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Driveway Monitors

A driveway monitor provides both security and convenience, by alerting you of visitors and turning on lights when you arrive home. A driveway monitor uses a sensor, which is either installed underneath the driveway or mounted on a post beside the driveway. The sensor detects changes in the magnetic field caused when a vehicle passes by. (Only large objects such as vehicles disrupt the magnetic field, so animals or people won't set off the sensors.) When these changes are detected, the sensor transmits a signal to a radio receiver installed inside the home. The receiver turns on lamps, emits an audio alert, or activates a flashing light on the receiver. Many monitors can also be linked to specially designed accessories, such as phone dialers or strobe lights.

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Varieties of Driveway Monitors

Most driveway monitors are easy to install, and can be put in place by the average homeowner. There are both wired and wireless driveway monitors; most use batteries for both the sensor and receiver, and can be linked to other elements of a home, such as lighting, appliances, or security systems. Many have several different security codes, to reduce the possibility of interference from a neighbor's driveway monitor. Driveway monitors range from basic models to more sophisticated, customizable versions. Some can automatically turn on landscaping lights, providing a lighted for visitors to follow. Others can turn on the television to a pre-programmed channel. Some can distinguish between entering and departing vehicles, using a different alert for each, and others can activate the home's security system or sound the burglar alarm when a car approaches. Some models use a rubber hose installed on top of a driveway, emitting an audio alert when a vehicle drives over it. Other versions detect metal, and will alert a homeowner of any vehicle or metal object that approaches within several feet of the sensor. Some have a beam, which, when disturbed by either a car or a person, will sound an alert. Some monitors have multiple receivers, which can be placed throughout the home, and many also have voice capabilities, allowing the receivers to double as walkie-talkies. For larger properties, there are monitors that can be assigned to multiple zones, allowing for whole-home security.

The Benefits of Driveway Monitors

Having notification of visitors gives you more time to prepare for deliveries and arrivals, and prevents intruders from approaching unannounced. And because many driveway monitors turn on lights inside and outside the home, you can use them to make your own arrival home safer.

Also see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Driveway Alarms and Driveway Sensors.