Door Bell Buying Guide

A doorbell is a signaling system that will let you know when someone is at the door. Although visitors can simply knock on the door, there is a chance you may have appliances, such as a vacuum cleaner running, or you may be in another part of the house and don’t hear them knocking on the door. Doorbells provide a sound throughout the house so that you will always know when there is someone at your door.

This device consists of a small button outside the entrance to your home. When someone presses the button, this activates a built-in transmitter located inside. This transmitter then sends a radio signal to then receiver, which activates a buzzer, a chime or a speaker.

Some people love their doorbells so much they get custom sounds or music to play whenever someone pushes their doorbell.The traditional doorbell chime is common, however the options are much more plentiful than you can imagine. With the advent of video surveillance, you can now get a video doorbell with a little camera that looks out over your front door area and transmits the signal back to your room for you to see who is at the door before actually having to answer it. If you have a gated entrance to your house you can have an intercom doorbell where people can talk to you before they even get into your property.

Beyond just switching the sounds that your doorbell makes, you can replace the doorbell design or doorbell cover with something unique or personal. There are many brass, steel, and even wood doorbells to choose from. Wiring a doorbell is also not that complicated once it’s in place. Much like a lighting fixture, a doorbell can be replaced within minutes as you take out the and put in the new. You just have to get a few wires setup properly and your new doorbell fixture should work just fine. You should put the doorbell in an easy to spot location somewhere around the door itself. If you are going to change the sound or chiming mechanism on your doorbell, test out the unit to make sure you can hear it in most rooms in your house. Several people can’t hear their doorbell when they are upstairs or too far away from the front door. Doorbell chimes are sometimes hidden on the interior of your home but they don’t have to be an eyesore. Modern doorbell chimes are stylish and are designed to fit into contemporary homes. Hardware stores will often carry a nice collection of sizes, shapes, and styles when it comes to doorbells. The wireless doorbell systems are a nice invention given that not everyone has their doorbell chime located in a spot where they can hear it easily.


There are different doorbells depending on the type of sound you want. One that chimes uses a solenoid, which is a specialized electromagnet with a coiled wire surrounding a piston. The magnetically conductive metal in this piston can move backward or forward. Pressing the button slides the iron core to the center of the coiled wire. This causes the tine bar to vibrate and produces the sound of chimes. It will keep ringing as long as you have your finger pressing the button.

In electronic devices of this kind, there are no tone bars or electromagnets. This type is wired into the electrical circuits in the home. When you press the button on the outside, it triggers a digitally recorded sound, which could be a voice, a song or music. There are some of these devices that do not need to be connected to the writing as well.

Although most homes use the conventional types of doorbells, the electronic models are gaining in popularity. They are also strong and sturdy and will last for a long time.

Doorbell Chimes

A doorbell chime is the part of the doorbell system that fits somewhere in the interior of your house. You can get them as a wireless model (see below), but the majority of houses work just fine with a wired doorbell unit. The most popular kind of door chimes these days are those that are programmed with music. Some chimes in the west available online allow you program songs into the system from your stereo or mp3 player.

Wireless Doorbells

When it comes to wireless doorbells, you can select from chime only, flash only, or chime & flash together. Several owners mention working in basements or backyards where the sound doesn’t always travel so well to so the flash feature was nice to have. The wireless doorbell is easy to install and works perfectly.

Benefits or Pros

The wireless doorbell has a number of benefits that all homeowners should consider:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Practical
  • More flexible than wired models
  • Easy installation
  • Good sound quality
  • Great substitute when wired doorbells are unavailable.
Problems or Cons

There are also some wireless doorbell problems. If you are looking at buying a wireless doorbell, be sure you are taking these problems into consideration:

  • Limited Frequency Ranges: The majority of models go to limited distance, so it is a good idea to see if you will need further ranges. Other obstacles for wireless doorbells can be additional walls, different floors, metal walls, etc. If these will be an issue, consider: a. Buying a long range wireless doorbell. These can extend more specially with intercom versions or
    b. Buying a wireless doorbell amplifier or extender.
  • External Frequency Conflicts: Some wireless doorbells will be impacted by external frequencies. These can come from garage door openers, car alarms, or even other wireless doorbell units. For this reason, you should choose models that have several wireless frequencies. This feature will allow you to block out external frequency conflicts.
  • Batteries require some upkeep. Wireless doorbells tend to have batteries in the button and the alarm. (Plug in versions only have it in the button). For this reason, you will from time to time need to put in replacements. This tends to be a minor issue though as batteries can usually run for several years before new ones are needed.
  • Small number of wireless doorbell designs. Since wireless doorbells are a relatively new invention, the current design options are limited. Doorbell buttons and covers seem to be limited to mainly generic ones with white or black covers with a transparent or colored button. Bell alarms provide more options as they rival wired versions in function, looks, and style. Probably the most stylish wireless doorbell systems are made by Jacob Jensen. Still, more new designs are coming out each year and with increased interest in wireless doorbells it is only a matter of time before they rival wired versions in design quality as well.

Doorbell Button

Perhaps the easiest thing to change on any doorbell system is the doorbell button or faceplate that goes around the button itself. The doorbell buttons are normally priced depending on size and materials. They are easy to install, usually with just a few screws to fit into your wall.

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