5 Expert Tips To Choose A Doorbell And Chime

Let's be honest: whether you're one of those people who immediately run to the door because they love receiving unexpected visits or one of those who pretty much hide because they can't stand being disturbed when they're busy, a doorbell is an undeniable necessity… and useful either way!

There are now lots of options when it comes to their design, noise and features. Does this extensive choice make you feel like choosing doorbells & chimes that actually work for you is quite hard? Well, allow us to chime in with our expert tips!

What's the Difference Between a Doorbell and a Chime?

The words 'doorbell' and 'chime' are often used interchangeably, but not knowing the difference between the two could result in buying something that you already own… and leave out the missing piece that you actually need.

  • The doorbell refers to the entire mechanism, and consists of a push-button that can be pressed by visitors outside your house, a chime and, sometimes, the wiring that connects them;

  • The chime is the part of the doorbell that is located inside your house, making a sound whenever the push-button is pressed:

    • it can either be permanently wired and attached to your wall or be portable;

    • while most houses have one chime, it's possible to connect more than one to the same doorbell system.

Long Rectangular Push Button Doorbell
Antique Styled Black Push Button Doorbell
Classic Black Push Button Doorbell
Contemporary Door Chime in Stainless Steel
Bronze Industrial Door Chime
Door Chime in Antique Bronze

How Loud Should My Doorbell Be?

To give you a general idea, an average doorbell chime makes a sound that's around 70/80 dB, which will work in most houses. However:

  • If you have a big house with more than one floor or live with someone who can't hear very well, you should look at a louder doorbell, between 80 and 90 dB;

  • If there's a particular room that's quite far from the main entrance and, when all doors are shut, you find it hard to hear your current doorbell, consider connecting two chimes to your push-button, perhaps a wireless option;

  • If you often spend time in your cellar or attic and are worried that you might not hear it when it rings, you could consider models that are even louder: chimes can be as loud as 140 dB, but bear in mind that they'll be rather unpleasant and irritating if you happen to be quite close to the door when they ring, so it's best to go for adjustable options.

Should I Choose a Wired or Wireless Doorbell & Chime?

  • Wired doorbells are the most traditional option: they're harder to install, but the chances are that your house already has one of these systems (if it doesn't work, it might simply be a matter of replacing the button or chime);

    • these doorbells are usually available in more design options, making it a breeze to match the décor style of your house;
Wired Modern Look Doorbell
Wired Doorbell Kit with Two White Buttons
Wired Lighted Door Chime
Wired Push Button Doorbell
Wired Stainless Steel Push Button Doorbell
  • Wireless doorbells have gained a lot of popularity over the past few years: running on batteries, they're a more modern and versatile choice, as they can be easily moved around to suit your house's layout and your habits (for example, if you sometimes spend a few hours working in your back garden or cellar, you could simply carry it with you);

    • however, wireless doorbells are available in fewer designs, and work better in modern scenarios;

    • they're a safer option if you're currently renting and aren't allowed to make this type of changes to the house, or if you don't want to install something that you'll have to dismantle once you move out.

Wireless Push Button Doorbell in White and Blue
Wireless Remote Control Doorbell Kit
Wireless Battery Operated Doorbell Kit
Wireless Video Doorbell Push Button Kit
Wireless Video Doorbell in White and Black
Wireless Doorbell Kit with 2 Pushbuttons

What Does a Smart Doorbell Do?

A smart doorbell is connected to your smartphone, and usually includes a camera to let you see who's outside your door and even speak to them;

  • Many smart doorbells include a motion sensor that alerts you of your visitors' presence before they can even press the bell button;

  • These doorbells are a popular choice among modern professionals who value commodities and are used to connecting smart house appliances to their phones.

Smart Wifi Video Push Button Doorbell
White Smart Doorbell Push Button
White and Black Wifi Smart Doorbell
Black Video Wifi Smart Doorbell
Smart Video Doorbell with Light
White Smart Wireless Doorbell Kit

What Style of Doorbell or Chime Should I Get for my House?

As well as its obvious functionality, doorbells and chimes can also become conscious decorative statements by complementing the style of your house:

  • Consider your external wall before choosing a push button: is there an accent color that you can match, perhaps that of your house numbers? Are you already going for a specific theme (for example, with your external wall décor)?

  • As for the chime, look for one that would work well in your entryway (what colors and materials have you already got?), creating a light and dark contrast against the wall if you want it to stand out;

  • Wired doorbells and chimes are better suited for traditional décors;

  • For more modern vibes, you should go for a wireless doorbell or, even better, a smart model.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.