General Information About Doorbells
Doorbells (or door bells) is a general term many may use when referring to wired doorbells, wireless doorbells, doorbell push buttons, or even buzzers for doorbells. We even have "door chimes for business" which are powerful, long range doorbell kits designed for business use.
What's the difference between a battery door bell & plug-in door chimes for wireless doorbells?
When referencing wireless chime or wireless doorbells, the difference is in the receiver. Both categories use a battery-operated push button, but the plug-in chime uses a receiver that plugs into a standard wall outlet. Battery-operated systems use batteries to power the receiver. In many cases, you can mix and match battery-powered and plug-in receivers when manufactured by the same company (check with us first!). Another factor to check is some battery operated door bells like the LRA-DCRX is powered by alkaline batteries, but there's also a plugin transformer available so you can plug the receiver in.
There's also a portable doorbell receiver compatible with the ERA series of products that runs off of a rechargeable battery pack that includes a plug in charger. The standby time of the batteries is up to 6 days and when the batteries are low, simply plug in the charger. The door bell receiver will continue to operate while the batteries are recharging.
Do I need a wireless or wired chime?
The great question that's often asked. Wired systems typically mean the push button is wired to the receiver. Wireless systems use radio signals between the push button and the receiver. When the wireless doorbell push button is pressed, the it sends a radio signal to the receiver which then chimes. A great advantage of wireless door chimes is they are expandable.
For example, if you need to hear the doorbell in an upstairs bedroom, get another receiver. Many have different types of transmitters and sensor other than push buttons. For example, in the ERA series of products, there are outdoor driveway sensors, indoor motion sensor or sensor for motion detection for entry alerts for business and homes, push buttons, and even a door contact to provide an open door alarm.
Wireless door bells sometimes get a bad rap because inferior products do not have the range needed in larger homes or to penetrate building materials such as brick, stucco, and concrete. Most of the wireless chime on 18doorbell.com have a range of up to 1,000 ft., with many, such as the ERA series, having a range of up to 4,000 ft.
Wired Door Bells typically need a wired doorbell transformer, a wired doorbell push button, and the wired door chime to work. Almost all homes in the USA were built with a wired doorbell installed in their home. However, over the years, the door bell may stop working, or becoming harder to hear. If you need to place a wired chime, simply purchase the chime and replace the existing one. Same goes with a push button.
What are long-range door chimes for business?
Most residential chimes have a range of up to 150 ft. from a transmitter (push button) to the receiver. This is a line of sight, with no interference. Larger homes and businesses with thick concrete walls require more power, which is where longer-range products are necessary.
How can I hear my existing wired system better? How to Make My Wired Doorbell Louder?
Extend-a-chimes or doorbell extenders are great options. A small transmitter wires into your existing chime transformer and when the button is pressed, this transmitter sends a wireless signal to a battery-powered or plug-in receiver. This allows you to place new receivers throughout your home to allow you to hear the chime better.
Is it hard to wire a doorbell?
We recommend hiring an electrician to install a new system. If you have an existing system and have identified which part is broken, it's not too difficult to replace that part. However, because you are dealing with electricity, we recommend a licensed electrician. The first step is to identify the problem, i.e.., what part is not working correctly. If you determine the push button is broken, see our article about replacing it here. If the wired chime itself is broken, take a look at the article above. Most wired door chimes in the USA come installed with a push button for the front door. However, most homes have more than just a front door, you may also want a push button for the back door or a side door of your home. In this case, adding an additional wired doorbell button for more than your front door is easy as most home wired door chime systems are already wired for a second or back door push button.
I have a loud shop and need a store door chime. What do you recommend?
Because this is a commercial application, we recommend a long-range system. The ERA-UTDCR which has a 4,000 ft. range (with an option for a flashing strobe light) is the perfect choice for this application. You may also want to read about the ERA-UTDCR by Safeguard Supply, our best selling store doorbell kit.