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We love original and interesting motion sensor applications here at Faradite, and a conversation we often have is around using motion sensors around beds for lighting automation. Carefully placed motion sensors can provide some brilliant automation for homeowners. 

A typical example of the automation required is to trigger some low level, dimmed lighting in the nightime. Rather than needing to fumble around for a light switch, or open up an app to turn on your lighting, using specially placed motion sensors we can create beautiful solutions for customers.

But the question we often face is where should we install the motion sensors for this type of application. Obviously a sensor in the middle of the ceiling would detect people when they are in bed so this could not be used to bring on our night time lighting scenes. (ceiling mounted motion sensors in the bedroom aren't necessarily a bad idea, but it is important to create the correct blocking logic so they are not triggered by people when they are in bed.) Instead we can get creative with the sensor placement to ensure we get the best possible detection for the application. 

In this blog we will consider different placements around beds and explain what considerations should be made with each. 

  • Single sensor mounted in the wall under the head of the bed
  • 2 Sensors mounted on the wall outside the bedside tables
  • 2 Sensors mounted on the bottom of bedside tables pointing down

Let’s jump in and take a look: 

Option 1: Single sensor mounted in the wall under the head of the bed

Mounted on a vertical wall we get a cone shaped detection area radiating from the sensor. As the sensor is installed low (under the bed) much of the bottom half of the detection cone will be lost as it will hit the floor, and much of the top half of the detection cone will be lost as it hits the bed. What we are left with is a pizza slice shaped flat detection cone that extends past the edges of the bed.
PIR motion sensor mounted under bed

This option detects feet as soon as they are moved out of the bed and placed on the floor beside the bed. It also requires only one sensor to be used, and with the installation being in the wall, cabling can be first fixed to a single back box location in the middle of the wall where the head of the bed will be. We would advise using one of our Pinhole sensors in a Focus SB wall plate for this installation. 

This solution assumes that there is a void under the bed and the client does not intend to use the void for storage. Obviously, should the client decide to put boxes under the bed, it would block the sensor and any automation that is set up.

It is worth considering that any duvets that hang to the floor may block this sensor detecting the approach of someone from outside the bed. Also if the room layout is changed, the sensor is not so easy to move as it is installed in the wall. 

It is also worth checking that the void under the bed is high enough that the sensor sees enough of the persons leg to trigger as some beds are very close the floor. We would always recommend testing with the exact dimensions of the bed prior to installation. If in doubt we would recommend option 2 or 3 below.

PIR motion sensor in bedroom


  •  Single sensor
  •  Targeted detection of feet
  •  In wall installation


  • Blankets can block detection
  • Hard to control the beam and the sensor might see people walking past the room as the sensor can see up to 9m line of sight (spec says 5m but if the target is running then the sensor can trigger at longer distances)

Option 2: 2 sensors carefully mounted outside the bedside tables

This solution uses bedside furniture to mask the detection area to provide targeted detection at both sides of the bed. This solution depends on the bedside furniture that is being used, ideally bespoke, fitted bedside tables are best for this as they cannot be moved, accidentally blocking the sensor. Motion sensor mounted next to bed
The bedside units block the detector beams from covering the bed location which will be sure to avoid any unwanted triggering during the night, this solution also offers a large detection area to either side of the bed which might be the right solution for the requirements.
motion sensor to installed next to bed


  • Bed area blocked by bedside tables
  • Large detection areas either side of bed


  • Requires 2 sensors
  • Detection area could be too big for some applications. 

Option 3 - 2 sensors mounted on the bottom of bedside tables pointing down

This final option is a great choice for bedside automation as it provides an ultra targeted way of triggering the lights.
Motion sensor under bedside table


To deliver this final option we would install a motion sensor, pointing down, in the underside of both bedside tables. Depending on the height off the ground of the bedside units, this will give a small detection cone that users can poke their feet into to trigger the bedside lighting. This solution can be thought of like car boot sensors where the user can wave their foot under the back bumper to open the boot. The small, targetted detection area provides a contactless interaction with the system to trigger specific automation.

You could even use this solution to trigger the bedside light on the side of the bed being triggered.

PIR mounted under bedside tables


  • Very targeted detection area, avoids any unwanted false triggers


  • Requires user to know how to interact to trigger the lights. 

Hopefully these ideas will be helpful when planning your customers automation projects and ensuring the best possible experience is delivered. 

If you have completed a project using our motion sensors around the bed location, please share photos with us so we can share across our socials. If you have any questions please contact


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