Just about every single home has a doorbell of some sort. The great thing about having a doorbell is that it politely lets the household member(s) know when an expected, or even unexpected, guest has arrived. On the other hand, someone knocking on the door can be deemed sudden, demanding, and at times, frightening while the beautiful, alluring sound of a doorbell can be considered peaceful yet alerting.
In case you’re curious about learning more about doorbells and chimes, or even if you’re planning on installing one soon, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk more about doorbells and chimes, what makes them similar and unique, and what you type of doorbell you should choose.
There are two main categories of doorbells: wired and wireless.
Wired and wireless doorbells are exactly what they sound like. Wired doorbells require wiring while wireless doorbells don’t have wiring involved. While both wired and wireless doorbells ultimately do the same thing, there are things that make them vary. For instance, wired doorbells are hooked up directly to the chime while wireless doorbells connected to a radio signal. While this is the main difference between the two, there are many pros and cons that set them apart from one another.
- Come in both traditional and modern designs in many shapes, colors, and materials
- Offers loud, high- quality sound
- Often cheaper than a wireless doorbell upfront
- Low maintenance
- Virtually permanent when installed
- Must be fixed or replaced by an electrician when malfunctioning
- Potential interference
- Require wiring
- Easy installation with little or no skill
- Lots of features to choose from
- Can easily be moved around elsewhere
- Can accommodate large homes if an extender is installed
- Easy to change the doorbell chime or personalize for different rooms
- No interference
- Don’t require wiring
- Usually offered in plainer styles (e.g., solid white); not many too pick from
- Higher-end options with features such as Wi-Fi are much more expensive
- Batteries must be changed about every two years
- Not all wireless doorbells offer a low battery indicator
- Have less longevity than their wireless counterparts
- Have signal operating distance
While it may seem like wireless doorbells are the “winner” here, there really isn’t a better pick. For some people, the more attractive aesthetics outbeat the versatility of wireless doorbells. Others prefer function over looks. In the end, each type of bell has its pros and cons.
Doorbells offer have many different features, including a plethora of chimes.
You might think the only feature doorbells offer is a variation of chimes – from traditional tunes, to modern ding-dong tones, to even holiday songs – but you’re wrong. The number of features some doorbells may have is jaw-dropping. For many, a normal, pleasant chime is a feature in itself; others may find, however, that they enjoy their doorbell to have many other functions, such as the following:
- Weatherproof buttons – Ideal for doorbells near pools, fountains, or other bodies/features of water. Also ideal for wet, moist, or frequently-rainy climates
- Lighted buttons – Great for nighttime so visitors can find your doorbell and know it exists to begin with. A light-up doorbell can also help indicate whether or not your doorbell’s wireless system is working.
- Motion-sensored technology – Can alert the homeowner that someone is nearing their door based on motion alone
- Video or intercom – Allows the homeowner to see who’s at the door before they answer and/or communicate via voice with the person at the door to greet them or ask them why they’re there
- Wi-Fi – May allow the homeowner to check who’s at the door speak with them verbally, and even know if someone is at the door to begin with without being in the house, via the comfort of their computer, phone, or other technological device thanks to Wi-Fi. Often allows infrared vision for nighttime as well
- Notifications/mobile alerts – Can alert the homeowner via their phone, tablet, or other device that someone is at the door whether it be after they ring the bell or due to motion- or voice-sensored technology
Not every doorbell you come across may have the features that you want. However, if you find a doorbell you absolutely love, but if anything, many want the aesthetics and the chime to be most notable when selecting a doorbell.
However, if the doorbell you pick out lacks the security and mobile-friendly features that you’re looking for, you can always install a security camera on your doorstep in addition to the doorbell. That way, you can still monitor who’s at your door from a technological device and often even speak with them verbally before opening the door.
For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, having a doorbell with features other than just a chime, such as motion-sensored technology, video, or notifications/mobile alerts, can ensure the home owner knows someone is at the door from the start. Many doorbells even have chimes that are adjustable to an appropriate level of sound for the homeowner, whether the need be quieter or louder than the average doorbell. As well as this, there are doorbell frequencies, lengths, and general variations that make them more or less suitable for certain individuals.
Wired or wireless: Which is for you?
Whether you currently have a doorbell but wish to replace it or are deciding on getting a new one installed for the first time, it’s important that you know whether a wired or a wireless doorbell would be more relevant for your needs.
Go for a wired doorbell if you…
- Want more styles to choose from
- Already have wiring available for a doorbell
- Want a doorbell with greater longevity
Go for a wireless doorbell (chime) if you…
- Want more features to choose from
- Wish to avoid adding wiring if you don’t already have such
- Want more versatility with the chimes you pick and switch out
Personalization-wise, both wired and wireless doorbells offer their own benefits. Wired doorbells, as mentioned, are highly-noted for their versatility in aesthetics while wireless doorbells are loved for their versatility in function.
Money-wise, wired doorbells are sometimes the more affordable option; however, if a professional has to come out to inspect, fix, or replace your wired doorbell, the costs may add up quicker than having to replace a simple battery as with a wireless bell. Then again, some batteries can be pricier than paying for electricity to run your doorbell but not more affordable than having an electrician come out to maintain your bell.
When it comes down to deciding what type of doorbell you want, don’t forget to also consider the style, shape, size, style, and color/finish of your bell along with its features and price most suitable for you, your pocket, and the style and appearance of your home.
While for some people, a doorbell is a very minuscule detail of their home, for others, it signifies gathering, family, and togetherness. For that reason, having the perfect doorbell and chime can be important for many. After all, it let’s one know that a loved one or the delivery man or woman is at the door!
Make sure that when you pick out your hard-wired or wireless doorbell, as well as the most relevant chime, keep our little guide in mind. There are many styles, features, and types of bells and chimes to opt for. Regardless of whether you reside on a large, modern-styled or a traditional, tiny property, there is a doorbell and a chime out there perfect for you.
If you need more interior or exterior design-related tips and tricks, check out the rest of our blog posts .