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How to make your garage door smart

  Hand of a person in a car opening the garage door with her phone.
Julia Tim / Shutterstock.com

Have you ever left home or gone to bed to wonder if you have closed the garage door? Turning around or getting up is no fun. If you make your garage door smart, you can close it from anywhere! Here's how.

What a smart garage door can do for you.

Smart garage openers can save you a lot of anxiety. Instead of wondering if you've thought about closing your garage, you can look through an app or ask a voice assistant, such as Google Assistant or Alexa. In combination with a camera you can even see who comes and goes. This is especially useful if you are a parent. You can even set a daily closing time for the end of the day, so you do not have to worry if you forget it.

Do not worry ̵

1; you do not always have to pull out your phone to open or close your garage door. These devices come with conventional remote controls for your car and keyboards, even outside your garage – the smart features are just a bonus option.

For an intelligent garage door opener to function properly, you need a stable WLAN signal in your garage. You may need to replace or add hardware.

The expensive option: Replace your garage door opener.

If you have a very old garage door opener, it may be time to replace it. If this is the case, you can save yourself some trouble and choose one that is either ready to use or that can make you smart with a bridge.

Chamberlain: Well-known, recognized

  Chamberlain MyQ B970 garage door opener

Chamberlain is probably the most popular manufacturer of garage door openers for consumers. The company offers "whisper quiet" NC contacts with numerous sensors, battery backup, buttons for your car, keyboards, etc. It also offers openers smart features like the B970 or the C870. These devices have built-in Wi-Fi capability and communicate with a Chamberlain app. With a quick check, you can see if you left the garage open and then open or close it remotely.

Chamberlain can even be integrated with IFTT, Google Assistant and Amazon Key even though these integrations require a subscription of $ 1 per month. Google Assistant can only close your garage door to prevent someone from shouting the opening command through a window. This is a shame as many intelligent locks allow open voice commands with a PIN.

If you have a Chamberlain garage door opener with MyQ and Wi-Fi markers, you already have a smart garage door opener. If you only see MyQ markers, you need a hub.

Ryobi modular opener

  A Ryobi garage door opener.

Another option is the Ryobi Smart garage door opener. It includes an integrated Wi-Fi radio and an app that lets you check the status of the door.

The modular design of this opener makes it unique. You can purchase add-on modules such as a fan, laser parking aids, an air compressor, a camera and more. The modules can be easily connected to the garage door opener and can be replaced if necessary. If you already own rechargeable Ryobi high-performance batteries for the company's tools, you can use them as a replacement battery during power outages.

The main disadvantage of the Ryobi garage door opener is the lack of integration between Amazon and Google. You must use the app to verify that you have left the door open and open.

How To Make Your Existing Opener Smart

Your current garage door opener may work properly, and if so, you probably will not. I do not want to replace it. In that case, you may be able to turn it into a smart garage door opener. In some cases, you'll get the same features as when you buy a new Smart. Some options even offer more features, such as Smart Hub integration.

If you have a Chamberlain, get Chamberlain's Hub

  Chamberlain MyQ Garage Hub Bridge, Door Sensor and Phone App.

Maybe I already have a Chamberlain garage door opener (or LiftMaster belonging to Chamberlain), but it is not Wi-Fi-enabled. In that case, consider Chamberlain's Garage Hub. With a price of $ 45, Chamberlain offers one of the least expensive options to add smart home features to your garage door opener.

You should check your model number using the Chamberlain Compatibility Tool. As long as you bought it after 1993 and your safety sensors are working, you can probably add the hub. And if your safety sensors do not work, you should have them repaired immediately.

Chamberlain's Hub effectively transforms your existing garage door opener into one of the company's smart garage door openers. You get the same features and abilities and access to the Chamberlain app.

Even if you do not have a Chamberlain or LiftMaster garage door opener, the Garage Hub may work with your devices. You can check the compatibility tool to make sure. When prompted, select "Other brand".

Installing the Garage Hub is easy. You install a battery-powered door tilt sensor directly on the garage door and point to the garage door opener. Pair the Wi-Fi Main Bridge with your app and attach it to the ceiling near your garage door opener and power source.

You do not need to connect cables from the bridge to your existing garage door opener. because it uses the same radio signals as the existing buttons.

For other models use Garadget

  Garadget laser sensor on a box.

If you do not have a Chamberlain garage Garadget is a good choice if you want to provide more functionality than the Garage Hub.

Garadget aims a laser at a reflective spot on your garage door to see if it's open or not. When the laser hits the patch and rebounds, Garadget knows you've closed your door. If the laser does not rebound, the door must be open.

The device mimics the main door release button in your garage. You connect Garadget to the same terminals that also use the key and it sends a signal to open and close the door. It can also be combined with many SmartHome services and hubs, including SmartThings, Vera, Home Seer, OpenHab and Alexa.

If you have a Chamberlain garage door opener, you can still use Garadget, but additional steps may be required to complete the installation. If your device has a yellow learn button, your Chamberlain communicates with a proprietary signal that Garagdget can not impersonate.

As a workaround, you can solder a replacement remote to Garadget so it can "push" the button on the remote. The company knows that not everyone is familiar with soldering and therefore sells pre-soldered remote controls.

Out of stock

Originally we wanted to recommend the intelligent garage door openers Nexx Garageio 2 and Gogogate 2. All three are highly appreciated and recommended by other publications such as Wirecutter. Currently, however, all three have one thing in common: They are sold out everywhere.

Unfortunately, smarthome technology is still a growing field, and not everything survives. If a company breaks down, your smarthome can break and you can only replace the parts. Guardian Access acquired Garageio 2 early last year and is currently accepting pre-orders for the Smart Controller. The company does not promise a delivery date, so we do not recommend it any further.

If you want the safest, least cost, and easiest to install option, Chamberlain is the best choice. It is one of the largest garage door manufacturers and it is unlikely that the company will go anywhere as support for smart home technology is discontinued.

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