Best Cheap Motion Detectors

Check out our top motion sensor picks for convenient motion detection coverage at home.
Best for indoor security
Wyze Cam Pan v2
Wyze Cam Pan v2
  • pro
    Motion-triggered recording
  • pro
    360º coverage
  • pro
    Two-way audio
Best for outdoor security
Aootek motion sensor lights
Aootek Outdoor Solar Lights
  • pro
    Solar panels
  • pro
    3 motion settings
  • pro
    180º lighting coverage
Best coverage
Seanme Motion Sensors
Seanme Motion Sensor Alarm
  • pro
    4 sensors included
  • pro
    Chime alert
  • pro
    Easy installation
Best for Wi-Fi
Kangaroo Motion Sensor
  • pro
    Connects to Wi-Fi
  • pro
    Pet-friendly settings
  • pro
    Affordable
Best for smart hubs
THIRDREALITY Zigbee Motion Sensor
THIRDREALITY Zigbee Motion Sensor
  • pro
    Zigbee compatibility
  • pro
    30-foot sensing distance
  • pro
    Long battery life

A cheap motion sensor for under $50 is one thing, but a motion sensing camera for under $50? Yes, please! The Wyze Cam Pan v2 motion sensor camera offers 360º motion tracking video with no monthly fees, so selecting it as our top pick was a no-brainer.

Wyze also provides free 14-day rolling cloud storage, and its free mobile app lets you view footage and control camera settings from your smartphone. The Wyze app sends a push notification to your phone when it detects motion, and it will start recording the motion-triggered event. The camera can even tell the difference between people and pets.



How the best cheap motion detectors stack up

Product
Best for
Price
Product type
Range
Distance
Learn more
Best for indoor security Security camera360º 30 ft.
Best outdoor security Outdoor light 120º 26 ft.
Best coverage Audible alarm 130º 30 ft.
Best for Wi-Fi App-based motion sensor 120º 20 ft.
Best for smart hubs Smart home motion sensor 120º 30 ft.

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Cheap motion detector reviews

1. Wyze Cam Pan v2: Best for indoor security

Best for indoor security
Wyze Cam Pan v2

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Cam Pan v2 costs a third of what similar cameras cost but with all the functionality of a pricier device, making it one of the best cheap security cameras around. It has motion-activated recording, free 14-day rolling cloud storage, a 360º field of view with horizontal panning, and 93º vertical panning.

pro
Pros
pro Motion-tracking video
pro Free cloud storage
pro Low price
pro 360º pan
con
Cons
con Poor speaker quality
con Limited cloud storage options

Our testing experience showed that its Wi-Fi connection was also much more reliable than other cameras we've tested.

One of the best motion features on this camera is its motion tracking—it will pan to follow motion around the room, catching everything on video so you don't miss a second of the action.

The camera also features two-way audio, but its one drawback is that the speaker on the camera is pretty crackly. It might be hard for people (or intruders) at home to understand you if you're talking through the app.

Learn more in our Wyze Cam Pan review.

2. Aootek Outdoor Solar Lights: Best for outdoor security

Best for outdoor security
Aootek motion sensor lights
Aootek Outdoor Solar Lights
$33.95 (2-pack)

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

At around $17 per light, the Aootek Outdoor Solar Lights are a smart investment for outdoor security. Each light has 48 bright LEDs that give you 180-degree lighting coverage. Features like this mean they’re some of the best motion sensor lights on the market.

pro
Pros
pro 180-degree lighting
pro Easy installation
pro Solar-powered battery
pro Weatherproof design
con
Cons
con Limited placement options
con Sensitive motion sensor

The lights are solar powered, so they're easy to install because you don't have to run any wires. On the flip side, you're limited on placement since they need full sun exposure to work.

Aootek motion lights have light sensors so they can sense when it gets dark, and you have three different lighting settings to choose from. You can set them to automatically turn on full power at nightfall and turn off when the battery runs out, automatically turn on dim when it gets dark and get bright when they detect motion, or have them stay off until they detect motion.

Some customers say the sensitive motion detectors trigger false alerts by sensing far away moving objects like cars. You can put a small piece of tape over part of the sensor to reduce sensitivity.

3. Seanme Motion Sensor Alarm: Best coverage

Best coverage
Seanme Motion Sensors
Seanme Motion Sensor Alarm
$34.99 (4-pack)

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you need multiple sensors for a low price, the Seanme Motion Sensor Alarm might be your best bet. It costs around $35 for four sensors and a receiver, so you can place them throughout your home for optimal coverage.

pro
Pros
pro 4 detectors included
pro 38 chimes
pro Wireless sensors
pro LED light alerts
con
Cons
con Batteries not included
con Not weatherproof
con Same ringtone for all sensors

The sensors are wireless, but they each require three AAA batteries (not included). The receiver device plugs directly into an outlet.

When a sensor is tripped, the receiver's LED lights illuminate and it will play any one of 38 different chimes of your choice. While the receiver's chimes sound a little too cheerful to act as an alarm, turning the volume up high will probably be enough to startle an intruder.

Unfortunately, you can choose only one chime for all four sensors, so unlike app-based motion sensors, you won't be able to tell which sensor triggered the alert.

4. Kangaroo Motion Sensor: Wi-Fi pick

Wi-Fi pick

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Kangaroo Motion Sensor is the only motion sensor on our list that connects directly to your Wi-Fi network. For pet parents, Kangaroo has a special configuration you can use to avoid false alarms from furry friends. 

pro
Pros
pro Connects to Wi-Fi
pro Pet-friendly settings
pro Affordable
con
Cons
con Shorter range
con Long reset cooldown

This sensor didn't make our top three because with a range of just 20 feet and 120º, it's not as powerful as the other sensors on our list. We also wish you could reset it without having to wait five minutes after it's tripped. But there's no hub required, it's easy to install and use, and it's ideal for smaller spaces, like an apartment entryway.

Learn more in our full Kangaroo home security review.

5. THIRDREALITY Zigbee Motion Sensor: Best for smart hubs

Best for smart hubs
THIRDREALITY Zigbee Motion Sensor

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The THIRDREALITY Zigbee Motion Sensor is a perfect addition for anyone looking to add motion sensors to their smart home hub. While the Zigbee compatibility naturally means it won't work without a smart hub, it also gives you can excellent battery life of up to two years.

pro
Pros
pro Affordable add-on for smart hubs
pro Works with Amazon Echo
pro Long battery life
con
Cons
con Requires smart hub to work

Fortunately, there are a ton of Zigbee-capable hubs on the market, including the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) and the Aeotec Smart Home Hub. But you won't save much cash unless you already own one.

Things to consider before you buy

When you’re shopping for motion sensors, consider where you want to put them and how you want to use them.

  • For outdoor coverage and larger indoor areas, you'll want sensors with a longer range and a wider angle.
  • For indoor use, look for smaller wireless sensors that will give you a variety of placement options and won't require drilling.

Understanding how motion detectors work can help you figure out the best placement for your sensors.

If you want to scare off intruders, look for motion detectors that light up or sound an alarm.

Some of the best cheap home security systems include motion alarm sensors, and these might be a better option for home security than a standalone motion sensor.

If you just want to know if a person or pet is somewhere they shouldn't be, then an app-based motion detector that will send a notification to your phone can alert you without startling a loved one or pet.

Final word

We picked the sensors above because they give you the most bang for your buck. Chief among these is the Wyze Cam Pan v2, which gives you motion detection and security camera functionality in a single device.

Unlike some of the other devices on our list, Wyze Cam Pan isn't connected to an alarm or a bright light to scare off intruders, but it does have two-way audio. You can access the camera's microphone and speaker from your app so you can talk to people at home, even when you're not there. Plus, it's super easy to install.

Motion detector FAQ

PIR stands for passive infrared, and it refers to a sensor that uses infrared technology to detect motion. PIR technology is used in motion detectors as well as temperature sensors.

Passive infrared sensors send out beams of infrared energy waves, much like a flashlight sends out beams of light. Like light waves, infrared waves can’t pass through walls. Most motion detector devices on the market are infrared detectors.

The ideal placement for your detector is 6–8 feet off the floor or ground. This eliminates any “dead spots” down low, and it will reduce false alarms from pets.

Learn more in our guide on effectively placing motion sensors.

How we picked the best cheap motion detectors

To select our top motion detectors, we started with our favorite, tried-and-true, affordable motion devices for home monitoring. Then we expanded our search to include home security and motion monitoring products with lots of positive user ratings.

We watched videos of the items in use and analyzed customer reviews to choose the motion detectors we'd add to our own shopping lists. Our full methodology has more information about how we select products for our rankings.

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Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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