How To Choose Doorbells And Chimes

Whether you’re building a new home, or updating your current one, finding the right doorbell and chimes for your needs can be confusing and stressful. This is due to the overwhelming number of products and types on the market.

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To help you in your search, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the right doorbells and chimes to suit your needs.

What Types of Doorbells and Chimes Are There?

Perhaps historically, one of the simplest devices in your home, doorbells in recent years, has advanced technologically speaking to provide much more than just the sound of a bell or chime when someone visits your front door. Below we’ll give you the scoop on the different types available and the benefits of each.

Wired Doorbells

Typical wired doorbell systems use a switch to make a chime sound via a button mechanism installed beside the door. A terminal is connected to the switch with wires through a transformer that controls the voltage usually between 120 to 240-volt AC – 8 to 24 volts, this conserves electricity and diminishes the risk of fire.

Ultimately, wires run from the switch to a transformer then to a chime unit located centrally so it can be heard in any room. If you are a homeowner, you may want to consider a wired doorbell for its low maintenance, dependability, and long-lasting nature.

Advantages of wired doorbells:

  • Wired doorbells are the most common type of doorbells for homes.
  • These doorbells are usually wired during the building process.
  • Maintenance-free.
  • They do not require batteries.
  • Dependable and long-lasting up to 10 years or more.
  • Lots of decorative styles and materials options, including metal and plastic.
  • Easy installation, only if your home is already wired for a doorbell.
  • No issues with range or interference as with wireless or smart doorbells.
  • Traditional chime options are available.
Black Traditional Aluminum Push Button Doorbell
Brown Lizard Bronze Push Button Doorbell
Gray Rectangular Metal Push Button Doorbell
Black Simple Bronze Push Button Doorbell
Brown Bronze Bear Push Button Doorbell
Orange Green Resin Pineapple Push Button Doorbell

Wireless Doorbells

Wireless doorbells are battery-operated using radio waves to connect to a transmitter from the door-side button to the bell or chime speaker unit inside. This does away with the need for hard wiring and drilling into the exterior facia of the house. These are the best option for renters unless you have special permission from your landlord.

Features and benefits of wireless doorbells:

  • Due to no hardwiring, they can be taken when you move.
  • No holes or changes to the house’s structure needed.
  • Easy installation.
  • Sound range extenders are available for larger homes.
  • Due to radio signal operation, wireless doorbells have a robust range suitable for most homes.
  • Up to 2-year battery life.
  • Variety of chimes and tones available.
  • Lighted doorbell versions are available.
  • Decorative and color options are plentiful.
White Modern Plastic Wireless Doorbell With Chime
White Modern Plastic Wireless Doorbell Kit
White Modern Plastic Wireless Doorbell Kit
White Modern Plastic Wireless Doorbell Kit
Brown Classic Plastic Wireless Doorbell Kit
Black Modern Plastic Wireless Doorbell Kit

Wired & Wireless Doorbells: Shapes, Colors, & Materials

While doorbells are a tiny element within the grand scale of decorating your home, there is a decorative nature to them. As such, you can customize your doorbell by selecting a button and plate to suit your style. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials.

  • Doorbell buttons are usually are oval or round and set within the center of a cover that is rectangular, oval, round, or other common shapes.

  • Most plastic doorbell buttons come in standard builder-grade colors of black, white, or off white. However, you can find specialty buttons that are backlit in a wide range of colors to fit your desire.

  • Doorbell covers come in various materials and finishes. Metal covers can be found in brass, bronze, gold, silver, nickel, and pewter. Covers are also available in wood, plastic, and porcelain.

Be sure to measure the area that will be exposed if you are replacing an existing wired doorbell, so you find a plate to cover any unpainted areas or exposed wiring.

Can I have a unique chime for my doorbell?

In addition to the traditional chiming or ding-dong sound, you will find doorbell systems in both wireless and wired varieties that play songs, melodies, sound effects, animal sounds, recorded messages, and more.

Can the sound quality and range be adjusted to the size of my house?

Sound extenders are available and can extend the range of sound for 300 to 500 feet. Some wireless systems come with multiple speakers for large or multi-story homes to extend the sound to all areas of the house.

How much do wired and wireless doorbells cost?

These doorbells can range from $20 to $350 depending upon the quality and features included in the doorbell of choice. Plastic models with no bells and whistles will be on the low end. While wired classic wood units with brass chimes can run top dollar.

What Are Smart Doorbells?

As with much of today’s smart home technology, smart doorbells are connected to your smartphone or laptop via the internet. In addition to alerting you with a sound when someone visits your front door, many smart doorbells have a security camera feature with a motion detector. Smart doorbells are sold in wired and wireless forms to suit your needs. Wired units easily connect to a junction box with a flush mount.

Many consumers choose smart doorbells with cameras for the security they offer. These devices have recently and very quickly gained popularity as a top seller in home security products. The easiest to install and operate is the wireless Wi-Fi doorbell with a camera. They are battery-powered and portable with an array of options.

The camera doorbells give you the ability to view who is approaching your home or is at your door through the camera positioned within your doorbell. An app you download to your smartphone allows you to view at any time while in your home or away. You will receive an alert when the camera detects motion.

White Black Metal Plastic Smart Doorbell
Black Modern Metal Smart Doorbell
Black Modern Metal Smart Doorbell
Black Modern Metal Smart Doorbell
Black Modern Metal Wifi Video Doorbell
White Black Metal Plastic Smart Doorbell

What are the features and benefits of smart doorbell cameras?

Depending upon the brand and unit chose some wire features and benefits of smart doorbells include:

  • Provides real-time access to who is approaching your home or trying to enter it at any given time.
  • Provides high-resolution images day or night in case there is a crime, and the perpetrator needs to be verified.
  • Records and stores 24/7.
  • Provides a 180-degree field of vision so you can see further around the outside of the front of the house.
  • Camera has night vision capabilities.
  • Weather-resistant.
  • Many brands and models to choose from.
  • Contemporary clean design and style common across all brands.
  • A two-way talk feature allows you to talk back and forth with the visitor at your door.

How much do smart doorbells cost?

Just as with wired and wireless types, smart doorbells range in price depending on quality and features from $99 to $450+.