How Do Laser Security Systems Work?

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Stop intruders by using laser technology.
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Laser security systems used to be difficult to install and rarely available to anyone other than the super-rich. Now, there are dozens of different security systems on the market that utilize lasers and can effectively protect everything from small apartments and businesses to large areas of property. Most home laser security systems consist of two parts: a basic alarm unit and an infrared motion detector. Laser security systems of the past used to rely on connections wired to a keypad, requiring the customer to use special codes to arm and disarm the system. Since the majority of laser security systems are now wireless, the units can be turned on or off with a wireless remote or, in some models, by touch tone phone from anywhere in the world.


The basic sensing component of a modern laser security system is an infrared motion detector. An infrared motion detector works by using beams of infrared light to detect changes in heat. When a person moves into the beam of light, the sensor is alerted by the body heat given off by the individual. If infrared sensors are placed strategically, the beams of light will make it impossible for an intruder to come into the area without the sensor being alerted. The sensor, which is connected to the basic alarm unit through a wireless connection, then triggers the basic unit to alert the monitoring service through which the customer purchased the security plan. The monitoring service will contact the home and, if no response is received, will contact the police. In most models, the basic unit also sounds a loud alarm.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Laser security systems have many advantages. They are simple to install and can be used effectively inside or outside a home. The systems can be used as a highly effective perimeter alarm for property boundaries or even for pools, where customers can have the lasers set to detect when small children come within a set number of feet from the edge of the water. Indoors, the sensors utilize normal power outlets and telephone jacks; outdoors, the sensors can be hidden beneath plants and bushes and will not harm lawns or other vegetation. However, laser security systems can be prohibitively expensive. While some security system plans allow for customers to target one room, plans that protect large amounts of land or an entire house will cost much more and can be difficult for many customers to afford.

Michelle Kerns

Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.