Driveway Alarms

Infrared, Magnetic, Rubber Hose, Photo Beam – An Overview

Choosing the proper driveway alarm for an intended application can be a difficult 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 we are covering in this article are; Infrared Sensors, Magnetic Probe Sensors, Rubber Hose Sensors, and lastly Photo Beam Sensors.


Infrared Driveway Sensors


Heat & Motion 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 inexpensive.  Installation and replacement of hose is very simple as well.  The hose will indeed degrade over time, especially with our Alberta climate, however as mentioned before it is cheap (& Easy!) to replace.


Photo Beam Sensors

This is the wireless and easy to install break beam system known as photo beam break sensors. There are actually two units that are placed at opposite ends of the driveway or entrance way. Higher end models feature 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.


Long Range Solutions

We can customize a long range system with a 2 way radio set up for your business or rural property.  Take the handheld radio with you out in the field and still know when someone has driven in.  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 hom security systems. They are to be used in unison with security systems to maximize the security and minimize the theft and/or property damage.

Looking for an estimate? Or are you curious how we can customize the above sensors and chimes to suit your property?

Give us a call… we would be happy to answer all of your questions.  1-855-728-7587