I'd like to get responses, ideally, from folks who actually know how these things work, and not the usual Usenet speculation.
I install a lot of motion-detector lights for clients. A lot of these installations are problematic. I just adjusted one for the third or fourth time because the light was staying on all the time, even though the sensor unit (I replaced the entire unit with a Heath-Zenity sensor recently) was working properly.
It might help for me to know how, exactly, these sensors work. By "sensors" I mean the actual sensor, as well asw the entire unit with the support electronics.
I know *generally* how these work: so far as I know, the sensor detects heat, so I'm guessing it's an infrared receptor of some sort.
What would help are knowing such things as what the actual "angle of view" of these sensors are (I know this is usually given on the box, but I wonder how accurate those figures are and how much is hype when they say the sensor has a 270° range), what their effective distance range is, what kind of response curve (distance/temperature of radiating body/response) they have, and what kinds of effects due to reflection one needs to be aware of.
Of course, it's possible there's already a document out there somewhere in Internet-land that explains all this; if there is, and if you know about it, I'd appreciate a link.
It might even be fun to get one of the "raw" sensors and play around with it on a test bench, maybe try to characterize it myself. Remember, my goal here is to be able to install these things (motion-activated lights) so that they actually work correctly. As things stand now, it's often a crap shoot. And yes, there are often defective components. This last installation was typical, where the sensor unit had simply failed and needed to be replaced. (And if anyone knows which units are better than which others, that too would be valuable information.)
Thanks in advance.