Having a driveway alarm or driveway motion alert system can add an extra layer of protection to your home, your family, and your possessions. This kind of security system is simple, easy to install, and low-cost but can significantly improve safety and bring peace of mind to homeowners.
A driveway alarm is designed to let you know when someone or something is approaching your home, office or business. It has a motion sensor that will detect any object moving across its path. You’ll instantly be notified when an “unwelcome visitor” pulls on your driveway or someone is trying to trespass on your property.
If you’re looking to buy a driveway alarm or sensor system, this article is for you. Our guide has answers to any questions you might ask, it will help you to select the best driveway alarm, motion sensor alarm for your home surveillance and budget. It also provides an overview of the features and functions of some of the best and top-rated wireless driveway alarms on the market that will help you narrow down your choice.
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Compare The Best Driveway Alarms
Our Top Picks
After many hours of researching, reading user’s reviews, and evaluating many models on the market, we’ve found that the Guardline 1/4 Mile Long-Range Wireless Outdoor Driveway Alarm is the best wireless driveway alarm for most people. This driveway alarm system is durable, easy to use and set up, and produced the least false alarms among all the driveway alarms with infrared sensors we’ve tested. It provides all the features of a more expensive driveway alarm!
Its infrared motion sensors can detect any moving object, including people, vehicles and animals, with a detection range up to 40 feet – while most driveway alarms typically have a detection range of 8-15 feet. The distance from sensors to a wireless receiver (or transmitter) is up to 1/4 mile – which is suitable for most average houses in North America. More importantly, cost of the entire system is quite cheap and it’s expandable up to 16 sensors and unlimited receivers for complete coverage of your driveway and garden.
Guardline Outdoor Motion Alert System | Video by Guardline Security
This is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a wireless driveway alarm system that runs on solar power. Like solar-powered security cameras, solar-powered alarm systems require no wiring or replacing the batteries in the device because the lithium-ion batteries recharge throughout the day using solar power.
Dakota Alert BBA-2500 Break Beam Alert Kit is a top-notch security alarm system for driveways, large backyards, parking lots, and other large areas of land that need to be secured. It has infrared sensing terminals that can be mounted up to 300 feet apart and send a signal back to the receiver up to a half mile away anytime someone passes between the sensors.
The break beam sensor is a point to point sensor and is not activated by any motion outside of the monitored beam. The sensors are not affected by small objects such as falling leaves or birds. They can be mounted high enough to avoid dogs and other animals but it will detect any intruder walking through the beam area.
This Dakota Alert wireless driveway alarm is one of the best driveway alarms we’ve found. It’s an excellent supplement for your home outdoor security surveillance system.
What’s a Driveway Alarm?
A driveway alarm, sometimes called a driveway motion sensor, is a wireless electronic device that serves the purpose of notifying you whenever someone or something is on your property. When it senses a person, car, or even animal approaching, it will send a wireless signal to your home security panel. The receiver will ring a gentle chime, so that you can be alerted of a visitor, whether you’re expecting someone or not.
Wireless driveway alarms are mostly placed in driveways, but can also be put to many other uses like to watch entry into basement, outdoor pools, garages, backyards, and lawns.
How Does a Driveway Alarm Work?
If you want to buy the best wireless driveway alarm that fits your security needs, the very first thing you need to know is how the system works.
Wireless driveway alarms consist of 2 main components: sensors (transmitters) and receivers:
Sensors are designed to detect motion in your driveway. Sensors may be multipurpose motion sensors, that use passive infrared technology (PIR) to detect heat and movement; magnetic vehicle sensors that are activated only by cars and thus minimize the possibility of false alarms; break beam sensors (or photo beam sensors) that are typically used for a large area and will detect people and vehicles as well as large animals like deer. We’ll discuss how to decide on the type of sensors for your driveway alarm in the last section.
The sensor is usually waterproof, easy to install and could be placed almost anywhere. Homeowners usually place it somewhere concealed, on the side of the driveway, at the entrance, or on a tree in the backyard. Whenever the sensor senses a moving object, it will send a signal to the receiver.
A receiver typically plugs into a standard electrical outlet in your home, wherever you want to hear the alert. It sounds an alert to the homeowner if signals are picked up by the sensor. The alerts can be customized by assigning a different ring to each sensor or setting how long it should be played for.
Most wireless driveway alarm systems give you the option to add additional receivers (if you want to be alerted in more than one location of the house) or additional sensors (if you have more than one driveway leading to your property).
For example the Guardline 1/4 Mile Long-Range Wireless Outdoor Driveway Alarm allows you to add up to 16 sensors and unlimited receivers.
Benefits of a Driveway Alarm
1) A driveway alarm is the first layer of your home security system
If what you’re looking for is a comprehensive security system for your home and property, a driveway alarm can act as your first line of defense, allowing you to spot potential threats in plenty of time to take action, calling the authorities and getting out of harm’s way. Other features like deadbolts and an electric garage door can also play a role, but it starts with the sensors in your driveway.
2) A driveway alarm will keep intruders away
You should invest in the best driveway alarm that you can find because it’s very helpful in keeping intruders away from your home.
With a WiFi driveway alarm or driveway motion sensor system, you will instantly be notified every time someone is trying to trespass on your property. If the person is a potential intruder, you have time to go to the front door or window to attempt to identify them. If you don’t know who they are, or it is someone who should not be approaching your home, you have time to make sure the door is secured and take other precautions you deem necessary. Even if the person approaching means no harm, the driveway alarm system gives you the opportunity to see them before they see you, and you can decide whether or not to open the door.
In addition, most burglaries these days occur during the day when the homeowners are subjective. It is common to experience threats at night when everyone is asleep than during the day, and that is the norm that has misled many people over the years. Nowadays burglaries occur in broad daylight when no one least expects. When you have a well-fenced compound, the only way to have the thieves in your compound is through the driveway. When this happens, it will be easy to catch these people because their presence will be detected by driveway sensors, and you will have time to ask for help.
Combined with outdoor night vision security cameras, a wireless driveway alarm and motion sensor system can give you feelings of safety and peace of mind. Even if you already have a home security system, your system isn’t complete without a driveway alarm.
3) A driveway alarm can keep wildlife under control
Humans aren’t the only unwanted intruders that can complicate your life. With a wireless driveway alarm motion sensor, you can protect your property from the animals that are increasingly common in the urban and suburban landscape.
Animals that can cause damage to your property include black bears, coyotes, raccoons and many other smaller animals. Besides frightening your family, each of these animals is capable of leaving behind quite a mess. If your outdoor security system has several surveillance cameras such as trail cameras, you can spot intruders ahead of time and safely scare them off.
4) Increase Property Value
You’re not the only person who likes the idea of this added security feature, and installing one of the best driveway alarms recommended below on your property can definitely make it more valuable. Not only can it increase your asking price, but it could serve to make your property a lot more desirable to certain buyers.
Best Driveway Alarms Reviews
#1. Guardline 1/4 Mile Long-Range Wireless Outdoor Driveway Alarm – Best Pick
The Guardline 1/4 Mile Long-Range Wireless Outdoor Driveway Alarm is our pick for the best wireless driveway alarm for most people. This driveway alarm can run on batteries as well as the included AC adapter, easily peaceable anywhere in your home. The sleek and compact receiver is simple to program and utilizes a tone-rich chime and flashing LED lights when a sensor is tripped.
The outdoor sensors are infrared motion sensors which come with protective coverings to protect it from the elements and an easy-mount bracket. The sensor can detect any moving object, including people, vehicles and animals, with a detection range up to 40 feet – while most driveway alarms typically have a detection range of 8-15 feet. The distance from sensors to a wireless receiver (or transmitter) is up to 1/4 mile.
Each set includes one motion sensor and one receiver but additional motion sensors and receivers can be purchased and added. You can use up to 16 sensors and unlimited receivers in one system for complete coverage of your perimeter.
If a 1/4 mile transmission range is too much, consider the Guardline 500ft Motion Alert Wireless Set with the same features but a shorter transmission range.
Video: How to set up Guardline wireless driveway alarm
Setting up Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm | Video by Guardline Security
#2. Dakota Alert DCMA-2500 Driveway Motion Alert
Best Long-Range Driveway Alarm
If you have a long driveway that is very far from your house, the Dakota Alert DCMA-2500 Driveway Motion Alert is probably your best bet. This wireless driveway alarm will detect people and vehicles entering your driveway or property, sending a signal as far as 2500 feet, or 1/2 mile, away to the wireless receiver. Dakota Alert is a leader in the driveway security industry, half of the best driveway alarms listed in this article come from this company.
Dakota DCMA2500’s sensor runs on one 9V battery and uses infrared motion-sensing technology that detects people, vehicles or large animals. It has a detection range as far as 50 feet away.
The receiver has four different chime sounds available, and supports four different sensor zones with unlimited sensors per zone. It also has indicator LEDs for a visual indication of each zone. These zone reminder lights, paired with an audible beep, can be programmed to activate every 15 minutes following the initial alarm ensuring your attention is captured. You can connect this receiver to external sirens, strobes, alarms, lighting and other systems.
#3. Dakota Alert BBA-2500 Break Beam System
Best Solar Driveway Alarm
If you’re looking for the best driveway alarm that is powered by solar panel, look no further than the Dakota Alert BBA-2500 Break Beam System. This alert system includes solar-powered wireless infrared break beam (photo beam) sensors designed to warn you of incoming visitors.
Designed to avoid detection of small objects such as falling leaves or birds, the break beam sensor is a point to point sensor and will not be activated by any motion outside of the monitored beams. Meaning that the system is triggered only when all of the beams are broken by something moving across their path. This will help to reduce false alarms significantly.
When the beams are broken, the sensor sends a wireless signal up to 2500ft to the included wireless receiver. The distance between each beam can be up to 300 feet. The Dakota BBA-2500 driveway alarm is also expandable. Up to four different zones, each with its own alert tone may be set up with unlimited sensors per zone.
The Dakota BBA-2500 is a top-notch wireless security alarm system for driveways, backyards, or parking lots. And we’ve found that this is one of the best driveway alarm, motion alert systems for a farm and large property.
#4. Rodann RX&TX2000A Wireless Driveway Alarm System
Top-Rated Driveway Alarm
The Rodann RX&TX2000A is the best and most advanced driveway alarm Rodann Electronics has manufactured so far. It’s made in the USA and it worked perfectly right out of the box. It has an infrared (PIR) sensor that will detect heat/warmth when people pass by the sensor. Vehicles are another alert that can be triggered by this device. Driveways are not the only placed these sensors can be installed. Loading docks, indoor places, etc are some of the places the sensors can be installed and used effectively. It is very simple to program.
The sensor can transmit to an indoor receiver up to 1000 feet away. It is effective at detecting people or cars up to approximately 50 feet away. This driveway alarm can be customized with additional sensors/transmitters and receivers, as well as other accessories such as strobes or sirens. The wireless receiver chime alerts inside the home or business when the outdoor sensor is triggered, and has 4 tone options from which to choose. This receiver also has a resettable 5 digit LCD counter, so you know how many vehicles have entered/exited.
#5. Dakota Alert DCPA-2500 Duty Cycle Probe Alert
Best Driveway Alarm for Detecting Cars, Trucks
If you only want to use your driveway alarm to detect cars or trucks that are entering your property, the Dakota Alert DCPA-2500 Duty Cycle Probe Alert is your best bet. This wireless driveway alarm uses a magnetic probe sensor that only detects vehicles, no false alarms due to animals, children, or the wind etc.
When something is detected, the transmitter sends a wireless signal 2500 feet away to the wireless receiver (DCR-2500) to notify you. This device operates on four of 3V batteries which can last from 6 to 12 months depending on use. The probe is buried parallel to the driveway, and will detect vehicles passing by within a distance of approximately 10-12 feet. The buried cable can be run to a tree or post nearby, where the transmitter box can be placed.
The sound output durations are adjustable up to 10 minutes. The wireless receiver will play one of four different tunes that are selected at the sensor/transmitter so that different zones can be distinguished. The receiver also offers a 5 minutes exit delay so you can leave the house without disturbing any occupants as well as a reminder beep and counter function.
Overall, the Dakota Alert DCPA-2500 Duty Cycle Probe Alert is the best driveway alarm for detecting vehicles we’ve found. It ideal in locations where there may be people or large animals that would cause false signals with a standard motion detection system. And because the probe is buried underground, it will be less noticeable than other driveway alarm systems.
Choosing the Best Driveway Alarm
What’s the Best Type of Sensors for Your Driveway Alarm?
1. Infrared (PIR) Motion Sensor:
These sensors are wireless and use heat to detect movement (people, animals or vehicles) by sending a signal whenever a warm object passes through the beam. The biggest advantage of infrared sensors is that they’re easy to install and are not expensive. However, since this type of driveway sensor detects everyone or everything that goes into your driveway, it’s important to mount it appropriately to avoid false alarms that might be caused by small animals or birds.
2. Magnetic Probe Sensor:
Driveway alarms use this type of sensor, such as the Dakota Alert DCPA-2500, are used to detect moving cars, trucks, bicycles and other vehicles. Therefore, you will not get any false alarms due to human, animals or birds. These sensors can be placed alongside or beneath a driveway and will typically have a detection range of 8-15 feet depending on the speed of the vehicle.
One of the benefits of having a magnetic probe sensor on your driveway is that the probe will be hidden from view once the installation is done.
3. Break Beam Sensor:
Also known as photo beam sensors. Driveway alarms that use break beam sensors, such as the Dakota Alert BBA-2500 Break Beam System, have two or more sensors. The sensors are placed at opposite ends and they create an ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ beam between each other. You will get a notification of movement when the upper’ and ‘lower’ beam between sensors are broken at the same time.
Both beams must be broken prior to alarm signal being sent, so break beam sensors eliminate false alarms caused by falling leaves, branches, animals and movement of vegetation due to weather.
Break beam sensors are not new technology by any means! They are currently one of the best-established security solutions in the marketplace. Break beams provide an invisible ‘fence’, which when broken by an intruder creates an alarm condition. This makes them the best driveway alarms for perimeter protection.
4. Rubber Hose Driveway Sensor:
Rubber hose driveway alarms, such as the Dakota Alert DCRH-2500 Wireless Rubber Hose Vehicle Sensor, are the most common vehicle detection system used by gas stations, body shops and other places with heavy vehicle traffic. This type of driveway alarm sensors is ideal for alerting you to traffic in locations that are too busy to use an infrared PIR driveway sensor.
Since the system only alarms when a heavy object moves over the hose false alarms are limited. Rubber hose driveway sensors are very easy to deploy as it simply lays across the road or driveway. But care is needed if snow plows or graders may damage the hose.
Other Things to Consider
1. Determine Transmission Distance
Effective transmission range of your wireless driveway alarm is one of the most important considerations when choosing the best driveway alarm motion alert for your needs.
You should have a good idea of how far your driveway sensor will be away from your wireless receiver. If you plan on expanding your system in the future, consider where you would place your extra sensors or receivers – it will always be cheaper to add new units to an existing system than to buy a whole new system, so give this consideration now before purchasing.
Please keep in mind that any physical obstacle in the way of the sensor and receiver can modify the maximum transmission range. Metal is the worst material to work with, as it completely stops wireless transmissions. Organic or thin materials such as drywall, wood, trees, bushes, etc. will damper the strength of the transmissions, but it’s possible it will still function around these obstacles.
Therefore, when it comes to selecting the best driveway alarm for your home, a longer wireless transmission range is always better.
2. Decide What You Want to Detect
Driveway alarms come in different sizes and design. Some are designed to detect both large and small items while others are designed to detect only small items. So, come up with a list of what you want to detect in your driveway or yard.