There are more and more devices being converted to smart devices from, well, not-so-smart. Dumb isn’t very nice. Aside from the windows and main doors, there’s one other opening that grants access into your house: The garage door.
Did I close the garage door?
Ever felt like you left the stove on? Leaving your garage door open can pose a problem for the well-being of your house and property. There are tools, thankfully, that can sync up the status of your garage door with your smartphone.
If you’re wondering, yes, there are smart ovens that can provide you with the status of the burners and the oven
So these devices can not only tell you if the door is open or closed, but you can even schedule time(s) for it to automatically shut.
MyQ Garage Door Opener
The MyQ Universal Garage Door Controller is designed to work with most major brands of garage door openers manufactured after 1993 and that use safety reversing sensors.
You’ll receive alerts any time your garage door opens or closes, so you’ll know when kids are home safely from school or other family members have arrived. Alerts will also let you know if you forgot to close the door when you left home.
Verify signal strength
Before you go out and buy a smart garage door opener, you should check that your Wi-Fi signal can even reach out to your garage. To keep this simple, verify that your smartphone can receive a Wi-Fi signal from the garage. If you want a more technical explanation, read on.
Disclaimer: Tech talk ahead
Most wireless routers can support both the 2.4 and 5 ghz bandwidths. What does this mean to you? You should know that 2.4 signals are wider and can pass through more obstructions than 5 ghz. So why have 5 ghz? It supports higher speeds, which benefits your smart devices that browse the Internet or stream video.
You may need to log into your router if you’re not entirely sure of the setup. You can have a separate SSID (that name that shows up in your Wi-Fi list) for each bandwidth or, depending on your brand, it could broadcast the same SSID for both signals. If it’s the same, your phone or device will pick up whatever signal is strongest. Alternatively, you may need to manually attach your 2.4 ghz SSID.
Back to your regularly scheduled article
So you get Wi-Fi signal on your phone in the garage? That’s a good sign that the device will receive a signal as well. You can also double-check that your make and model of opener is supported on the manufacturer’s website. The comprehensive list can be found here.
Installation is simple
The entire system can be installed in under an hour. If your door has only one sensor, you can install a retrofit Wi-Fi controller kit quite easily. Additional sensors can be purchased if you have multiple doors. They run about $40 on their own.
There are two pieces to this entire setup if you just have the one door: The sensor and the controller. So long as you have a ladder, the installation is pretty straight-forward.
Step 1 – Mount the controller
As its name suggests, this piece controls the door and detects whether the sensor is in a vertical or horizontal position. Locate a stud in the ceiling or use some self-drilling plastic wall anchors to mount the bracket.
Slide the controller onto the mount and power it up, preferably in the same outlet that your garage door is plugged into. If the device lights up blue, everything should be good to link up.
Before mounting, take both the length of the controller’s power cord and the signal from your router into consideration. Ideal placement would be closest to your router while also being within the length limit of the power cord.
Step 2 – Mount the door sensor
This piece will be placed along one of the vertical supports on the top panel. You can attach this permanently with self-tapping screws or simply use double-sided tape. If you live in a hot environment, beware that the adhesion of the tape may degrade over the course of a few sweltering summer seasons.
This is the component that alerts the controller whether or not the door is open. Think of it like a security system. As long as the two contacts are nearby, there’s no problem. Once they move far enough away from one another, they trigger the alarm. In the case of this device, there’s no alarm, just a push notification. But I guess if you have the alarm sound set for this push notification, it technically would be an alarm…hmm.
Download the application
If you have an iPhone, you can join the Bluetooth signal with the “MyQ” prefix. You can also go straight to the App Store and download the MyQ app. Follow the commands in the application that link up your router to the controller. Once it’s been paired, you’re free to control your garage door to your heart’s content.
Apple HomeKit with MyQ
If you like to have everything in one place, you can proceed with this article and read about how to sync up HomeKit with your MyQ device(s). Unfortunately, there’s an additional cost incurred with this setup. It’s unfortunate that these devices need secondary hardware to sync up with something that should be easy like HomeKit.
The MyQ Home Bridge is the unifying unit that will allow control from Apple’s HomeKit to your garage door opener. For under $100, you can purchase the Home Bridge through Amazon or directly through Chamberlain.
Installing the MyQ Home Bridge is very similar to the MyQ Garage, using the same style of mounting bracket and then sliding the bridge onto the bracket, plugging it in, and managing the placement of the power cord.
The Chamberlain MyQ app then walks you through setting up the bridge with the MyQ and HomeKit systems. It’s only a few steps, after which you’ll need to reset your MyQ Garage or MyQ-enabled opener to transfer over to connecting through the Home Bridge.
Once that’s done, you’re all set and you can control your garage door through Apple’s Home app or using Siri, or you can simply continue to use the Chamberlain MyQ app to control the door.
HomeKit support means you can include your garage door within scenes in the Home app, such as for making sure your home is secured, lights turned out, and thermostat adjusted at bedtime; everything in sync and managed through one app.