How Cold Weather affects your Wireless Driveway Sensor

How Cold Weather affects your Wireless Driveway Sensor

The frost glitters on the glass, your breath lingers as fog and you've tucked the flip-flops away until a warmer day. That's right, winter is back and poised to chill you - and your batteries - to the core. Property security, though, is important regardless of weather. Our motion sensors are a great option for winter property security.

One of the most common inquiries this time of year is in regards to failing sensors. Initially, you may think they are somehow defective or just plain broken, but more than likely your sensors are fine and are just experiencing a battery/power issue. 

Do battery powered motion sensors work in winter?

A battery produces electrical current when a connection takes place between its negative and positive terminals. Upon connection, a chemical reaction that generates electrons to supply the actual current occurs. At lower temperatures, these reactions are slower to progress therefore producing less current and resulting in battery inefficiency. 

Additionally, failure may also occur in some types of batteries in the summer. The heat can cause battery fluids to evaporate, resulting in damage to the interior of the battery.

For sensor users, this means trouble. If it's too cold out for your battery to draw up enough power to supply the sensor, try bringing it inside to test at room temperature.

What to do if motion sensor isn't working in cold weather

First off, try a fresh set of batteries while you allow time for the old ones to warm up. If your sensor functions fine with the new batteries, then you've pinpointed the problem - but don't throw away the old ones just yet! After they've warmed back up, try them in a radio or base station. Bringing them back to room temperature may just give them a new lease on life.

It's both disheartening and frustrating when a sensor doesn't perform for you when you need it most. You can mitigate such dissatisfaction by being mindful of your sensor's placement with regards to temperature. Throughout the winter months, try to keep your sensor in direct sunlight whenever possible in order to help regulate the warmth within the batteries. Contrarily, place your sensor in the shade during the heat of the summer to save the batteries from over-expenditure. 

On average, your sensor batteries should last over a year if you're using lithium batteries, but remember to test cold batteries at room temperature before you send them out for recycling. You'll be surprised at how many of the batteries you thought were dead still have some life left!

Don't hesitate to contact us anytime with your questions or concerns.

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