The Best Long-Range Driveway Alarms (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Always know who’s in your driveway with a long-range alarm.
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BY Scott Murdock / LAST UPDATED ON June 16, 2020
Home security is important, and it’s becoming more affordable than ever. Professionally monitored security systems are still available and valuable, but private options are viable alternatives that make affordable security accessible to more people. Doorbell cameras, security cameras, and motion-activated lights can all make a home’s perimeter more secure. To extend that safety even further, we recommend a driveway alarm. Check out the best options in the buying guide below.
These simple tools make it easy to know when someone enters your driveway. In addition to being a security precaution, they’re great for being alerted when guests or delivery drivers arrive. They can even be placed away from the driveway to detect motion in a back yard, near a barn, or in parts of the house. Looking for the best long-range driveway alarm? Our team of experts examined the best long-range driveway alarms on the market. Read this review and save yourself time and money.
A wireless motion alert sensor with a ¼-mile transmission range. It utilizes passive infrared technology to detect people, vehicles, or large animals within its range.
Easy plug-and-play setup. Can be expanded with up to 16 sensors. Lengthy 40-foot detection range. Adjustable alert volume. Features a durable, industrial-grade build.
Expensive, but worth it. The range may be limited by thick walls, tall hills, many trees, or metal siding. Sensitivity may be reduced during severe weather conditions.
A weatherproof infrared motion sensor alarm with a 1,000-foot transmission range. It detects movements from people and vehicles.
Weatherproof construction. Designed to reduce false alerts caused by weather and temperature changes. Can be customized to only give a silent LED flash.
Direct sunlight can reduce its sensitivity or create false alarms. May give false alarms during strong winds. Metal siding can reduce the transmission range.
A solar-powered infrared alert system with a ½-mile transmission range. It can detect movements from people, vehicles, and large animals.
Long transmission range. Can be expanded with four receivers and unlimited sensors. Features customizable alert tunes. Can be easily set up in minutes. Features both audio and visual alerts.
The built-in battery can’t be replaced even when it’s damaged. Inclement weather can reduce sensitivity. It can be somewhat expensive to upgrade the sensors and transmitters.
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Benefits of Long-Range Driveway Alarms
- Security. Installing a long-range driveway alarm is a great way of monitoring almost every inch of your driveway in the comfort of your home. You will be alerted of any intruders lurking on your property before they can get into your house. Also, most alarms are expandable, and you can add extra sensors to monitor the windows, doors, and other parts of your property.
- Peace of mind. You will be more at ease knowing that the kids or pets are safe when playing on the driveway since you will be alerted when they are out of range. Aside from that, you can get an alarm system that links to your smartphone. You will be glad knowing your home is safe when you are at work or out on a trip.
- Get notified of approaching visitors. If you are expecting guests or a delivery, the alarm can alert you when the visitors arrive in your driveway so that you can prepare to meet them. If it’s within your business premises, you can keep track of the number of guests that visit your business.
- Easy to install. You can easily set up a driveway alarm system on your own without the help of a professional technician. Also, you won’t have to buy expensive installation equipment since most systems come with the necessary mounting kit. Usually, you only need a drill.
Types of Long-Range Driveway Alarms
Passive Infrared Sensor
Passive infrared or PIR alarms use heat and motion detection technology to detect any animals, people, or vehicles within the detection range. For this reason, they are the most accurate types of alarm systems since they will give fewer false alerts that can be a result of objects being blown onto your property. They can be upgraded with extra transmitters and sensors to improve their accuracy.
Active Infrared Beam Sensor
An active infrared beam system is a slight improvement on the PIR system. It consists of a receiver and multiple transmitters, which use active infrared technology to create multiple beams to improve the detection range, and to reduce false alerts caused by objects blown in by the wind or if an animal crosses the path. The transmitters are placed about 100 feet from each other and will only give an alert when all the beams are crossed to indicate that the object is intentionally heading in your direction.
Electromagnet alarms detect metal objects within their range. They are designed with a magnetic coil that creates a magnetic field, which sends a signal to the receiver whenever a metal object is within the field. They are typically used on commercial properties to detect vehicles approaching the driveway.
Guardline is a Seattle-based company that specializes in making alarm systems for residential and commercial properties. The company has designed more than 250,000 products since its inception in 2001. Apart from alarm systems, the company also designs sirens and loud ringing bells. One of its best driveway alarm systems is the Guardline Long Range Wireless Driveway Alarm.
Based in California, 1byone specializes in creating home security systems and other products that make life easier, using the latest technology. A few products in its repertoire include driveway alarms, laser light projectors, outdoor antennas, and Bluetooth mini speakers. Check out the 1byone Driveway Alarm if you are looking for an affordable driveway alarm.
Long-Range Driveway Alarm Pricing
- Under $100: Most driveway alarm systems on the market fall within this price range. They typically come as a basic set, which includes a single transmitter and receiver. They are suitable for small residential properties, and you can find a unit that gives both audio and visual alerts. It’s also possible to find an affordable unit with a great transmission range.
- $100 and up: This price range is for an advanced alarm system holding a plethora of features, such as an object counter that keeps track of the number of objects detected. Also, it’s possible to find a hybrid alarm system that uses both an infrared sensor and a magnetic probe to detect both metallic and non-metallic objects. In addition, expect to spend this much if you are buying an alarm system with multiple sensors.
The transmission range will help you determine how far you can install the transmitter or sensor, which is installed outdoors, from the receiver. For a driveway alarm, a longer detection range from ¼- to ½-mile will be appropriate, so that you can install the receiver anywhere in your house without affecting the connection.
Since you will be installing the sensors outdoors, it’s important that the alarm system can hold up to the elements without getting damaged. Also, weather elements such as snow, a heavy downpour, or intense sunlight can reduce the sensitivity or affect the accuracy of the transmitter. Therefore, prioritize systems that come with a waterproof and UV-protected cover or have a general weatherproof construction.
- Wired vs. Wireless: If you don’t want to bother yourself with routine battery replacements, you can install an alarm system that comes with power and connection cables running from a power outlet to the transmitters at the driveway. However, if you don’t want to do all the extra wiring, you can opt for a wireless option where both the transmitter and receiver have either replaceable or rechargeable batteries.
- Expandability: Many alarm systems can be expanded with extra sensors and receivers to help improve the detection range. Confirm the number of extra sensors and receivers that the unit can take to determine if it will be the right fit for your property.
- Customizable Settings: Alarms can get quite annoying, so you need a driveway alarm system that comes with an adjustable volume setting and different chimes so that you can select an appealing tune. It should also have adjustable flash alerts so that you can switch them off or use them independent of the sound if need be.
- Ease of Installation: Choose an alarm system that’s easy to install. The product should at least come with a well-illustrated user manual and a few online tutorials to make installation a breeze.
Best Long-Range Driveway Alarm Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Prioritize alarm systems that can be powered by alternative power sources such as solar power. It will save you the trouble of always having to connect it to a power source for recharging every time the battery runs out.
- If you have a large property, consider installing additional transmitters and sensors to enhance the motion detection range.
- Consider buying an alarm system with a status check feature, which indicates if the sensors are still working or if the signal has been lost.
- Consider buying a weatherproof cover for your sensor if it doesn’t come with one. Remember to install it at a secure place where it can be safe from vandalism.
Q: Can you trick a motion sensor?
Only if you are tech-savvy and know how to bypass an alarm system. The motion sensor works by detecting changes in temperature in the surrounding area, so unless you move at a safe distance from the detection range, expect to trip the alarm.
Q: Can a spider set off a motion detector?
It’s expected that insects and spiders will get in front of the motion sensor, but they aren’t large enough to trigger the alarm. However, pets and other small animals can occasionally trigger the sensors.
Q: Can thunder set off a long-range driveway alarm?
Not if it’s a high-quality alarm system. Some alarm systems can be triggered by the flash of lightning, but not necessarily the sound of a thunderclap. You can turn down the volume during a storm if your alarm system is easily triggered.
Q: How do you install a wireless driveway alarm?
It mostly depends on the type of alarm system you have. The installation for most alarm systems is rather basic and only involves drilling the transmitter into a solid place that’s free of interference such as trees, dense foliage, or thick walls.
Q: Can pets trigger motion sensors?
Yes, they can. To prevent this, you can tilt the transmitter slightly upwards so that it can detect objects that are at least four feet off the ground. Alternatively, you could use it to your advantage to monitor your pet. You can turn down the audio alerts so that the alarm doesn’t startle you whenever your pet goes outside.
Our top pick is the Guardline Long Range Wireless Driveway Alarm since it’s an expandable alarm system that can be augmented with extra transmitters and receivers to enhance the motion sensing range. You also get 30 different chimes to choose from, and you can adjust the volume.
If you are looking for a more pocket-friendly option, consider the 1byone Driveway Alarm. It’s a decent alarm system that can either run on batteries or use direct AC power.