The passive infrared (PIR) motion detector is one of the most common sensors found in household and small business environments. It offers affordable and reliable functionality. The term passive refers to the fact that the detector does not generate or radiate its own energy; it works entirely by detecting the heat energy given off by other objects.
Strictly speaking, PIR sensors do not detect motion; rather, they detect abrupt changes in temperature at a given point. As an intruder walks in front of the sensor, the temperature at that point will rise from room temperature to body temperature, and then back again. This quick change triggers the detection.
PIR sensors may be designed to be wall or ceiling mounted, and come in various fields of view, from narrow "point" detectors to 360 degree fields. PIRs require a power supply in addition to the detection signalling circuit.