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How to Use Motion Sensors with Gobo Projectors

As people walk through a busy hotel bar, a motion sensor triggers the Smirnoff logo to project onto the floor.

Many businesses use motion sensors to notify staff when a patron walks through the front door, but there’s so much more you can do with this simple technology. Motion sensors are a great way to create eye-catching signage and arresting decor when paired with gobo projections. While we have projectors and accessories that can rotate and switch between images and colors, you can also make your gobo projector react to motion with a simple sensor integration.

In this article, we’ll share the basics of how motion sensors work, how to easily connect a motion sensor to your gobo projector, and different ways to use motion sensors to successfully engage your customers or patrons.  

How do motion sensors work?

Motion sensors detect infrared waves emitted by moving objects, especially warmer objects like a person, animal or car. When the motion sensor detects these heat waves, the light turns on. You can set your light to stay on for a set period of time, from a few seconds to several minutes, although the lights will remain on as long as the sensor detects movement. You can also adjust how far the sensor detects movement, limiting or extending its range up to 70 feet or more. To ensure your motion sensor only activates when desired, you can aim the sensor to focus on a specific field of view.   

Most often, motion sensors are used as a form of security for residential homes or commercial buildings. By connecting a motion sensor to your gobo projector, however, you can use this simple technology to create eye-catching product displays, enticing entrances, and helpful directional or safety signage.  

How to add motion sensors to your gobo projections

Our customers often wonder if it’s possible to connect a motion sensor to their gobo projector. They also question if it will compromise the warranty or integrity of the equipment. We have good news for you—all GoboSource projectors can easily connect to a standard motion activated electrical outlet and it in no way will impact your projector’s performance, as long as the motion sensor conforms to common electrical standards.

GoboSource Eco Spot Gobo Projectors power up in less than a second and can be powered on and off numerous times during the day without any harm to the projector’s life. This means that adding a motion sensor will in no way compromise your equipment.  

Option 1) Motion Activated Electrical Outlet

Standard motion activated electrical outlet

There are two ways to connect your gobo projector to a motion sensor. The first and easiest option is to purchase a motion activated electrical outlet or motion activated light control. These special outlets are widely available through Amazon, Home Depot, and other mainstream home improvement retailers. These outlets simply plug into a standard two or three prong grounded electrical outlet and typically come with a 100 degree radius of motion detection. If you use higher powered ECO Spot projectors, make sure to select an outlet that is compatible with the wattage of your gobo projector. When selecting an outlet, also ensure you have the ability to choose how long the light (or gobo projection) remains on after motion is detected and that it accommodates your desired range (the distance the sensor can detect movement).   

Option 2) Hardwire an existing outlet

The second option is to hire an electrician to hardwire an outlet in your space for a motion sensor light. Once the outlet is properly rewired, simply plug the gobo projector directly into the controlled outlet. This is a good option if you need a very specific motion detection radius, requiring your sensor to be installed away from the grounded outlet. Higher quality or special use motion sensors, especially those for industrial purposes, do not come as a plug-in option and will need to be installed by hardwiring the wall outlet.

Ideas for using motion sensors to engage customers

Now that you know how to set up your gobo projector with a motion sensor, we have some fun ideas for how to create motion-triggered projections that engage your customers. 

Use motion sensors with gobo projectors to trigger your logo to appear when someone walks past.

Welcome signage

When patrons walk through the door of your business, use the motion sensor to cue a welcome message to appear on the opposite wall or on the floor at their feet.

Branded signage

Glass custom gobos allow you to project your logo in full color, often without any alterations to the original design. Use the motion sensor to trigger your logo to appear on the sidewalk or across an outside wall as people pass by your store front.  

Sale and product promotion

Draw extra attention to a sale rack or special product promotion, prompting a ‘50% off’ or ‘New models available’ sign to light up the display as people pass by specific merchandise.

Trade show displays

Catch the attention of attendees at your next trade show with motion-activated gobo projections. Try projecting an intriguing question that will entice attendees and lead them to walk over to your booth for the answer.      

Directional and safety signage

Motion sensors can also be used to activate helpful signs that direct patrons to the elevator, exit, or to the main gathering place for a special event. They work especially well for projected safety signage, warning warehouse workers of oncoming traffic, hard hat areas, and other potential hazards.   

There are countless ways to use motion sensors with your gobo projector—it’s really up to you how you choose to leverage this additional feature. We encourage our customers to experiment with different uses and get creative with when and where you use a motion-activated gobo projection. If you have any questions about how to connect your gobo projector to a motion sensor, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Related posts:

How to Clean and Service Your Gobo Projector

Gobo Motion Effects 101: How to Add Motion to Gobo Projections

Tips for Using Gobos in Brightly Lit Environments

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