Infrared occupancy detection technologies in building automation - A review

Mika Maaspuro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Occupancy sensing, based on the use of single or sometimes on multiple technologies, is used to gather the information about human presence the building automation system requests. Infrared sensing technologies are the most widely used in occupancy detection. This paper issues occupancy detection from a building automation system, like an automatic lighting control point of view, reviews the main concepts and terminologies related to occupancy detection in buildings. Infrared occupancy sensing technologies, passive technologies such as PIR, active IR technologies, such as light barriers/gates based on the transmitter-receiver pair or transmitter-mirror pair, are discussed in detail. The main focus is on PIR sensor as it is the most common infrared technology used in motion and occupancy detection. Author's own contribution to this subject is given in the form of a developed FEM simulation model for a typical PIR sensor. The available IR technologies and the benefits and drawbacks of each of the technologies are presented. A comparison between other occupancy sensing technologies and their combination use is presented. In order to reach higher accuracy in occupancy detection, a network of sensors spreads around a building can be used. This paper reviews some studies of occupancy detection and motion tracking based on IR sensor network technologies and the associated methods in use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8055-8068
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Engineering and Applied Sciences (ARPN)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Building automation
  • Infrared sensors
  • Lighting control
  • Occupancy detection

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