When I published my Eufy cam 2 pro smart IP camera review detailing my experiences with this very interesting and exciting smart IP camera, I had little idea how far-reaching that article would prove and importantly, the impact it would have on users who had already bought the camera bundle or were only just considering same.
As I clearly indicated in that article, accurate and timely motion detection was an issue and for some time, I wondered whether I got a defective piece and, quite frankly, I had considered returning the bundle for a refund.
However, when the initial charge of the cameras was expended and I recharged them, something very curious came to my knowledge: the motion detection was way better than it initially was and I was picking motion on all three cameras better than in the first instance.
Armed with this realization, I began to take a good and interested look at the cameras, app, and base station to see how I could understand the concept of motion detection on these Eufy cameras, see how to make certain I captured the most motion and importantly, to troubleshoot things when motion detection wasn’t at its best, given that the cameras are generally motion detection dependent and each unit is as great as its ability to detect motion, no more, no less.
Chronicled and clearly explained below are the 9 major reasons why your Eufy IP security camera isn’t detecting motion at all, is slow to detect motion, or detects motion when it is a little too late for your liking.
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9 Reasons Why Your Eufy Security Camera Isn’t Detecting Motion & What To Do
The Eufy IP security cameras are generally as great as they are able to detect motion. Since no activity gets recorded when there’s no motion (read: when the motion sensor doesn’t pick up motion), you naturally should be worried about making certain that your unit(s) catch all the motions they can and get you the footage that your desire.
Enumerated and carefully explained below are some of the reasons why you may not get the best motion detection reality.
Importantly too, I’ll also address the best way(s) to combat such challenges and get things back on track.
1. Low Motion Detection Sensitivity
The Eufy security app has what is called ‘detection sensitivity. This is a bar that is graduated from 1-7 with 7 being the highest it can be and 1, the very lowest.
By default, this bar is set around 4 – which is ok for detection if the camera is close to the subject(s) that would need to be recorded if and when motion is triggered.
However, sometimes, the camera needs to be higher up or farther back in order to do its job perfectly. Besides these physical limitations, other challenges may present themselves such as poor lighting.
In such instances, the default detection sensitivity set when the app is downloaded fresh simply won’t fly. Missed motions and hence, clips would be the order of the day making the whole essence of buying and installing the camera risking being completely defeated.
To remedy this situation, simply toggle the detection sensitivity bar and move it up from the default 4 to maybe 6 or 7 – as the need arises.
Personally, because of where the cameras are positioned and the need for me to see and record every motion that happens within the ‘jurisdiction’ of the cameras, I have set the detection sensitivity of all cameras to 7 on the app.
My logic and argument is simple: better a false positive than a missed footage – especially if that footage would prove important in the security scheme of things.
This may be your reality too and my logic could be adopted to serve as yours too, in the instance.
2. Motion Detection Turned Off
As you already fully know, the Eufy line of security cameras are smart IP-based cameras that work with the reality of motion sensing, largely powered by batteries. They are designed to be pro-energy saving by default and ‘sleep’ the entire day and night, only waking up when the need of recording footage actually arises or becomes real.
This manner of design sees to it that charged internal camera batteries last anywhere from 3 months to a whole year, depending on use and importantly, how frequently the motion sensors of the cameras are activated by an external trigger.
However, there is a small switch on the app tagged “motion detection’ which can be toggled on or off. When this switch is in the off position, the camera will not react to any motion picked up by the motion detector. Further, such an event inspiring the motion won’t be logged and importantly, you won’t also receive notifications of such an ignored event.
Why it is difficult to imagine this button actually being used, it is one of the most favored for persons who are at home directly, do not wish to have the camera record (or save up footage), and importantly, do not want to receive notifications directly since they are around and would be able to handle issues themselves, should they arise.
This is also the default reality chosen when in addition to the above, one does not wish to switch off the camera(s) directly so that if the need for live footage arises, it would be called up upon in an instant.
If your Eufy IP security system is not picking up any motion and consequently, you aren’t also getting notified via your smartphone when such motion indeed occurs, this is a great place to look and start your investigation. The motion detection button is found under the motion detection section of the security app.
3. Detection Type Set To ‘Human Only’
The Eufy smart security systems do not have ‘smart’ in their name for nothing: the units are truly designed in that fashion and live up to the name.
Powered by AI, the cameras are able to filter events and classify them accordingly, using get parameters and a combination of variables to understand and interpret events.
One of such areas that see the AI excelling is in the reality of distinguishing between human figures/faces and any other things that become the subject of footage.
Accordingly thus, the security app has a feature under the motion detection section called ‘detection type’. This button has the sole objective of directing the camera to either focus its energy only on ‘humans’ or in the alternative, record ‘all motion’ that comes into the field of view of the camera and importantly, activates the motion sensor.
This is important if you have pets where the camera is installed and don’t want to keep getting false positives, triggered by your pet(s).
Logically thus, if the above-mentioned button is toggled to ‘human only’, all motions sources that do not emanate from humans would be ignored.
If your Eufy camera isn’t reporting motion, you may have this switched slid to ‘human only’ and for that duration of non-reports, may have only non-human actors, playing: pets, animals, cars etc.
What you need to do to restore normalcy is simply to flip the switch and open up the doors of detection to ‘all motion’.
4. The Camera Positioned Too High
When things are manufactured, the limits of such things are clearly specified by the manufacturer to maximize service life and minimize frustrations. Following these instructions religiously goes a long way to having a hitch-free experience or at least, having minimal troubles in the course of use.
The Eufy brand of security products, especially the cameras are no exception and come with detailed instructions as to how they should be mounted and used.
One of such express instructions is that the cameras should be mounted between 7-10 ft (2-3 m) heightwise and the cameras themselves should not be tilted over and beyond 30 degrees to maximize motion detection.
If your unit isn’t detecting motion as it should and as a result, you’re missing up on important action, checking both the mounting height and importantly, the tilting angle should be one of the things on your checklist. Getting things right as per the manufacturer’s recommendations would surely go a long way.
5. Motion Sensor Positioned Badly
The motion sensor, as you’ve already guessed, is the most important piece of the puzzle so far as failure to detect motion by Eufy cameras is concerned.
This is why, almost everything is revolved around it: it is the center, crucial, all-important piece.
Positioned badly, the Eufy cameras may not be able to detect motion as expected. However, this head, though related to the one immediately discussed above, is actually quite different and unique.
This is simple actually: a camera positioned at the correct height of between 2-3 meters or 7-10 feet with a downward tilt of no more than 30 degrees (downwards) may still fail to register footage by triggering when it is supposed to.
The root cause of such a challenge would be when and if the motion sensor is positioned in a manner inconsistent to what the camera is intended to cover.
This may occur when there’s a ‘misalignment’ of the camera itself, leading it to point anywhere but where it actually should. The challenging part of this is that, for persons with sight challenges, it may prove difficult for them to even see that the camera is indeed physically facing elsewhere than the intended spot.
The remedy for such a challenge would be to take a look at the camera’s field of vision via the app and then, ‘align’ it properly to focus where it ought to.
6. Poor Lighting Conditions
Though the Eufy line of smart IP security cameras are powered by an infrared night vision camera that attempts to see and record things in poor lighting conditions, there’s a limit to what the infrared light can cover or where it can reach.
Since it is an artificial light source, it doesn’t beat natural light or an artificial source that is well spanned. The camera being lens-based, relies on what it can see and it is only what its lens is able to capture and process that gets recorded, no more, no less.
Accordingly thus, in poor lighting conditions such as dusk, a dark room/space, or pitch darkness generally without an external light source, the infrared system will only be able to capture motion that happens closer to where the camera is placed.
What this means is that all the action happening out of the immediate zone of the camera may not be seen by the infrared lights and accordingly, not picked up at worst or at best, would get picked up, slowly.
Over and beyond the facts detailed above, there’s another scenario that presents a truly horrible reality: the reality of toggling off the night vision switch of the camera by means of the app.
What this does is to shut off the camera from all night vision sights and effectively, render it blind during poor lighting conditions or at least, render it as blind as the human eye during such bouts of darkness.
If your camera does not pick motion or picks it in a manner that you’re not comfortable with, checking your lighting conditions in the manner suggested here should be one of the things you should try first before attempting to panic 🙂
7. Dirty Motion Sensor
Being all-weather creations, the Eufy brand of cameras usually are exposed to all sort of weather realities. Hardly do they have a soft life in the shade or rooms.
The implication of this is that, come rain or shine, snow or dust, the cameras are out trying to do their thing and justify the investment made on their purchase.
However, with this all-weather reality comes a huge challenge and subsequently, price. The motion sensor can be covered by the elements and unless cleaned, it would be challenging for it to do its thing!
Generally, for this reason, I have always suggested that cameras be mounted in places where they won’t receive direct snow to prevent such occurrences as snow covering the motion sensor and lens as described here.
However, snow isn’t the only culprit. In regions where dust is king, keeping the motion sensor clean will go a long way in making certain that it does the job it is mounted out (or in) to do in the first place.
What you should do in such an instance is to clean the camera, lens, and motion sensor each time you take the camera down to recharge it.
You may follow this route generally as general precaution and maintenance on your next camera charge. However, if your camera is already presenting challenges relating to motion detection, you should look to it immediately, giving it the attention it deserves.
8. Activation Of Privacy Zones
Privacy zones are areas that are mapped out on the app, intended for the camera not to see or cover events that happen in such ‘protected’ places.
Your neighbor’s door could be one of such places or the street, for instance. Like activity zones, privacy zones help guide the camera as to what it should do or not. Privacy zones are the direct opposite of activity zones – whereas the latter directs the camera’s attention to focus on some clearly marked point and only take action when motion is detected at those points, the former clearly instructs the camera to ignore all that happens within the clearly demarcated zones.
Now, it is easy to think that this should ordinarily not be an issue. However, my experience with the app and camera in question has made me understand that many users may activate privacy zones for the spaces they wish motion detection to cover thinking that they have indeed activated activity zones.
When such as the above is the case, no motion would be detected and by extension, no notifications would be forwarded, even if motion does in fact happen in those places.
To sort this out, take a look at your zones and apportion them appropriately.
9. Failure To Smartly Use Activity Zones
Activity zones are a smart feature of the Eufy security cameras. Set and activated via the app, they direct the camera ‘where to look’ as indicated above.
However, failure to use them doesn’t spell any doom at all nor does it impact motion detection, provided the area to be covered is small and effectively under the range of the camera.
For large spaces, rooms, or expanses, setting the activity zones directs the camera where it needs to focus its attention, and assuming action does not get within the zone(s), it should continue sleeping.
This helps the camera not to get overwhelmed with the large expanse in question and instead, ‘focus’ on the designated areas only.
Set in the manner as described immediately above, I have found that the cameras are much more effective in detecting motion and picking up what matters.
If your Eufy cam isn’t picking up motion and you’ve tried unsuccessfully all the above-mentioned remedies without any respite, this may just be what you need to resolve things once and for all!
Your Eufy security camera has a robust motion detection system powered by an equally robust motion sensor that will always pick motion and relay it back to the camera’s system.
However, from time to time, this smart and extremely robust system may fail due to the challenges listed and explained above in this article.
Before you panic or get overly concerned, be sure to run through these options and make certain that you follow up with the suggested tips, in the exact manner detailed.
Done correctly, motion detection issues with your Eufy security cameras would be a thing of the past. At last.