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Choosing the proper driveway alarm for an intended application can be a demoralizing task. If there is little knowledge about the individual products to start, the choice is that much harder. The following review can help distinguish each sensor/alarm as well as give a little insight as to what each device does. The main three components of driveway alarms are the receiver, transmitter and sensor. Wireless or hard wired is personal preference. One of the first steps in deciding is to figure out “why do I need a driveway alarm?” Is it for only detecting vehicles? Small animals? People? The main reviews on this site are; Infrared Sensors, Magnetic Probe Sensors, Rubber Hose Sensors, and lastly Photo Beam Sensors. Solar powered wireless beams are the most recent device that has come out. The Dakota Alert BBA-2500 system is a wireless break beam system. Dual beam technology is used to verify that once BOTH beams are broke simultaneously, then the alarm will sound. False alarms are few and far between in this case simply because BOTH  beams need to be broke and not just a single beam. If a single beam is broke then nothing happens, and there are no alarm sounds. Birds are most of the time the culprit of false alarms and with having the dual beam technology; it minimizes the potential for false alarms. Below is the different sensors/alarm photos and information to go along with them Infrared Driveway Sensors Heat is the main point of communication between the user and the sensor device. There can be some confusion with other devices such as; motion sensors or beams you see under garage doors. Passive Infrared (PIR) is how the infrared sensors run. An alarm signal is sent whenever anything warm passes through the beam. These types of driveway alarms are wireless ONLY and are simple to install. Magnetic Probe Driveway Sensor These sensors detect moving metal ONLY. This means there will never be false alarms for animals, birds, etc. However, lightning can have an effect on these sensors to cause false alarms. One advantage of this type of sensor is that the probe is completely out of sight after the install takes place. Cost is around $100 or more compared to the infrared sensors. Magnetic probes are available in wired and wireless options. Rubber Hose Driveway Sensor Rubber hose driveway sensors are what most people are familiar with when it comes to sensors in general. Soft, slightly pressurized rubber hose that lies on the ground is all that encapsulate the rubber hose sensor technology. Heavy objects travel over the hose and depress the hose which in turn triggers an alarm to notify the user that someone/something is present.  Expense is not an issue with rubber hose sensors as they are cheap, and hose in general is cheap to replace. Installation process is very simple as well, but will not work in all areas such as ones that have heavy snowfall. The hose will indeed degrade over time, however as mentioned before it is cheap to replace. Photo Beam Sensors Dakota Alert put out the first wireless and easy to install break beam system called photo beam break sensors. There are actually two units that are placed at opposite ends of the driveway or entrance way. The higher end models such as the Dakota Alert BBA-2500 actually features multiple beams crossing between the two sensors. The alarm is triggered when all the beams are broken simultaneously. False alarms are virtually a thing of the past with these photo beam sensors, because birds, animals, etc cannot get through all the beams at once. This sensor is a great buy if the main point is to detect people coming and going rather than false alarms. Final Thoughts Now, decision making in regards to each type of sensor should be a little easier. One final thing to consider is once the unit is decided upon, what type of alarm sound or chime should the unit have? External strobes, sirens, door bells and chimes are just some of the sounds that can be used with these devices. With that said, driveway alarm systems are NOT to be replacing home security systems. They are to be used in unison with security systems to maximize the security and minimize the theft and/or property damage.
Driveway Alarm Reviews
Infrared, Magnetic, Rubber Hose, Photo Beam - Alarms/Sensors Review