Perhaps the first thing that popped into your mind when you saw the title of this article was “What the heck is a smart driveway alarm?” A smart driveway alarm is a device that consists of a sensor and a receiver. You can use smart driveway alarms as a standalone device, or you can integrate it into your larger smart home system. These devices let you know when someone is coming up your driveway before they are at your front door.
Now that you know what a smart driveway alarm is, the next question you may have is “Why would I need one?” As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, smart driveway sensors let you know when someone is approaching your residence. But that’s not all they are good for. These devices provide an initial line of driveway security for your home.
Since you can connect many smart driveway alarms to your more extensive smart home system, you could setup a rule that allows your security camera to activate when your driveway sensor trips. This means that the camera is already recording by the time the person gets to your front door.
The smart driveway alarm industry offers plenty of options from which to choose, but we want to know which ones are the best and how they compare to one another. The list below offers a good look into the best driveway alarms for 2018.
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Guardline Driveway Alarm
The Guardline Driveway alarm might be the best of the bunch. It offers a lot more than just a device that senses movement. You will have access to over thirty alert sounds that can be customized, along with sixteen different sensors. These sensors can split into four zones, which means four sensors for each zone. Each zone can be assigned a specific sensor, giving you the ability to know where movement is occurring without the need to look.
Guardline’s driveway alarm allows for a buffer of up to five hundred feet of distance between the receiver and the sensor. Keep in mind, however, that walls or leaves might mean your distance is reduced. The sensors provided are robust and reliable, designed to stand up to any type of weather. You’ll also get a battery backup with the receivers, along with the ability to link your Guardline to other alarms.
You can easily pair multiple sensors with the receiver and set a variety of tones. Using the provided guide, you can mount the sensor wherever you prefer to detect motion. Plug the receiver in where you can hear it, and you’re all set.
You may encounter false alarms, but it’s rare. Sometimes animals, leaves, or other debris blowing past the sensor might set it off, but it is designed for motion detection, so these things happen sometimes. Try repositioning the sensor slightly to see if you can reduce the occurrence of these alarms. Solar powered rechargeable batteries are a great source of backup in the case of unreliable power.
The great thing about the Guardline Driveway Alarm is that its factory settings are reliable and compatible with typical uses. Most people will find that it works perfectly for them right out of the box. However, if you have some special settings you’d like to accommodate, it has a wide range of customizability.
You can adjust things like sensitivity, delay, night operations, and distance. Adjusting these settings allows you to detect faster-moving objects, detect movement in the dark, or set the range at which you want to record movement. For instance, if you want to detect movement on the front walk, but not the driveway, you can set a shorter distance, so anything in the driveway will be out of range.
The Guardline Driveway Alarm is also great for detection motion with barriers in the way. Despite walls, fences, and trees, performance is undeterred. With an advertised quarter mile range out of the box, obstacles are unavoidable. You can take comfort in knowing that any reasonable obstruction won’t be a hindrance.
The Guardline Driveway Alarm is also compatible with other devices. Using the 12V device switch, you can connect it with flood lights and turn them on when it detects motion. You can also connect it to other alarm systems and trigger responses that way.
This alarm provides nice added security in the places you need it most. It’s ideal for driveways, front walks, and patios. Multiple sensors provide expanded coverage, and connection with other devices give you the customization you need. Scare intruders away in your absence, or secretly notify yourself when someone crosses your property line.
The Guardline Driveway Alarm is a great option for small homes as well as large estates because of the quarter-mile range. You can rest easy knowing this system is great out of the box but perfected by the customization options that make it unique to your home.
Chamberlain Driveway Alarm
It’s no secret that Chamberlain is a well-known company for its garage doors, but what you may not know is that it makes smart driveway alarms. The Chamberlain smart driveway alarm comes with a receiver and a sensor, but if you think you’ll need more, you can always add more sensors. Chamberlain’s driveway alarm system supports up to four additional sensors.
The driveway alarm alerts you with both sound and light when the sensor line breaks. Motion sensor detects up to thirty feet in front of the sensor and can notify the receiver at a distance of nearly half a mile away. The caveat is that the pair needs to be in line of sight of one another or it’s not going to function as it should.
A nice feature the Chamberlain smart driveway alarm offers is the ability to change the sensitivity settings on the sensors. This means the alarm can detect small animals if you want it to, or you can adjust the setting to ignore smaller movements if your main concern is detecting people. This feature is great if you’re trying to rid your home or yard of pests like rats or moles.
Additionally, you can set individual sensors to have their own unique light and sound notifications when they are triggered. This allows you to know which sensor was set off, telling you the location of the movement. The Chamberlain sensors have a viewing angle of 120 degrees and can sense motion thirty feet away.
One last item to discuss regarding the Chamberlain smart driveway alarm is its durability. The sensors are weatherproof, reliable, and durable enough to work in inclement weather. The receiving is not near as durable as the sensors, but as long as you keep it indoors or in an area protected from rough weather, you won’t experience any problems.
Rodann Electronics Driveway Alarm
The Rodann driveway alarm offers a simple and straightforward system that provides a sensor along with a receiver. Like many other driveway alarms, the Rodann receiver alerts you with sound and light notifications when triggered. While the sensor runs on a pair of AA batteries, the receiver must be plugged in.
The Rodann smart driveway system has an LCD counter that keeps track of those that come and go. It can be reset as needed, and is a useful layer of protection, especially if you have a large property. The counter resides on the receiver, so you can check it as often as needed.
Rodann’s smart driveway system is robust and resilient, designed to withstand inclement weather. The sensor’s compact form reduces additional exposure to harsh conditions, and if you’re used to being on a large property, the durability of the system is essential. Its counterpart, the receiver, is made of plastic, yet feels durable. It is lightweight and portable, which is beneficial since it shouldn’t see much wear.
Mighty Mule Driveway Alarm
The Mighty Mule Smart Driveway Alarm differs from the other alarms on this list in that it is a wand with an electromagnetic sensor. It is used to detect vehicles as they arrive or depart from your driveway while ignoring potential false alarms like small animals or children. The Mighty Mule does this by recognizing metal objects of a certain size when they get close enough for detection – typically between three and twelve feet.
Included with the features of the system is an outdoor transmitter which communicates with the receiver. The wand can send messages to the receiver at distances of up to four hundred feet and will indicate visitors with a chime.
You can setup your Mighty Mule smart driveway alarm to recognize and sense motorcycles, ATVs, and even RVs. You’ll use two AA batteries on the sensor, with a battery indicator on the receiver so you can tell when they need changing. You’ll also get a stake in your kit that will aid you in burying the sensor wand close to the driveway.
A few downsides have been discovered with the Mighty Mule smart driveway alarm, but you should determine for yourself whether or not they’re deal breakers. One drawback is the height from which the wand extends off the ground, which is almost thirty inches. As a result, the wand can shift under extreme winds. Keep this in mind if you live in an area with high prevailing wind.
The second concern with the Mighty Mule is the volume of the receiver chime. If you’re in a noisy area, or outside with a lot of ambient sounds, you may not hear the notification. This is especially concerning since the whole purpose of having the alarm is to notify you when someone – invited or not – arrives at your home.
1ByOne Wireless Driveway Alarm System
The 1ByOne Smart Driveway Alarm is unique in the smart driveway market in that it combines the ability to be notified when someone is approaching your home with the functionality of a doorbell. Installing the 1ByOne wireless driveway alarm is simple and straightforward. You aren’t required to do any wiring, and the company provides instructions that are easy to follow.
1ByOne uses a technology called Passive Infrared (PIR), which senses heat from cars and people. When the sensor is triggered, the transmitter sends a signal to your receiver, which results in a 120-decibel notification. You will have no trouble knowing when someone is within twenty feet of the sensor.
The transmitter for the 1ByOne alarm system runs on three AAA batteries and contains the PIR sensor which we referenced earlier. For optimal performance, you’ll want to place your transmitter outside with a clear line of sight to the driveway. The receiver, which you’ll want to keep inside with you, runs on an AC adapter, and have a light and speaker that will notify you when motion is detected.
Your transmitter and receiver have a range of around three hundred feet, as long as a lot of foliage or brush does not obstruct it. You can adjust the volume on the receiver, which includes thirty-six different song options. Your sensor and receiver have their own unique code that prevents interference from other systems.
While the 1ByOne smart driveway alarm will work fine in a residential setting, it is probably more tailored to a commercial environment. It’s perfect for alerting you when someone enters the property, primarily when the receiver setting is at maximum volume. It has a great battery life, is very durable, and comes with two transmitters, which allows you to be alerted from two different locations.
Now that we’ve reviewed the best smart driveway alarms for 2018 let’s take a look at how they stack up next to one another.
|Receiver Range||500 feet||1000 feet||400 feet||1000 feet||300 feet|
|Motion Sensor Range||40 feet||30 feet||12 feet||50 feet||20 feet|
|Sensor Type||Passive Infrared||Passive Infrared||Electromagnetic Sensor||Passive Infrared||Passive Infrared|
Whether you own a home in the country or have a commercial business that has a long driveway, owning a smart driveway alarm can make a world of difference when used for a front layer of security. But be sure to place your sensor about halfway down the drive, since placing it at the street would result in many false alarms.
Keep in mind when selecting your system that you want one that is going to work best for your environment. Consider the appropriate ranges that work best with the landscape around your home or place of business. Remember that hills and foliage are going to shorten the range on your system, so take that into account before making your decision. These systems are the best on the market and will go a long way to making you aware of visitors to your home or business before they can catch you off guard.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!