mount the motion detector, there are knockouts on the back plate to use screws to mount the motion detector. To take off the back plate, simply press the depression on the top of the motion sensor and pull off the back plate.


Use the knockouts labeled: "Use with Animal Alley lens" to mount the motion detector with screws.

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  • This instruction sheet says to mount sensor with LED up and so does some of your videos. Other videos show LED down. The mfg cut sheet indicates LED down. So which is it? Or does it not make a dif?

  • Hi Jeff, 

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forums. This is a great question. It does matter where the LED is depending on the model of detector you have. Here is the breakdown:

    60-807-95R - LED on Top

    60-639-95R - LED on Top

    60-703-95 - LED on Top

    60-511-01-95 - LED on Bottom

    60-511-02-95 - LED on Bottom

    Please let us know if you have any further questions. We are happy to help. 

  • Great.....Thanks for the help Joe

  • One more fine point:  Your instructions state to mount the motion sensor flush, whereas the instruction sheet included with the unit clearly states it should be tilted down.  Flush against the wall (or 90 degreees to the floor) or tilt? 


  • Kit,

    Thanks for pointing that out! The manual does state to mount the motion sensor at an angle; however, this generally reduces the range of the motion detector, due to the infrared field of view already coming out an angle out of the front of the sensor. Generally speaking, you should always mount the motion sensor flush with the wall, unless you are deliberately trying to cover a small area; for example, a foyer in front of an entry door, or a small utility room. If you mount the motion sensor flush with the corner of a wall and about 7 1/2 feet up, you should get a maximum coverage of about 35 feet out, which is ideal for most situations (living rooms, dining rooms, etc.).

  • Wow, that was a fast reply.  Thank you.  Got the message. 

  • Quick question. My activation appointment is in a couple days and I'm placing my sensors. This thread answered one question about the discrepancy of tilting vs mounting flush against the wall. (Thank you). I have a question however. The instructions in the box with the motion detector said to permanently mount the sensor with screws; you advise double sided tape; but I want to know if it's ok to let it sit on top of a book case. I have a curio cabinet that is about 7 feet tall. It's in the perfect location for a good view of the room. My basic test of setting it on the curio cabinet, moving in the room, and seeing the control panel show a "Motion Alarm" tells me that it's working. But am I losing something by it sitting on top, at the front edge, of the curio cabinet vs permanently mounting it?

    Part 2 of the question. Your instructions recommend against mounting in a long narrow area such as a hallway. But I have a hall way that leads to 3 bedrooms. I really want a motion detector in the hallway. Is this really a No-No or is there a compromise. thanks. mike.

  • Mike,

    Good question, locating the motion sensor 7ft high off the ground on the cabinet will not affect the sensors performance or coverage. Placing it in a location like that does make it very vulnerable to being knocked over or off the cabinet and falling onto the floor. Either of those could result in damaging the sensor or an unnecessary false alarm which is something that none of us want to happen. If you can figure out a way of securing it to the top of the cabinet so that it cant get knocked over or off then placing it on the top of the cabinet in the corner would be ok.

    Mounting a motion sensor in the hallway is not recommended because it reduces the coverage and sensitivity of the sensor. Motion sensors are designed to catch someone walking across its field of view from side to side versus walking directly towards it. By mounting it in the hallway you are going to be walking almost directly at the sensor and there will be no lateral movement so the sensor is not going to trigger until you are very close to it. If possible you would want to mount the motion sensor outside of the hallway but covering the area an intruder would have to cross to access the hallway.

    I hope this helps, have a great day!

  • Thanks so much for the quick response. I can probably mount sensor on the top of the curio cabinet with some double sided tape. It should hold it and not be a visual problem with tape residue if I move it later.

    As for the hallway, that's difficult. The hallway leads to 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. It's a straight hallway about 20 feet long. 2 doors on the left side and 2 doors on the right. Nothing at the end of the hall. There's nothing per se in these bedrooms too valuable, and entering the windows would be a little difficult because they are about 5-6 feet off the ground outside. But there are probably 15 windows in these three rooms. I didn't want sensors on all those windows. I was hoping if someone did try to enter through those rooms, they'd have to come down the hallway to get to the main part of the house. I was hoping the motion detector would suffice. What if I mounted the sensor on the end of the hall, but facing an angle towards the side wall? It would still bounce the radio waves, but an individual wouldn't be walking directly towards or away from the sensor, but it would appear to be on an angle? Your thoughts? Mike...

  • Mike,

    Mounting the motion sensor on a corner in the hallway is probably the best thing you can do if you decide to mount the sensor in the hallway, that way its not pointed directly down the hallway and it will have better coverage and sensitivity. If that is where you decide to locate it then make sure you test the motion and make sure it is going to perform properly and give you the coverage needed.

  • Thanks again for the prompt reply. I did try putting the sensor in the corner as suggested, but after some experimenting, I found that while not the best option, straight ahead is still best for me. Each situation is different, however for me, (And for others to possibly learn from if they have a similar situation), this motion detector isn't intended for a person walking down the hall straight ahead. It is intended for a person who entered the premise via one of the 3 bedroom's windows. So, once they leave the bedroom and enter the hallway, they are approximately 15 feet from the sensor and are crossing into the beam. It seems to work perfectly for this usage.

    You are correct however that if I walk down the hall from the side where the sensor is mounted, it rarely picks me up. But when starting "IN" the bedrooms and being 15-20 feet away initially, the sensor seems to do OK. This is just some info for people with a similar layout. Each house layout is different. While my house isn't the Bill Gates Mansion, I would need close to 40 window sensors to cover my entire house. This motion sensor; albeit in the hallway; covers entrance from 15 windows. Anyway; thanks again for the suggestions and advice. Excellent customer service. Thanks again. Mike...

  • I have a question close to Mike's. I have the same situation, I have a shelf standing right one corner where we need to situate the motion sensor. so our shelf is 6 FT can we put it on top of the shelf too? we will tape it and make sure it is stable, but 6 FT is it too low?

  • Hi Lancento,

    At 6 ft. you run the risk of reducing the motion sensor range. I would recommend putting it on the shelf-without actually mounting it, unless you're sure that taking the tape off will not damage the surface you are mounting it on- and then testing it. This Help Center article explains how  to test a motion sensor: I would recommend only doing the "Walk Test" that it describes. Test the motion detector at different angles and distances and determine what works best for you. Please also note that if you have pets, you will have a greater risk of false alarms from their motion, since the motion detector's field of view is closer to the ground.

  • thanks for such a quick reply, we dont have pets :) and I was thinking to use double tape... my main fear is if we put it above the shelf on the wall, front of motion decetor will have about a feet or 2 a bit blocked... I will follow your advice and test it "walk test"


    thansk again.

  • The instruction sheet for 60-807-95R says that to mount it using screws, you should use the bottom holes (standard lens) and clearly says that the upper holes (animal alley lens) should not be used (page 2, Figure 5). But your instructions advice the opposite. Can you please clarify which one is correct?

  • Hi Hossein,

    You would want to use the bottom holes if you are trying to cover a hallway or a small room, and the top holes if you are covering a larger area such as a living room. With the tilted mount (using the standard lens) you get better coverage of a small area, and with the straight mount (animal alley lens) you get better coverage of a large area.

  • Hi, I have two rooms with the following configuration - windows on two adjoining walls, and a gas fireplace on the third. Is there an optimal way to position the motion sensors? Would it be better to mount in the corner between the two windowed walls (but having the fireplace in its area of coverage), or in the corner between one windowed wall and the fireplace wall (but having the second windowed wall in its area of coverage)?

    I don't know if this matters, but all of the windows are fairly protected from car headlights, and I live in a pretty dense area, so the blinds (white colored) for all of these windows are almost always down. Also, we do use the fireplace, but not very often, although when we do, it's always at night right before we would arm the system.

  • Hi RS,

    Since the sensors are essentially a type of thermal sensor, you are more likely to get a false alarm from having the sensor pointed at a major source of heat like a fireplace, rather than at a window.

    The main risk with windows is that direct, very bright light coming through it (such as car headlights or a setting/rising sun) can confuse the sensor and either limit it's coverage or possibly set off an alarm.  I would recommend mounting the sensor so that it faces away from the fireplace. If the window does prove to be a problem, you could mount the sensor facing at a downward angle, which would limit it's range somewhat (and is NOT recommended if you have pets) but would reduce any glare or other issues the window might cause. 

    Please let me know if any of this is unclear or any other questions about your motion detectors come up, and have a great weekend!

  • Thanks! One more question - can you put a door sensor in the same group as a motion sensor? I have an interior door that I want to be alarmed when we're sleeping, but not when we're awake. I plan to have the Doors + Windows alarmed when we are home, and then activate the Motion Sensors when we go to sleep.

  • Hi RS,

    Yes, you can do that, if you put the door sensor in group 17, the same group as the motion detectors. This means that the door will be armed to go off instantly when the system is armed for away, but will temporarily disarm during the entry delay when you come in an entry door.

  • I also read the black and white instruction sheet and thought I needed to remove mounting plate and screw into wall for tilt mount. But after reading this section, I realized that I can just use the double-sided tape for flush mount. However, I had turned on the LED red light when I depressed the button on top when trying to the mounting plate. Instruction sheet said "edge of the coverage oatterb us determined by the first flash of LED". Should I be concerned and reset the device? And how can I do that?

    Also, my appointment is the day after tomorrow. Do I need to do the walk and environment tests before my appointment or is that something to do during the appointment? Thanks!

  • Claudia,

    When it says the ''edge of the coverage pattern is determined by the first flash of the LED'' its referring to Figure 1. After you tamper the sensor you need to walk to the edge of the room and wait for the LED to go out, then as you walk across the field of view of the sensor you will see where the edge of the coverage is because the LED will blink once it picks you up.

    Before your activation appointment I would recommend performing a sensor test and even doing some live testing with the motion sensor to make sure it is covering the intended area sufficiently. This way if you have questions or concerns about anything you can have them addressed at the activation appointment.

    I hope this answers your questions, have a great day!

  • I wanted to offer a work around for motion sensors to people with pets larger than 40 pounds. I hope this helps someone, and you may want to mention this to your system sales people, because something as seemingly simple, could make the difference in making a sale, or losing one. I found it troubling that if you have a pet over 40 pounds, the motion sensors are not supposed to be "pet friendly." When paying for a security system, I didn't want to omit a sensor, thus, paying for something and not using it. We have a Weimeraner, that tips the scales at 70 pounds. I purchased the Mobile Pro package with the IQ panel. The motion sensor that came with it is listed as a Qolsys IQ motion, QS-1200-P01, and the mounting instructions say to mount approx. 7 feet off of the floor, LED on top. I did this and our dog kept triggering the sensor. I wasn't going to let this keep me from using the sensor, in my opinion, one of the most important sensors to have. I removed it from the wall, then turned it upside down, and mounted it approx. 41/2' above the floor. The dog roamed freely now and hopped onto couch to lay down, all without setting off alarm. To double check myself, I called tech support to make sure sensor would work while inverted. He put us in test mode, and I had dog walk around the area, no alarm. When I stepped into field protected, the alarm did sound. Tech asked how I was able to have dog not trip the alarm but I would. I told him I lowered the height and inverted the sensor. He told me that no-one had ever thought of that before, but he was going to remember it and also pass idea up to the senior techs. It works, and we are happy. Hope this helps someone else, and also helps to sell more systems. I am completely happy with LiveWatch, and everyone that I have dealt with, keep up the great work.

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