Motion detector
How does a STEINEL motion detector work? 

The principle and mode of operation of motion detectors differ depending on the technology with which the motion detector is equipped.  STEINEL offers motion detectors with passive infrared technology as well as with high-frequency technology.

Passive infrared


Infrared sensors react to the heat radiation of moving people and switch the lighting on and off again after a set time.

How it works:

The heart of the infrared sensor technology is a so-called pyro sensor. This electronic module reacts when the infrared heat radiation within its detection range changes, i.e. when a human enters the detection range. The resulting voltage jump is converted by the system into an electronic pulse that switches the light.

Human thermal radiation:

Humans emit infrared radiation due to their body heat. This radiation is used by infrared sensor technology to detect movement and respond accordingly. 

STEINEL Motion detector - switch with eye
STEINEL infrared sensors respond to heat radiation from moving people and switch lights on, for example, and off again after an adjustable time.

STEINEL infrared sensors also retrofit lights that have already been installed with contemporary convenience.

  • Long range and detection angles from 130° up to 360° for a wide variety of applications.
  • Creep under protection for uninterrupted monitoring.
  • Reliable function even in unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Individual setting of twilight threshold and switching duration.
  • Easy, trouble-free installation and mounting even on outside or inside corners.
  • Also ideal for use in indoor areas such as hallways or basements.

Light ON. Light OFF.
Sensor controlled
Automatic luminaires are realized with the help of motion sensors. Two different technologies are used here: for indoor areas, HF sensors are the optimal solution; for outdoor areas, only passive infrared (PIR) sensors are used.

Heat radiation as a remote switch
The heart of a PIR sensor system is a so-called pyrosensor. This electronic component reacts to changes in the incident infrared heat radiation with a change in voltage.
Since every person emits infrared radiation due to their body heat, they inevitably change the thermal image detected by the sensor when they enter the system's field of view. The resulting voltage jump is processed by the electronics to switch light.

In order to be able to react to movements within the detection range, the sensor systems are equipped with a segment lens. It divides the field of view of the pyrodetector into active and passive (not visible to the sensor) zones. If a heat body crosses a zone boundary, the IR radiation received changes for the sensor and it emits a signal.

Multisensor technology
STEINEL has developed multisensor technology for particularly high demands on the size of the detection zone. Here, two or even three pyro sensors are arranged at a special angle to each other within the system so that their detection ranges add up.

Segment lenses


STEINEL multi-lens technology

STEINEL multi-lenses are visually reminiscent of a fly's compound eye and therefore enable seamless monitoring of a hemispherical detection zone. It is thus the optimum lens system for motion detectors with dual or triple sensors with detection angles from 180° to 360°.

Fresnel lenses

Fresnel lenses offer the simplest way to segment the detection range of an infrared detector. A group of individual lenses is arranged in a circular segment. With a maximum detection angle of 180°, an area of up to 225m2 can be reliably monitored. A second optical window for the area below the main detection zone makes creeping under the sensors almost impossible.


STEINEL sensors usually have a max. Range of 12m, which can be shortened if the direction of travel is radial (towards the sensor).

Mini sensor:

Elegant, powerful and intelligent

With the development of the mini sensor, STEINEL has taken a whole new approach to implementing PIR sensor systems. A cone-shaped segment mirror directs the surrounding IR radiation onto a state-of-the-art, extremely powerful IR sensor chip. This design not only allows the system to be kept exceptionally small, but also enables reliable detection of movement in the entire 360° radius.

The new operating concept

To enable fast, intuitive adaptability of the sensor electronics to individual user needs, the sensor module can be removed from the luminaire in its entirety, adjusted at rest, inserted again and securely locked in place. Once the settings are made, the luminaire switches itself on as soon as the sensor is removed. This is convenient at dusk or at night. All the important information is printed on the sensor module itself, so no instruction manual is needed.

Unser Sortiment

STEINEL Infrarot-Sensoren


The range of STEINEL infrared sensors depends on the direction of movement. On average, the range is approx. 12 m with tangential movement (parallel to the sensor), which is shorter with radial movement (towards the sensor). 

Areas of application - exterior and interior


Hochfrequenz (HF)


STEINEL high-frequency sensors detect movements regardless of body temperature and direction of movement. They detect without gaps and switch the light without delay. And they are integrated into the light, invisible from the outside, which makes for particularly attractive light design, especially for indoor areas.  

In contrast to passive infrared detectors, the high-frequency sensor technology works actively: the high-tech sensors emit signals at a frequency of 5.8 GHz (1/1,000th of a radio telephone), which can even penetrate glass and lightweight walls unhindered. The signals are sent back to the sensor as an echo from the environment. If a movement within the detection range changes the echo image, the sensor reacts and switches the light within fractions of a second. 


STEINEL high-frequency sensor lights detect even the smallest of movements at an angle of 360° and a distance of up to 8 m. The range can be steplessly reduced to as little as 1 m, for example. To ensure that the luminaire only switches on when light is needed, it is also possible to continuously adjust the ambient brightness at which the sensor luminaire is to be activated. Already during the day, only at dusk or at darkness. After an individually adjustable follow-up time (e.g. 5 sec to 15 min), the light switches off automatically. 

Application area - indoor