“ Brand: Doorman / Product Type: Home Security „
The product being reviewed is one that is simple yet a very effective household gadget. An innovative idea that is so trouble-free when maintaining & installing as well as very easy to use. The plug in portable doorbell is a modernised household concept and one that is fast becoming more popular within our homes. One no longer has to opt for the old conventional doorbells - Instead they are now being replaced by wires-free, bell push & an easy to use plug-in device. A stylish chime box receiver unit that simply plugs into any household socket and uses mains electricity. A genius of an idea that if you haven`t yet cottoned on then what are you waiting for.
If your one of those people who likes the sound of someone knocking and banging on the door then look away. I on the other hand DON`T therefore I just had to invest in one these and more so since my existing bell was now showing signs of rust and the push button was starting to stick. Plug in portable doorbells are not household gadgets that can only be bought in one of those innovation magazines; you know the ones. The small magazine that slips out in between all that junk mail when reading the News of the World on a Sunday morning. They can be virtually found any where these days, your local Argos, web sites, B&Q, Home Base & whats more they come in array of styles, colours & features as well as a huge variation in price. The cheapest I have come across thus far is £8.00 and the most expensive I have seen is £65.
[I want to buy a portable doorbell not a mobile phone]
Thats right folks a simple thing as a doorbell can be quite daunting when confronted with so many on offer & as the sub title suggests , thats exactly what I told the sales assistant when enquiring about a few brand names. So when hunting for one of these beauties remember its not just about DING DONG .. DING DONG - the plug in portable doorbells are far more creative than that. A quick insight on what lies behind this fast becoming trend and ways in which you can narrow your search to suit your needs & lifestyle.
I know the product in question is a simple doorbell and so for the majority of people £65 is absurd money and I would tend to agree. Now picture a different scenario , you see another bell chime for say £48 & yet again the majority would say thats pretty expensive as well. This is exactly what the consumer will be confronted with when looking to buy a plug in portable doorbell - a wide spectrum of prices starting as low as £8.00 and easily as high as £65 plus.
So why is the price gap so wide?
[Customise your own plug in portable doorbell]
The answer to the above question is due to the different styles and array of features that some of these plug in portable doorbells come with. So if your looking to purchase one of these, believe it or not you should approach it the same way as if you would be buying some modern appliance no matter how basic the concept of a door chime may seem to you. You should be buying one that suits your needs, environment and more importantly your budget. Some of the more expensive styles on offer come equipped with fancy features such as:
Plug in & Portable
CD Quality Chimes
10 Plus Melodies
Decorative grey Fascia
Visual Icons / Alarms
Does one really need all these additional features for a simple doorbell?
Most defintely NOT - So heres a quick guide to narrow your search and hopefully this little bit of insight will save you money as well come away much the wiser on an inventive idea that is fast becoming the norm in peoples homes.
Lets take the range feature for example: One that needs mentioning first as this is a major price booster. Those with large homes and very big gardens would benefit from buying a plug in doorbell that has a 200m range than someone who lives in a small flat or apartment who may only need a 25m range. Always remember that the metre range will boost the price up therefore keep this in mind before purchasing as you may not need all that scope.
More expensive or better chime boxes are sold with plug sockets on them allowing you to use your main socket as normal. Normally with this type of plug in doorbell the receiver unit tends to be more bulky looking so it does stick out a bit from the wall. This style may not appeal to some and you may even find it more of an obstacle on the wall and so would rather opt for a slim line look receiver unit instead. On the other hand you may lack wall sockets around your home so a plug in doorbell with a socket attached to it would suit your needs more. Well worth considering as that one extra socket could make the difference.
You also have an assortment of chimes on offer - some styles offer as low as two and others as high as ten chimes. The more chimes the more expensive the doorbell its that simple. If you ask me ten melodies is far too many and besides no matter how many chimes your receiver unit has you can only hear one harmony at a time hence why pay more for a variety of tunes. - Not worth it.
You have chimes and you have CD quality chimes a big difference in audio output and a huge difference in price. The difference being £20 plus. You have to decide which suits your needs and budget but chimes without the CD quality do a perfect job if you ask me - giving out a clear audible sound chime and one that can easily be heard without any problems as all come equipped with a Hi/Low volume control on the receiver plug in unit. So taking into account the above as well the plug in portable doorbells are designed to allow you to move them in any area of your home, - simply no restrictions. The sound quality of the chime suddenly becomes irrelevant , as this household gadget can follow you everywhere - you will never miss out on a caller at your front door.
Some of these cool household gadgets come with flashing lights very useful for noisy environments, for the hard of hearing or the visually impaired. The flashing light they give off can be bought in various colours - bright red, to a rich blue or even a glowing white. A jazzy aluminous feature that will cost you extra - not only do they look nice but they also play a significant role within the home environment.
Some also come as a twin pack: Meaning you get two products in one - A single plug in doorbell as well as a portable chime. Slightly more expensive if you opt for one of these but they are value for money - giving you more alternatives on exact location and position in the home as well as being able to leave the other receiver unit in a fixed area of the home. This would suit large homes with huge gardens & noisy environments - no good for small dwellings as you will not use to its full potential and why pay more for one of these models when you have no use for the additional portable chime. - A single plug in doorbell will be just as effective to cover your entire home range.
[So which model did I end up buying?]
With all this knowledge at my fingertips and having looked closely at the array of portable doorbells on offer I ended up buying the Lindam Sight & Sound plug in door chime. The jazzy flashing strobe light just pulled me in, for me that particular feature was the main selling point - not only would it come in useful but I am also a sucker when it comes to colourful lights , especially in a dark ambiance room. Also if your like me who owns a dog that constantly barks and everything and everyone, whether it be a cat on the garden fence or some person/neighbour walking pass my home, even the sound of fireworks turns by dog into a little wild bundle. I own a small king Charles that has funny ways, he enjoys barking into the air when he hears the fireworks explode. - many would hide but not my dog. So many a times I have missed out on callers at my front door due to his barking antics. The light feature then was going to be useful - when taking on house chores such as vacuum cleaning, running a bath, doing it a bit of gardening, using a lawn mower, even a water feature in a garden can block other sounds off. Everyday household activities can now be taken on with confidence without having to worry about not hearing the doorbell.
So evidently the flashing blue strobe light feature was one then kept me interested & so I continued my curiosity to find out more - disregarding most of the non-flashing chime receivers on sale. Also equipped with the following features:
Flashing Strobe Light - On/Off Switch on device
One single chime receiver device that plugs directly into a 13 amp socket
Wires-free Bell Push Button (Battery Operated)
Hi/Low Volume Control
X4 Chimes but not CD quality.
slightly bulky looking chime receiver.
Having looked at the complete picture, not only the features involved but also the price and environmental benefits I opted to go ahead and buy the Lindham Sight & Sound Plug In Door Chime. So I pulled out my wallet and handed over my Visa card - Argos charged me £26.99 but you will find that some websites or other outlets will sell this model or one similar for around £35 plus. So hunt around as well checking out which features will suit your home before purchasing one of these.
[Trouble-Free in Installing & Maintaining]
Picture this You put the kettle on
You then open you Lindham Sight & Sound Plug In Door Chime box - You then head for the tool box and find yourself a screwdriver and then fit the bell push button to the door frame using two small screws as well as inserting the battery included ( Life span 1 year) - basic DIY skills than anybody can do. You then walk back inside your home and plug in the box chime receiver in any 13 amp household socket.
The kettle is still boiling by the way - Get those biscuits ready lol
This model comes with a self-learning push to chime communication for easy set-up.
You are now up and running & that only took five minutes - I can now enjoy my tea & biscuits for working so hard lol
And as for maintaining your chime device unit: please dont make me laugh - There is simply nothing to maintain bar the odd dust down. Wow that was really difficult!
[My Closing Lines]
These little stylish contraptions should have room for any home - the plug in portable doorbell is a brilliant yet simple idea that has more benefits than your old traditional ding dong. There are not many gadgets or household appliances that need minimal attention and I mean minimal - only needing to change the battery once a year and give the unit a dust down and all the while functioning just as good as the first day I bought it. A little small investment in itself I would say as you will get plenty of life out of this device.
Highly Recommend !!
Thanks © Strood 2007 @ 5.00am 05/11/07
I agree, it's taken me several months to work out what was happening with my Doorman - chiming but nobody found at the door. Happened all hours of the day and night. I finally clocked when I heard the chime go off and was in a suitable position to view the front door immediately from the kitchen (there was nobody there). Channel adjustment seems to done by clicking a rotary swith on the back of the bell box (and also setting the same channel number in the bell push). Otherwise the Doorman is brilliant if, sometimes, a little ghostly.
When we moved into our new house the previous occupants had left a fitted and working doorbell. Just a standard ding dong, open the door and visitor is there type set up. The bell was called a portable door chime, this meant it did not need wires and when the bell push was pressed it sent a radio signal to the chime and ding dong. This is where the fun begins, a week or so after moving in we heard a new door chime, instead of the ding dong it was the Westminster chime sound (ding dong ding dong etc) upon answering the door we discovered errrr nobody there. Although this did not happen often, we still answered the door whenever we heard the Westminster chime and always nobody was at our door. High and low the search went on looking for another doorbell outside the front and back of the house, looking for another door chime inside the house, all without success. Being an old Georgian house we would have suspected that this was a ghostly bell, but the fact that it was an electronic sound meant there had to be an explanation. It took us over four months to discover what caused the unexplained bell. Next door they had a bell similar to ours, also a portable and when next doors bell push was pressed our bell would ring. This was overcome by recoding our bell so as to avoid the interference from next door. Let me explain more about the doorbell. The Chime unit, this takes 3 “C” type batteries and has 8 little pins arranged in 2 lines of 4, over these are fitted plastic pegs, these make up the code of the unit, thus avoiding interference from other door bells. It is an off white colour and being small does not look out of place in the house. It is also reasonably loud, this is very good for us as the house is large and it can be heard throughout the house. The bell push, this takes 1 “A23” battery (a 12-volt battery similar to those found in remote controlled car alarms). It also has the same arrangement
of 8 pins and plastic pegs, very simple to change the code as all you need to do is make sure you have the bell push and door chime set to the same code. Also in the bell push are a further 6 pins again arranged in pairs and by using these you can change the bells ring, there are quite a few different chimes that can be achieved in this way. So now we have the Westminster chime as our bell (well we had got used to hearing it and its nice that now when it rings it is for us). I would presume that if we bought another push it would be possible to code it to have a different ring, this could be very useful to fit to the back door or even an extra bell push on the front door coded for the children’s own chime. This would save us answering the door when it is for the children. This bell is available from Argos at £14.99. The 12-volt battery is included, but you do need to purchase 3 “C” type batteries. To be honest it is not the type of bell that we would have chosen, but we are more than happy that it was here, would we buy the same again in the future, well yes its great, easy to fit and use and no wiring around the house.