WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN COMPARING THE BEST DRIVEWAY ALARM SYSTEMS
Home is where the heart is – which is why it’s important that we protect ours at all costs.
Home security systems come in all formats: mounted cameras, motion detectors, interior and exterior sensors, and more. Some security systems are DIY and able to be installed by the homeowner, while others require professional installation to get up and running. Depending on your level of comfort with your current state of security and the specific security needs of your home, you may find yourself with a range of options to choose from when searching for the home monitoring and alert system that’s right for you.
Deter intruders with a driveway alarm system
For many, the driveway is the first point of entry to our house, condo, apartment, or property, which means it’s also the first place we should think about when considering adding additional security.
Fortunately, in our modern world, managing home security is relatively easy. The best driveway alarm systems are wireless and deliver alerts to a smart hub within your home (like Amazon Alexa or Google Home), letting you know instantly if movement has been detected on your property.
When looking for the best driveway alarm system for your home, here are a few key points to consider:
- Alarm range and driveway length
- Detection and false alarms
- Power source
- Smart technology
Alarm range and driveway length
How long is the distance between the beginning of your driveway and your home? Do you want your security system to extend to your background and beyond? Do you have auxiliary buildings like a shed or standalone garage that also need to be secured? These are a couple of the questions you may ask yourself when searching for the best driveway alarm system for your home.
Most basic driveway alarms have about a 400-foot range. If your driveway is longer than average, then you may want to consider a long range driveway alarm, such as the Guardian Quarter-Mile Long Range Driveway Alarm, which has a sensor that can detect motion up to 40 feet away.
Many driveway alarm systems also let you add additional sensors and receivers to your system to expand coverage to more of your property. The Guardian system, for example, allows you to add up to 16 sensors to detect motion.
Detection and false alarms
Horror films often use a technique called the “jumpscare” to startle audiences. One of the more common scares is when a person appears in a place where they’re not supposed to be. To play on audiences’ state of high alert, these scary movies will often use a fake jumpscare by interrupting a high intensity moment with something like a dog running across a yard, or a child chasing a ball into the street (complete, of course, with Psycho-style music).
While this might be entertaining in a movie, the last thing you want when managing your home security is to have to worry about false alarms. False alarms can be set off by the simplest of things, including a change in weather or a heat sensor that alerts the system every time your kid goes after a mis-hit baseball. When securing your home, you want a system that detects legitimate threats without going off every time a wandering deer stops by your yard for its evening flower.
For more remote properties, the risk of a false alarm is lower, so you may want a system with a more sensitive sensor. For a property in a busier residential area, you’ll likely want something that detects legitimate interference, and doesn’t go off every time the morning paper hits your doorstep.
Can pets trigger motion sensors?
Yes, for that reason it’s important to consider your environment and sensor sensitivity needs when choosing the best motion system for your home. Consider investing in a system (such as the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm) that allows you to customize your sensor sensitivity levels to the rate of traffic on and around your property.
The three main sources of power for a driveway alarm are: battery, solar, and electric (via your home).
Are there battery operated motion detectors?
Yes! Wireless, battery-powered alarms like those made by Guardian are great if you want flexibility with where you set up your sensors; however, be wary that the batteries will need to be replaced in order to keep your system up and running.
Are solar motion detectors any good?
Solar-powered alarms are fairly new to the driveway alarm scene, but have the clear advantage of being powered by the sun, meaning there is no need for an additional power source. However, it is worth noting that solar systems tend to set off more false alarms. While it is a common occurrence for false alarms to be set off when security systems are low battery, it can happen even more commonly with a solar-powered system with battery levels that are directly impacted by the availability of sunlight. Therefore, on a cloudy day, your solar-powered system may be more likely to set off a false alarm.
Finally, electricity-powered systems are comparably more reliable because they are connected to your home’s energy system, but for that same reason, must be tethered fairly close to your home in order to reach either a long extension cord or a power outlet.
As you consider which power source you’ll most likely want for your driveway alert system, make sure you take note of how far your driveway extends from the nearest outlet, how much sun you expect your yard to get on a weekly basis, and how many sensors you plan to use that may require replacing batteries.
Also note that some driveway alarm systems, like Guardline, are DIY installs that require very little work to get up and running. Other systems may require professional installation, so you will want to look into this before making your final purchase.
As mentioned earlier, we are in the golden age of driveway alarm systems that work wirelessly and connect to your smart technology, including your cell phone and smart hubs, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Some systems come with an app that gives you real-time updates when an alert is triggered, while others, like Guardline, will send the notification directly to your smart hub within your home if a disturbance has been detected.
When choosing the motion detection system that’s right for you, think about how, when, and where you’d prefer to receive notifications about your home.
Safety and security come first
These are just a few of the considerations you should bear in mind when choosing the driveway security system that is right for you and your home. Remember that not all driveway security systems are designed to cover your entire property, and that the flexibility of where you can place your sensors and receiver depends on the power source. To limit false alarms, you may also want to consider a driveway alarm system that allows you to adjust sensor sensitivity to not pick up everyday disturbances such as wandering animals and falling leaves.
When it comes to taking care of your home, safety and security are a top priority. With the right driveway alarm system, you can sleep well at night knowing that you and your loved ones are protected.