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Since humanity started living in homes with a specific entrance point now known as doors, there are different ways and techniques that have been used to alert the arrival of a visitor at the door.
Hefty iron knockers were attached on the door to act as a doorbell indicating someone is at the door. Then came complex, mechanical systems that were used to allow visitors to pull and ring a bell at the central bell panel. A little later in 1983, the first electric doorbell was invented, which changed the complete perspective of ringing at the door.
Today, there are a variety of electric doorbells that use different technologies.
Looking to install something new, replace or upgrade your current doorbell? Here is a guideline that will help you in choosing and installing a doorbell with the best and most suitable technology for your home.
Types Of Doorbells
Recent advances in technology have made modern-day doorbells much more sophisticated. There are three different types of doorbell technologies available in the market and they include:
The wired doorbell is a great way to update your home with old-fashioned aesthetics. This doorbell does not need batteries and will work anywhere you have an electrical outlet. The sound is pleasant and non-intrusive, and is guaranteed not to disturb your daily routine.
Advantages of using a wired doorbell:
• Hard wired doorbells cost less compared to the wireless version.
• You do not need to worry about range because it can be placed anywhere around your home.
Wireless doorbells are a modern convenience. With this wireless doorbell, you won’t have to run back and the front door or window just to see who is at the door. Also, it affords you the convenience of being connected to your front door whether you're home or not.
Advantages of using a wireless doorbell:
• Wireless doorbells are quite useful from a security point of view because they allow wireless video integration, enabling you to view footage of your security camera on your phone.
• Installation is easy and fast as there are not cables involved.
• Wireless doorbells allow you to have multiple integration options like mobile apps.
• Wireless doorbells give you many options to install chime anywhere in the building because it's wire-free.
The smart doorbell is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your home security system. It has a motion sensor that sends you alerts when activity is detected. It also lets you interact with visitors from anywhere in the world via live video streaming on a smartphone or tablet.
Smart doorbells also share video clips of the most recent crime in your neighbourhood so you can stay informed about what’s happening around you. A smart doorbell is also called a ring video doorbell.
Advantages of using a smart doorbell:
• Whenever sensors get activated, it will send you an alert before someone gets close to your door.
• You can monitor activity even if you are not at home.
• Video doorbells can record and even store snapshots in case motion sensors stop working or are tripped.
• They provide clear HD videos that help in identifying the visitor without opening the door.
• The video doorbell comes with an Infrared feature that helps it have a clear view even in the dark.
• You can talk to any stranger who is at the door without opening the door.
• You can answer anyone at the door whether or not you are at home.
Parts Of A Doorbell
A doorbell is more than just a bell. It's the steel, plastic, and wires that make up the device that alerts you to the presence of a visitor at your door. But if any of these parts are broken, don't work properly, or have worn out, it won't let you know someone's there.
A doorbell is typically made up of three parts: the push button, the chime, and the transformer that connects these two parts.
A push button is a small control that is used to activate a doorbell. It often features a button or switch, which when pressed, sends an electric signal to the chime in order to ring it. Pulling the lever opens a circuit and connects to the wires to transmit an electric signal. It is a doorbell component that can be mounted to the outside of the house.
The doorbell chime is a small device that can be installed anywhere inside the home. It is mainly made of four pieces of metal wire coiled around a small cylinder, which makes the sound when it's shaken. When somebody rings or presses the button on the chime, it produces a sound. There are three main parts inside the chime:
The terminal is basically a central hub of the chime. Wires coming from the push button and the transformer connect at the chime. There are another three types of terminals in it named “rear”, “trans”, and “front”.
The rear terminal is the part where the rear doorbell push button, if any, connects to the chime. The front terminal is a part where the front doorbell push button is connected to the chime. And the trans terminal is a part where the transformer connects to the chime.
Resonators are two metal bars that are placed below and above the terminals of the doorbell chime. They are tuned to the note of the ring of the doorbell and as they strike they produce the notes.
It's an electromagnet made up of a coil of wire that produces a magnetic field as an electric current passes through the wires. As soon as the electric current runs from the push button to a doorbell chime terminal, an electromagnetic field is produced, which pulls the solenoid in the downward direction.
Hence a strike is made on the lower resonator of the chime by a hammer wrapped by the coil. When the electric current subsides, another strike is made on the upper resonator as the solenoid and hammer return.
Some doorbell chimes contain a small barrier that works to block the solenoids from hitting the upper chime. This barrier helps you to differentiate between the front doorbell and the rear doorbell.
Doorbells require a minimum amount of voltage to operate. It's not possible to connect a doorbell directly to a building electrical system. This is where a doorbell transformer comes in. It connects the doorbell to the electrical system and allows it to operate at a lower voltage. Doorbell transformers have two screw terminal points. One is connected to the doorbell push button and the other to the doorbell chime.
How To Install A Wired Doorbell
As discussed earlier, three components are involved in a standard wired doorbell installation process: a push-button, chime, and transformer. These parts are available in the market separately or as a single kit.
The wired doorbell is usually installed in a home during construction. Then, an electrician makes a complete electrical wiring system for the home. If a building does not have electrical wiring for doorbell installation, then it requires wires to run through the walls. This will be a costly process because you need to hire an electrician.
• If you have an active electrical system, first shut off its power as you need to connect your doorbell directly to electrical power system.
• Put the wired doorbell push button at the door of your building where it will be accessed easily by everyone.
• Put chime inside of the building where you want or length of wire allows you.
• Attach the doorbell push button wire and chime wire to the screw terminals of the transformer.
• Switch on your electrical power supply and your wired doorbell is ready to go.
How To Install A Wireless Doorbell
If a building does not have a doorbell wiring then a wireless doorbell is a better option. It is also a good option if you would like to put a portable chime in any specific room of your home.
Some wireless doorbells come with more than one chime box, so you place one in several rooms of a building. Check the signal distance limit of your preferred brand. The typical range is between 700 and 1200 feet. Installation of a wireless doorbell is very simple as it does not involve wiring.
• If you are replacing a wired doorbell with a wireless version, there is no need to remove the old one. You can leave it up if you want.
• Attach the doorbell push button on the door at a point where it can be held with screws.
• To simplify battery replacement, some wireless doorbell push buttons come with snap-in and snap-out options. Confirm that your push button has snapped into place.
• After installing the push button, put the chime box where it is convenient for you. Ensure the chosen location has a good signal range, and you are good to go.
How To Install A Smart Doorbell
A smart doorbell has WIFI capability and can connect to the internet through your router. You can monitor visitors coming to your door through your smartphone, PC, or tablet. Smart doorbells can be wired to run off AC or battery voltage.
There are different smart doorbell options that you can install at your home. Some have intercom capabilities, a camera with or without night vision, and motion sensors that alert you through your smartphone when someone is at your door.
• Install the doorbell push button.
• Sync your smart doorbell push button to your WIFI router and then your PC, tablet, or smartphone.
• For steps on how to sync push button to your devices, read the instructions provided on the smart doorbell manual. It will guide you on how to download and install an app to connect with the system and monitor the features the doorbell provides remotely.
• Once all the components are placed correctly and installation is complete, check that all the features of your smart doorbell are working properly.