How To Choose The Best Driveway Alarm In The UK?

A driveway alarm is one of the first lines of defences for your home. If your home is not gated, it is the first line of defence that alerts you to the presence of an intruder, human or animal.

Most driveway alarms use PIR or Passive Infrared Sensors to detect motion within a certain range. If an object such as a car, large animal or person passes within that range, the sensor triggers an alarm in the receiver.

Driveway alarms are not just for driveways. They are ideal for any outdoor area you want to monitor including right outside your front door, near the main gate or at the rear of the house.

In this buying guide, we review the five best driveway alarms you can buy online.

Our top picks are based on factors like range, ease of use and expandability.

Here is a short summary with more detailed reviews further below:


Ultra Secure DA-600

PHYSEN Driveway Alarm

Bitiwend Driveway Alarm

Ring Floodlight Cam

Best for Most Homes

Best Solar Rechargeable Best Budget Best Value

Best Smart Driveway Alarm

Receiver range: 800m

Receiver range: 600m Receiver range: 152m Receiver range: 152m Receiver range: Unlimited

Max detection range: 9m

Max detection range: 15m

Max detection range: 4m Max detection range: 4m

Max detection range: 9m

Power: Rechargeable battery

Power: Solar rechargeable battery (solar panel included)

Power:  Four AA batteries Power: Four AA batteries

Power: Hardwired

Adjustable sensitivity: Yes

Adjustable sensitivity: Yes

Adjustable sensitivity: No Adjustable sensitivity: No

Adjustable sensitivity: Yes

Weatherproof: Yes

Weatherproof: Yes

Weatherproof: Yes (IP55)

Weatherproof: Yes

Weatherproof: Yes (IP56)

Expandable: yes

Expandable: yes

Expandable: yes

Expandable: yes

Expandable: no

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Key Considerations When Buying a Driveway Alarm

A. Range (Detection and Receiver)

The first thing you should check when ordering a driveway alarm is the range. This will tell you whether the alarm will work for your home.

There are two types of range to consider: detection range and receiver range.

The detection range is how far the sensor can detect motion. Most driveway alarm motion sensors have a detection range of 30 feet or about 9m. Pricier alarms have a longer detection range up to 15m while cheaper sensors may have a detection range as short as 4m.

The best detection range depends on the size of the area you need to monitor. If it’s just across the driveway, an alarm with a 4-9m range will do. If you want to monitor a big portion of your front yard, you’ll need a sensor that can detect motion further out.

The receiver range is the max distance you can place the sensor from the base unit (receiver). For premium driveway alarms, the receiver range can be as long as half a mile (800m) in places without many obstructions such as trees and buildings.

For cheaper alarms, the receiver range is between 100-200m.

The receiver range for most driveway alarms, even the cheaper ones, is typically more than enough for a majority of homes since you’ll likely be placing the alarm right outside your home.

But if you have a large compound and would like to monitor an area further away from the house, get a long-range alarm.

Note: If you get a smart alarm like the Ring Floodlight Cam, the receiver is your smartphone or tablet and range is unlimited. What you need to worry about is the range of your router.

B. Power

The next thing to check is how the driveway alarm is powered. You have several options here.

  • Rechargeable battery: You recharge the battery after several months. Because the battery has to have a high storage capacity, it can drive up the cost of the alarm. But it may be more convenient than frequently replacing AA batteries.
  • Solar rechargeable battery: Some driveway alarms come with an integrated solar panel that charges the battery. You don’t have to think about recharging the battery or replacing it. Because of the solar panel, driveway alarms with a solar rechargeable battery tend to be pricier.
  • AA batteries: Budget driveway alarms usually have replaceable AA batteries. Because PIR sensors use very little electricity, AA batteries can last for months before you need to replace them.
  • Hardwired: If you want a driveway alarm that has security lights or other features such as a camera integrated, you’ll likely hire an electrician to hardwire it to your home electrical circuit. A battery will not hold enough power to power all the features.

Note: All these power options apply only to the sensor units. The receivers are almost always plugged into a standard wall outlet.

C. Adjustable Sensitivity

One potential downside of a driveway alarm is frequent false alarms from animals, swaying trees and other non-threatening objects.

To reduce false alarms, most driveway alarms allow you to adjust sensitivity. Reducing sensitivity lowers the detection distance of the sensor so that you can be alerted only when there’s someone or a car close to the house.

Cheaper driveway alarms lack adjustable sensitivity settings and can be frustrating especially if squirrels, cats and other small animals frequent your yard.

D. Expandable

Finally, check if the system is expandable, meaning that you can add additional sensors and receivers.

This is handy if you want to monitor additional areas outside your home or get alerted when you are in different rooms.

Most driveway alarms allow a limited number of additional sensors and unlimited additional receivers.

You can have one sensor facing the driveway, another on the sides of the house and another at the back. As for receivers, you can have one in the living room, another in the kitchen and another in the bedrooms so you always know when any of the sensors are triggered.

Best Driveway Alarms: Reviews

1. HOSMART 1/2 Mile Rechargeable Outdoor/Driveway Wireless Motion Alarm System

The Hosmart driveway alarm is our top recommendation for most homes. It has an extra-long range of about 800m that’s more than enough for most homes.

The package includes one outdoor-rated sensor and a plug-in receiver. The sensor has a lithium ion battery that lasts about one year before you need to recharge it. The receiver plugs into a standard wall outlet. You can also run it on 4 AAA batteries.

The sensor has a detection range of 30 feet or about 9m. By adjusting sensitivity, you can reduce the detection distance to 25ft, 20ft or 15ft. This reduces the chances of a false alarm especially in smaller driveways and yards.

You can also adjust the area and angle of focus of the sensor by moving the swivel mount.

If the sensor detects motion, the receiver will alert you with both sound and lights. You can choose from several different chimes. If you have multiple sensors, you can match specific sensors to specific chimes so that you know where motion has been detected.

Something to note is that the variety of chimes is limited. While many drive way alarms offer up to 30 or even 60 different chimes, the Hosmart receiver has only four.

Another area where it is limited is expandability. Most alarms allows you to add 20 or more sensors and unlimited receivers.

With the Hosmart alarm, you can add unlimited receivers but only a max of four sensors. If you want to cover more than four zones around your home, consider one of the other driveway alarms.

But for most homes, the Hosmart driveway alarm is perfect.

What we like about it:

  • Extra-long range.
  • Adjustable sensitivity.
  • Expandable.
  • Easy to install.

2. Ultra Secure DA-600 Wireless Driveway Alarm

The Ultra Secure DA-600 is the best wireless driveway alarm for those who don’t want to recharge or replace batteries.

The DA-600 comes with a rechargeable battery, similar to the Hosmart alarm. But it’s smaller since it recharges more frequently through the integrated solar panel.

The panel is mounted on top of the sensor unit and charges the sensor even on cloudy or rainy days. If there isn’t enough sunshine, there’s a backup USB recharge option.

The DA-600 sensor has a range of about 600m, so you can place it quite a distance away from the house. The detection range is 15m, which is longer than the Hosmart’s detection range.

You can adjust how sensitive the sensor is by reducing the detection range.

The receiver conveniently plugs into a wall outlet. You can select from 35 chimes and adjust volume to one of four levels.

The wide variety of chimes makes it easy to distinguish multiple sensors. You can add up to 32 sensors to increase security around your home. You can also add as many receivers as you want.

What we like about it:

  • Solar rechargeable battery.
  • Long receiver and detection range.
  • Adjustable sensitivity.
  • Plenty of chimes to choose from.

3. PHYSEN Driveway Alarm

If you are looking for a budget driveway alarm, we recommend this one by PHYSEN. It’s about half the cost of the DA-600 alarm.

For the lower price tag, there are a few features and capabilities the PHYSEN driveway alarm sacrifices. The receiver range is much shorter compared to other alarms at 152m or about 500ft.

For most homes, however, 500 feet is still plenty of distance. You can install the sensor on a tree a significant distance away from the house and the receiver will still receive a signal.

The detection range is also much smaller compared to other sensors at just 4m. If you want an alarm that covers a wide area, this is not it.

One feature missing is adjustable sensitivity. The PHYSEN alarm tends to have more false alarms than other alarms.

To reduce false alarms, use the swivel mount to adjust the angle of the lens. Make sure it is level rather than facing downwards. You can also use the swivel mount to focus on specific zones.

For power, the PHYSEN sensor uses four AA batteries. They can last for several months before you need to get new ones.

The receiver plugs into a wall outlet and emits both sound and chimes when the sensor detects movement. You can select from 58 chimes and adjust volume to one of the five levels.

If you want to monitor additional areas around the home, the PHYSEN alarm accepts up to 20 extra sensors and an unlimited number of receivers. You can pair different sensors to specific chimes so you can easily tell which sensor has been triggered.

Overall, we think the PHYSEN driveway alarm is an good deal. Though not as capable as pricier alarms, it offers all the basics you need to keep your home safe.

What we like about it:

  • Low price.
  • Wide range of chimes.
  • Expandable.
  • Easy DIY installation.

4. Bitiwend Driveway Alarm

Bitiwend is another excellent choice if you are on a budget. It has the same limitations as the PHYSEN alarm but offers all the essential basics.

In fact, the two driveway alarms have similar performance specs: 152m receiver range, 4m detection range and no adjustable sensitivity settings.

The Bitiwend sensor is also powered by four AA batteries while the receiver plugs into a wall outlet. You can select 52 chimes (6 less than PHYSEN) and select among four volume levels (1 less than PHYSEN).

You can add up to 20 sensors and match each to a specific chime. As for receivers, you can add an unlimited amount.

For the price, the Bitiwend driveway alarm is a good bargain especially for smaller homes that don’t need the extra-long range of a more expensive alarm system.

What we like about it:

  • Low price.
  • Expandable.
  • Easy installation.
  • Wide range of chimes to choose from.

5. Ring Floodlight Cam

If you don’t mind paying more than double the price of a standard driveway alarm, the Ring Floodlight Cam offers the best all-round security. And thanks to its smart connectivity, you can monitor your home from anywhere in the world on your smartphone, compute or tablet.

The Ring Floodlight Cam packs a lot in one package.

  • Motion detector: Detects motion within a 9m range and automatically alerts you on your device, wherever you are.
  • Motion activated floodlights: Two bright LED lights turn on automatically if the motion detector is activated. You can set the lights to stay on continuously, instead of coming on only when there’s motion.
  • HD camera: You can see a live view of your home from your device, wherever you are. So when you get an alert from the motion detector, check the live view to see who or what has triggered the detector. You can set the camera to automatically start recording when motion is detected but you’ll need to pay for the Ring Protect subscription.
  • Remotely activated siren: Seen a burglar through the live view camera? You can activate the built-in siren remotely from your device to scare them off.
  • Two-way talk: If it’s a neighbour, friend or delivery person who has triggered the motion detector, you can talk to them using the built-in speakers wherever you are. They can also talk to you using the built-in microphone. This is handy if you need to tell the deliveryman to leave the package at the door or tell a friend you are not around.

These are a lot of features and they all need power. A battery won’t cut it. That’s why the Ring Floodlight Cam needs to be hardwired.

The downside of this is that you need to spend more money on an electrician. On the upside, you’ll never have to worry about replacing or charging batteries.

Another downside is that your home will not be protected in case of a power blackout unless you have a whole-house backup power system.

Something else to keep in mind is that you need a strong internet connection. The Ring Floodlight Cam connects to your home network (2.4 GHz) and uses it to send alerts to your device. It’s also what allows you to see a live camera view, talk to people and activate the siren remotely.

The manufacturer recommends a minimum 1Mbps upload speed. For optimal performance, 2Mbps or higher is better.

What we like about it:

  • Smart connectivity – you get alerts on your device wherever you are.
  • Multiple security features – camera, lights, motion detector and siren.
  • Hardwired connection – no batteries to replace or recharge.
  • Compatible with Alexa smart assistant.

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