It’s amazing how many people spend endless amounts of time working on their home or business security and then overlook one of the biggest security issues they’ll face. The driveway. The driveway is the entryway to your property and whether it’s a planned visit or an unexpected visitor, it’s important to know when someone arrives and what their intentions might be.
Choosing the best driveway alarms might seem like a daunting task. But we have a checklist of things to consider along with driveway alarm reviews that will help you make the best choice for your needs.
Driveway Alarms: My Top Picks
There are so many driveway alarm systems on the market that picking the best one for your situation might seem like an overwhelming task.
But we’re here to help with some alarm system reviews that give you a rundown of what we consider to be some of the best choices in the market. You won’t go wrong with any of these alarms:
eMACROS Long Range Solar Wireless Driveway Alarm
One of the biggest challenges of any driveway or perimeter alarm system is dealing with the problem of false positives.
It can sometimes take a while to tweak the settings of motion detectors until you discover that sweet spot between too many false positives and failing to identify real problems.
This driveway system solves that problem by using radar waves to detect movement. If you’ve been plagued with accuracy problems in your previous alarms, you’ll appreciate the solid and accurate reputation of this alarm. Even better, the installation is incredibly easy. So literally all you have to do is open the box and install it.
No entering codes, no scrambling around for power options. This alarm and sensor system is just about as close as you can get to setting it and forgetting it. And if you need more coverage than just this single sensor set and home box, you can string together as many as 32 sensor units and alarm boxes to fully protect your home.
The alarm units come with a number of programmable chirps and alarms. A couple of things to keep in mind about this radar alarm unit. Because of the way radar works, you don’t want to install the sensor too close to plants and trees that might move in the wind.
That could cause some false positives. And because of the way the radar waves are used, the alarm can detect some movement through walls. So you should keep that in mind if you are installing it close to a building wall.
But with those couple of pieces of guidance, it’s hard for anything that isn’t great about this alarm unit. It’s reliable, less prone to false positives than many other units, and incredibly easy to install and use.
- The solar power panel on this device charges a rechargeable lithium-ion battery so you don’t have to worry about the battery dying on your sensor.
- Easy to set up and the receiver can be set up to react to 32 different sensors around your property.
- This design is said to be weatherproof and can outstand the harshest weather conditions while still alerting you to someone coming up your driveway.
- This sensor on this system is said to be very sensitive to pick up even the sound of hard rain or birds chirping. Because of this, you may get false positive alerts with this device.
- While you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries, the solar-powered sensor device may not function very well on low-light days or at night time.
Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm Outdoor Weather Resistant
The Guardline wireless driveway sensor line is one of the most dependable ones in the business.
This one is perfect for locations that are exposed to changes in weather and/or situations where you need to cover a wide distance
What sets this sensor and alarm system apart from some of its competitors is the wide variety of ways you can personalize the settings. The sensor unit eye has an adjustable detection width option that helps to cut down on false positives. The alarm unit has controls on the side that allow you to set the volume of alarms as well as turn it off.
The alarm unit has more than 30 different alert chimes and you can assign individual ones to different sections of a wider alarm array, making it easier to determine which alarm has been set off.
If there is a flaw at all, some reviewers have said it works inconsistently in heavy snow. But given the way that any alarm system works in a heavy snowstorm, that seems to be an overblown problem.
- This system is easy to install and can be up in running in about an hour.
- Each detector can monitor up to 16 different sensors.
- The 500-foot range ensures that you cover as much of your property as possible.
- While the receiver can run on an A/C adaptor, the sensors run on AA batteries which need to be maintained for the system to work properly.
- This set is a little on the pricier side.
Dakota Alert SBA-4k Plus Solar Break Beam Driveway Alarm Kit – Long Range
The Dakota Alert SBA-4k Plus is a cutting-edge driveway alarm system leveraging solar break beam technology. Designed to cater to properties with larger areas, it promises an expansive wireless range, weatherproofing, and an eco-friendly energy source.
The Dakota Alert SBA-4k Plus Solar Break Beam Driveway Alarm Kit is an exceptional product for homeowners prioritizing range and eco-friendliness. While the initial investment might seem high, the myriad of features and benefits it offers, particularly its solar technology and wide coverage, make it a valuable asset for property security.
- Solar-Powered: The SBA-4k Plus uses solar energy, minimizing the need for battery replacements and ensuring consistent functionality.
- Extensive Wireless Range: A range of up to 1 mile ensures comprehensive coverage for vast properties.
- Weatherproof Design: Built to withstand various weather conditions, ensuring longevity and reliability.
- Distinct Alerts: The RE-4k Plus Receiver offers different chimes to notify users of beam interruptions, enabling quick reactions to potential security breaches.
- Eco-friendly: The use of solar power aligns with sustainable practices.
- Impressive Range: Covers large areas, making it ideal for properties with long driveways.
- Easy Installation: Clear instructions make the setup process hassle-free.
- Reliable Alerts: Distinct chimes ensure users are promptly informed of any breaches.
- Price Point: Some users might consider it expensive, though the features justify the investment.
Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm FM231
This outdoor electromagnetic sensor is perfect for scenarios in which you want to detect only vehicles.
The electromagnetic sensor wand detects mass metal moving within a 3-12 ft. radius of the wand, which you bury anywhere alongside the driveway.
One place people frequently use this alarm is around vehicles that are being parked long-term or stored in the driveway like RVs or classic cars. Any movement of the vehicle sets off the alarm and by combining the alarm with a camera, you have an impressive level of security for your valued ride.
These alarms are also often used in businesses that have drive-up windows or garages that have drive-up customers. The alarms are extremely accurate and easy to use, which makes them ideal for most business situations.
- The sensor device is easy to set up.
- Three sensor units can attach to one reactor unit.
- It comes with a one-year warranty and technical support.
- Because this device only senses metal, you won’t have to worry about false alarms with people and pets.
- Unfortunately, there are no replacement parts available for this device so if a part stops working you have to buy a whole new system.
- The sensor runs on AA batteries and will stop working if the batteries die. Fortunately, the sensor and receiving unit have a low-battery detector.
Motion Sensor Alarm Detector, 1byone Wireless Driveway Alarm
This state-of-the-art passive-infrared (PIR) driveway alarm is perfect for areas in which you need a bit of warning before people pull up at your door.
However, if you’re in the middle of a hurricane, a robbery might not be something you need to worry about.
One of the nice bonus features of this unit is that if there is a brief power outage, you won’t have to reset the units.
As soon as the power returns, the sensors and alarms re-acquire each other and resume their protection of your property.
This unit is a good choice for a homeowner who is looking for a reasonably priced unit that is reliable and doesn’t have a large number of false positives. These alarm and sensor units are midpriced workhorses and that’s a sweet spot for a lot of homeowners.
- Waterproof units work great in all weather.
- Easy to use, the plug-and-play system is user-friendly and customizable with different alert tones.
- The sensors may take some trial and error to decide the best location to install them.
- The sensors can be very sensitive in the daytime and may be set off easily. They work great in the nighttime.
Rodann Electronics Wireless Driveway Alarm System
Sometimes you need to not just get a warning when someone crosses your security zone, but also keep track of how many people cross it in a specific amount of time.
One caveat about the sensors is that you make sure you keep the batteries up-to-date because low battery strength can lead to some false positives or vehicles being counted several times.
But user reviews point out that as long you keep it stocked with charged batteries, the unit is reliable and easy to use.
These sensors are used a lot in situations where you have the need to count the number of vehicles coming through a road over an extended period. Think city park events, outdoor concerts, and farmer’s markets which need proof of how many people visited on a specific day.
- The sensor of this system is weatherproof so it will continue to work regardless of rain, snow, heat, or cold.
- An LCD counter keeps a tally of traffic that passes by the sensor.
- This product was made in the USA and comes with a one-year warranty.
- This system only comes with one sensor. Other sensors must be purchased separately.
- The batteries on the sensors need to be maintained regularly to prevent false positives or not registering cars.
Dakota Alert DCMA-4000 Wireless Motion Detector Driveway Alarm System
If you’re looking for a break beam alert that’s designed to let you know when someone or something breaks the beam, this is the alarm kit you should go with.
It’s easy to set up, reliable, and includes free live customer support.
The big advantage of this unit is its simplicity. But that simplicity also means it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive units.
For example, it doesn’t have the capability to alert you by text, email, or smartphone app if the beam has been broken.
The sensors are powered by a combination of ion-lithium batteries and a solar panel, so there is no capability to plug in a power cord.
But the upside is that these sensors are extremely durable and accurate. And that’s not always something you’ll find in more complex alarm and sensor systems. Sometimes all of that extra technology just gets in the way.
- The half-mile wireless range ensures that you will have plenty of room to install the Dakota Break Beam.
- Each beam sensor is solar powered so there is no need to worry about staying on top of changing batteries.
- The sensors are weatherproof and intended to be used outdoors.
- Because it is solar-powered, the sensor beams may not work as well in the dark.
- This device has been known to give off false alarms from time to time.
Wireless Home Security Driveway Alarm
This compact infrared unit is ideal not just for driveways, but for doors, windows, or any other place you need some protection.
It’s also a great choice for business owners who want to know when a customer enters or exits the building. And because of its size, it’s an ideal choice for a wall-mounted sensor.
One feature that isn’t highlighted in the manufacturer’s literature is that both the sensors and the receiver/alarm have micro-USB jacks on them. This means you could run them off of a small solar panel or battery pack.
This alarm and sensor unit is an ideal one for someone who needs to monitor a number of rooms and garage or indoor awkward-shaped areas. It is extremely easy to configure and string a number of these sensors together to create a very flexible indoor and outdoor security plan.
- Multiple alert tones allow you to customize to your personal preference.
- This system is easy to set up by simply putting batteries in the sensor and placing the sensor outside. Then plug in the receiver and you’re good to go.
- This is a more affordable driveway alarm.
- The sensor is not weatherproof so it should be kept under an awning.
- The system only comes with one motion sensor which requires three AAA batteries. Other sensors are sold separately and the batteries must be maintained for the system to continue to function.
Chamberlain Group CWA2000 Chamberlain Driveway Alert, Black
Each unit has a unique sound and light display so you can quickly determine which alarm sensor was triggered. A couple of things to keep in mind. This alarm’s base unit doesn’t sound continuous when triggered.
It makes a twerp sound when the motion sensor is disturbed. The base unit is sealed and there is no way to add an additional alarm or more unique features.
But that lack of extras makes the unit much more reliable. There aren’t a lot of things that can go wrong and one reason this alarm has a 100 percent guaranteed, one-year warranty is that is rare for one of these units to quit working. This is a great unit, especially for people who don’t want to worry about a lot of upkeep.
- This device has an infrared sensor that can detect motion up to 30 feet away.
- Easy, wire-free installation with an instruction manual for quick setup.
- Each receiver has the ability to connect with four sensors in total.
- The receiver can have trouble differentiating which sensor was triggered if you are using multiple sensors.
- Each unit requires AA batteries that need to be changed regularly to ensure the sensors are working.
What is a Driveway Alarm?
As you might imagine from the name, a driveway alarm protects your home or establishment by notifying you anytime someone drives, walks, or otherwise uses your driveway. From letting you know about package delivery to protecting you from possible bad people, a driveway alarm works as a driveway doorbell.
It gives you a heads-up when someone is coming. There are several different types of alarm sensors, each with its own pluses and minuses. But they all perform the same function: to let you know when someone has arrived.
Are Driveways Used Only as Standalone Devices?
But what about when you’re not around? A driveway alert sensor combined with a camera or two can record any intruder that uses the driveway.
Combining with Cameras:
The cameras can just record 24/7 or you can combine it with a driveway motion detector that turns on the camera when motion is detected. You can also install cameras with built-in motion sensors that will offer an additional level of protection.
Connecting to the Central Home Security System
For an additional level of protection, a driveway motion sensor alarm and cameras can be tied into a central home security system.
That allows for extra flexibility with recording options and can allow for email or text driveway alerts to let you know if there’s a problem when you’re not around. Central alarm systems can even alert law enforcement or an outside security monitoring firm.
But driveway alarms are also useful for non-security issues. A driveway alert system can set off a chime inside the house when someone drives on it, letting you know when a guest arrives or your significant other returns with groceries.
Combining with Security Lights
Security floodlights can also be integrated into the system so you can see when someone breaks the security zone of the driveway or sets off the driveway motion sensors.
Driveway alarm systems are also used in all sorts of business situations. From the driveway leading up to a gas station garage to the lane leading to a drive-up pharmacy window, alarms can let you know you have a customer in a subtle but effective way.
The great thing about driveway alarms is that they give you as much protection and bang for the buck as any other alarm component. Besides, what’s the point of putting alarms in the interior if you haven’t bothered to protect or monitor the exterior?
Cameras With Motion Detection
While many driveways can be adequately protected with a static security camera, some locations are better served by installing a driveway camera with a motion detector.
Remote driveways and those that get a lot of traffic only need a camera on rare occasions. Cameras with a motion sensor ensure your driveway alarm the camera will only be working when you need it to.
Factors To Consider
Choosing the best driveway alarm for your needs, there are a couple of questions you need to answer first. Once you know what type of coverage you need, you can select the best alarm for you.
First of all, what are you most concerned about when it comes to your driveway alarm system? Are there frequent visitors or is this a driveway that just needs security on the rare occasions it’s used?
Do you need to tie in the alarm with a video function, or are you primarily looking to be notified when someone drives up? Knowing the answers to these questions will help determine what you need.
One factor to consider when deciding on the best driveway alarm system for you has to do with the driveway’s location. Is it close enough to your building that you could have a wired setup that connects directly to your in-home system?
If not, a long-range driveway alarm combined with a wireless driveway alarm system might be the best option. A wireless driveway alarm system is much easier to set up and configure.
But wireless systems won’t work if the broadband connection is down or if the sensor batteries go dead.
Type of Sensors
Are you concerned primarily with vehicles only or are people and other problems a possible issue? The types of sensors range from extremely rudimentary to ones that can pick up even the smallest disturbance.
The most rudimentary type of driveway sensor is called a pneumatic sensor and it works like those old-fashioned gas station systems. It only goes off when someone drives over them with a heavy vehicle.
Magnetometer-based sensors use a magnet to detect heavy metallic objects in the zone that is being protected. Their basic advantage over Pneumatic sensors is that they only require a small sensor to be buried in the driveway.
Break Beam Sensors
Another type is break beam sensors, which trigger whenever an object moves between two sensors.
Passive Infrared Sensor
But the most common type of alarm sensor is a Passive Infrared Sensor, which is triggered when a combination of heat and movement is detected.
Most units only require a readjustment of the sensors if they are hit by a vehicle or other obstruction like an errant branch. In most situations, the biggest maintenance issue will be remembering to check and change the sensor magnets. If you think that remembering to do that will be a problem, many units come with low battery warnings or indicators.
Once you choose the best type of sensor or alarm, then it’s simply a matter of choosing the best product in that class.
Tips On Choosing
Do you have a reliable broadband connection?
If you live in an area that suffers from Internet downtime, then a wireless system could leave you vulnerable. Either opt for a wired system or have a backup plan in mind for those times when your internet connection is unavailable.
Whether you opt for a wireless or wired system, know the transmission distance for the equipment you choose. You want to make sure the alarm and sensor system you select has the reach to easily send the alert back to the home. Otherwise, you run the risk of the signal not making it back to your alarm system. Or having it stop working on an infrequent basis, which in some ways can be even worse.
The best advice is to pick receivers that have a range of at least 100 feet more than you’ll need. That will give you a cushion that protects you in case of weather-related interference or other issues.
Also, think about whether you might add sensors in the future and where they might be placed. It’s always easier and cheaper to upgrade an alarm system in place rather than build a new one from scratch.
Speaking of interference, it’s important to check the area ahead of time to determine what type of interference might cause a future problem with your alarm system. Nearby power lines can interfere with the signal and natural obstacles like trees and bushes can block the transmission of a signal.
Those problems can be solved through the use of a power booster or multiple sensors and alarms.
Another possible source of interference is bad weather. If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain or is covered in deep snow five months a year, you’ll want to choose a sensor and alarm system that will hold up to the abuse Mother Nature can inflict.
There are plenty of options available for that situation. You just need to be aware of the problem as you shop for your perfect alarm system
Providing driveway security is obviously a primary concern. But what about those unprotected open areas surrounding the driveway? Installing an outdoor motion sensor alarm to cover adjacent areas can provide another level of security at a very low cost. Especially if you are installing it at the same time as your driveway alert system.
Do Driveway Alarms Detect Just Vehicles Or Can They Detect Anything?
It depends on the type of sensor you are using with your driveway alarm system. The most rudimentary type of driveway sensor works like those old-fashioned gas station systems.
They only go off when someone drives over them with a heavy vehicle. But you can get other types of sensors that are much more sensitive and that can detect things as small as squirrels and rodents.
How Much Maintenance Will My Driveway Alarm System Require Once It Is Installed?
They are not 100% maintenance-free, but they don’t require much upkeep. Other than dealing with damage caused by the errant vehicle, these units don’t require much.
The one big issue is that many wireless sensors depend on batteries and it’s easy to forget to check them on a regular basis. One alternative is to use a wireless sensor with a solar-powered backup.
Are Driveway Sensors Practical For Driveways Or Back Roads That Don’t Receive A Lot Of Traffic?
Absolutely. In fact, little-used roads are a favorite access point for bad people, because they assume there won’t be any witnesses.
If you have a driveway that isn’t used that frequently, it can best be protected with a camera that is set off with a motion sensor. For added protection, you can add a wireless connection that will send you an alert if the motion detector is activated.
Can Installing A New Driveway Alarm Save My Money On My Insurance?
It depends on the insurance company and the plan that you have, but generally, the answer is yes. Just make sure to keep a copy of your receipts and then check with your insurance company to see what their policy might be.
But usually, insurance companies are happy with any effort you make to protect your belongings and lessen the chances you’ll make an insurance claim.
While selecting the best driveway alarm might have seemed like a challenging task before you started reading this, you should now have a firm grasp on the right products for your individual situation. We’ve walked you through what factors you need to consider, the range of products available, and a rundown of the best driveway alarms on the market.
The appropriate driveway alarm can bring another level of protection to your home and add a bit more peace of mind to your life.
Knowing that you’ve protected yourself in the best way possible is a great gift and we think we’ve helped with this comprehensive guide and driveway alarm reviews have given you the knowledge to pick the perfect driveway alarm. Now go get your choices and protect yourself.