Smart up your garage with a smart garage door opener & parking aids

smart garage door openerThese days every part of the home is getting that little bit “smarter”, we have already covered a few smart gadgets in our articles on the best smart air quality monitors and best smart irrigation controllers. Now it’s time for an article on your garage. There are quite a few cool gadgets you can use to smarten up your home garage. 

A smart garage door opener connects to your current garage door opener to give you the ability to control and monitor the door from a smartphone. Yes, you read that right. You can smarten up your old and rusty mechanical garage door opener for just a few bucks giving you full control over it from your smartphone. Awesome, right?

Complete your new smart garage with smart garage parking aids. These parking aids use a garage parking sensor to detect and take stock of the entire garage. They track where your car is, how much space you have, and any obstacles in the way so it’s a breeze to get the perfect parking position for your car each and every time. 

The good news about the best smart garage door opener 2020 is that they offer easy installation. Most, if not all, smart garage door opener options are DIY projects that you can attach to any existing door opener. There are two main kinds of smart openers. Let’s first take a look at what a smart garage door opener and a smart parking aid is before diving deeper into how to install them. 

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What is a Smart Garage Door Opener?

Smart garage door openers are basically electronic devices that connect with the garage door and allow users to fully control them through a smartphone app. These smart garage door openers will have features that monitor the current position of the door, too. They will send alerts to users if doors are opened or closed as a security feature. This comes in handy, in case you have forgotten to close the garage door or if you are unsure if you closed it. Some remotes have alerts and timed notifications that warn people about leaving their garage door open while others can automatically close the doors after a set period of time.

On top of monitoring when doors are opened and closed, a smart garage door opener is able to keep logs of these events so users know what happened and when it happened. This will give you great in-depth analytics of when and how your garage door has been opened and closed.

How a smart garage door opener is installed and controlled depends on whether it is an add-on or complete replacement; 

  • Add-On Smart Controllers

Most modern smart garage door opener kits come in the form of add-ons and sensor kits. What you get in the kit can change between brands, but they all share the same basic premise and easy installation process. These units are connected to the current motor unit and a measurement device, such as a laser, to track and move a garage door. 

It’s worth considering an add-on controller because they are generally cheaper and easier to deal with than replacing the whole motor unit. There’s also plenty of variation between different brands and models. That means more choice for you when it comes to getting a smart WiFi garage door opener. 

  • Replacement Motorized Smart Garage Units

The alternative to getting a smart garage door opener is to have the entire unit replaced. This option involves taking away the traditional motor from your garage door, replacing it with one that comes complete with internet connectivity. 

These kinds of garage doors are more expensive and generally more difficult to effectively install, but they are a good option for people looking to replace their old and broken motorized unit. Replacement units are also a good idea for people looking to outfit new garages.  We won’t go into detail here, as this article is about smarten up your current garage door, not replace it. But if you’re in the market for one anyway, then we can highly recommend the Chamberlain RJO20* – it already comes with all the bells and whistles.

What are Smart Parking Aids?

The modern car is getting bigger while the modern garage remains the same size. It’s becoming more and more difficult to park effectively and so having a device or gadget that helps can be a huge blessing. A good garage parking aid comes in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them are super advanced and very technical while others are more basic and practical. 

The best garage parking aid works similar to a smart garage door opener. These devices are installed in the garage itself. Parking aids are usually installed on the roof for better coverage but some units do also fit into the back of the garage. They use lasers to detect obstructions and guide users to the perfect parking position, each and every time. 

A smart parking aid is a good idea for cluttered garages and for those who aren’t confident in their parking abilities. Some of them offer video feeds that give you an even better view of your garage, similar to the parking cameras installed on modern cars. A parking aid completes the smart garage and is worth considering alongside a smart garage door opener.

It’s super easy to install a garage parking sensor. Just screw the plate into the roof of the garage and you’re done. The only other consideration to keep in mind is you might have to replace batteries but they use a minimal amount of power so batteries last a long time. 

Smart parking aids are motion activated and have a pretty wide effective area. The garage parking aid you choose should be able to “see” your whole garage and guide you through it. A garage parking aid generally works by shining lasers down into the garage that you can use as a reference for where to park your car. 

Reasons to Invest in Smart Garage Doors and Smart Garage Parking Aids 

There are plenty of benefits to investing in the best smart garage door opener and best garage parking aid. Here are three of the top ones; 

  • Improved Security

Thieves like to target garages because gaining access to a garage is generally easier than gaining access to a home. People tend to store valuables such as bikes and tools in their garages, making them even bigger targets. An automatic door offers an extra layer of security by not only making the garage more difficult to access, but also alerting you to when someone does get in. 

  • Safer and More Effective Parking

If you’re at all worried about the quality of your parking then you can benefit from a parking aid. These handy devices make it easier for you to park up in the garage without hitting anything. They’re good for beginners and experts alike who want a helping hand at the end of a drive. 

  • Automatic Opening and Closing

Do you ever wish your garage doors could open and close themselves? Now they can. With the best smart garage door opener 2020 you’ll be able to connect your garage door to your phone or even your car. This connection means that the door knows when you’re arriving or leaving and can open/close the doors automatically for you. This feature also means you’ll never have to worry about leaving your garage door open again. 

 

Best-Overall Smart Garage Door Opener: Chamberlain MyQ

 

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The Chamberlain MyQ* offers you a simple and effective way to connect to your garage door and control it over the internet. With the MyQ smart garage door opener you’ll be able to create custom alerts and keep track of whether the garage doors are opened or closed. The MyQ connects to IFTTT, Google Assistant, and more to offer more customization options. Furthermore, if you are an Amazon prime member, you can link your chamberlain to the amazon key app for in-garage prime delivieres (in selected cities). This is an absolutely outstanding feature if you order a lot of package via amazon prime.

There’s a whole lot to like about this little device; it’s simple to install and use; it offers a wide amount of compatibility and should work on any existing garage door; the MyQ connects to all manner of smart homes and hubs and other apps and devices. 

Between the relatively low price and how easy it is to use, the MyQ smart garage door opener is a great choice. It delivers on the core promises and offers a no-fuss approach to smart garage door openers. The Chamberlain smart garage door opener is easily one of the best on the market. 

 

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How to Install the MyQ

One of the best things about the MyQ smart garage door opener is how easy it is to install. The MyQ is easier to install than other similar devices on the market, even though it can be a little bit more expensive. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. 

The MyQ is made up of two main components; there’s the base station that fits on the garage ceiling by the current garage opener and the sensor unit that attaches to the actual garage door itself.

It should only take around 15 minutes to install the MyQ.

The installation process begins with screwing a bracket to the garage ceiling. The bracket should be installed by a power outlet. The box for the MyQ comes with all the necessary screws and anchors you’ll need. Slide the base into the bracket, connect the power cable, and connect your wireless network, smartphone, and garage opener to the base station over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 

After connecting, you’ll have to go through the standard pairing process to connect the devices and share the same settings across the base station and your phone. Pairing up your devices will take the hub online so you’ll have complete access to your MyQ smart garage door opener from anywhere with an internet connection. Create an account on the MyQ app and use the serial number on the base unit to connect to your Chamberlain smart garage door opener. 

Use the app to choose the make and model of your garage door opener and then use the program button to complete setup. Chamberlain say that their MyQ can connect with any kind of garage door opener with a photoelectric sensor made after 1993. The opener sends out an open/close code that is stored in the hub.

Last but not least, attach the sensor to the garage door using the adhesive strips provided and use the test button to make sure everything connected properly. It should work fine but if it doesn’t just retrace your steps until you reach where things went wrong. 

FAQ

  • Do existing door openers such as keypads on the wall and door still work?

Any existing door opener you have should still work with the MyQ attached. The MyQ smart garage door opener Chamberlain MYq-G03031 allows you to see if the garage door is open or not no matter where you are (provided you have an internet connection). You can also open and close your garage door via the app as well as be alerted whenever someone enters or leaves the garage. Basically, it won’t interfere with any existing door control system and it offers a lot more functionality than you’re already getting from them. 

  • Does it work with any garage door opener?

Yes, according to the manufacturer, the myQ is compatible with most brands of garage door openers made after 1993, such a Chamberlain itself, but also Craftsman, Liftmaster, Genie etc. We highly recommend to use it with a good chamberlain garage opener, such as the RJO20*

  • Is it compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit?

You should have no problem connecting the MyQ to smart homes or hubs like Alexa, Echo, and Homekit. Many users have reported being able to control their Chamberlain through these apps and devices. 

  • Is the MyQ App Compatible with Apple Watches? 

There is an Apple Watch version of the MyQ phone app. You can use the app to control MyQ Hub with your watch. Just please be aware that it doesn’t support Apple Homekit and Siri without the MyQ “Bridge”. If you don’t have the bridge you have to manually open and close the doors with the app, while the Bridge allows Siri (or the Apple Home) to control the doors for you. 

  • Does it come with the required sensor?

The MyQ garage door opener Chamberlain comes with all the equipment you need to make it work. That includes the necessary sensors. 

  • What if I have two garage doors? Do I need two sensors or can I control both with one sensor?

You could use one sensor to individually control both doors if needed. You could also add a second sensor. This will create another icon in the phone app. Choose the sensor you want to use from the app and control it how you want. 

Now that we know about the best garage door opener to smarten up your home, let’s dig into the parking aids.

 

Best-Overall Smart Garage Parking Aid: The Chamberlain CLLP1-1 

 

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What do you know, another nifty little device from Chamberlain.. they really want you to have a smart garage, huh?

The Chamberlain CLLP1-1* smart parking aid that helps you to find and use the ideal parking spot in a garage every single time. All you have to do is track the laser beam and follow along until it hits just the right spot on the hood or dashboard of your car to tell you that you’ve parked perfectly.

What makes this smart parking aid stand out is that it works perfectly with Chamberlain smart garage doors such as the one we mentioned above, the smart garage door opener Chamberlain MyQ-G03031. 

The Chamberlain CLLP1-1 is super easy to install. The parking aid projects a laser beam on the garage floor. As the car enters the garage, the beam projects on to the hood and continues along the dashboard. You’ll know you’ve found the ideal parking spot when the laser beam matches up with the part of your car that tells you you’re just where you need to be. 

When connected to the garage door opener, the laser beam activates when the door is opened up. The parking aid is ideal for two-car garages as two units can work together with a single door opener to enable both people to get just the right parking space for their car. 

 

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How to Install 

  1. Start by opening the garage door and have your car parked outside 
  2. Choose the right mounting location for the parking assist and attach it using the provided screws and anchor 
  3. Press the tabs under the wires to remove the safety sensor wires from the garage door openers. 
  4. Remove 11mm of insulation from the parking assist wires and twist the colored wires from the parking assist and the safety sensors together. Insert the twisted wires into the quick-connect holes 
  5. Drive the vehicle into the garage and park where you want to be parked 
  6. Activate the parking assist by obstructing the safety sensors. This will activate the red laser of the sensors which will rest on the dash or hood. It should stop somewhere where it can easily be seen from inside the car. 
  7. Sit in the driver’s seat and confirm that the beam is easily visible to create a point of reference when parking your car. 

The laser will only be activated for one minute. If you haven’t managed to align your car with the laser by the time the minute is up just block the laser again to resume setup. The laser should come on every time the door opens. If it doesn’t appear, then make sure nothing is blocking the sensors or the beam and ensure that the unit is angled correctly. 

FAQ

  • Does this work universally for any garage door opener?

Unfortunately, the CLLP1-P is designed to specifically work with Chamberlain garage door openers, though some users on Amazon said that they got it to work just fine with their Liftmaster garage door opener. But chamberlain offers another one, the CLULP1*, which is designed to work universally with other brands like Liftmaster and Craftsman.

  • Is it compatible with overhead door garage door openers?

Yes, the CLLP1-P works perfectly fine with overhead garage door openers, such as the myQ.

  • Can I use more than one laser for more than one car?

Sure, if you have more than one car you can easily hook up a second laser for the second car.

Conclusion 

Smart garage door openers and smart parking aids are great additions to any garage. If you don’t already have a smart garage door then you can buy one that is compatible with any kind of smart home hub. If you’ve already got an old garage door opener (that isn’t too old) you might want to “smarten” it up a bit through a kit like the garage door opener Chamberlain. These kits allow you to connect an existing door opener to the internet for remote control through smartphone apps. 

You shouldn’t overlook the importance of compatibility with smart garage door openers. You want to choose a model that will work with any current garage door you have. The good news is that models like the Chamberlain are built to work with just about any modern system. If you aren’t sure though, feel free to check the manufacturer’s site to find a list of all the devices it is compatible with. 

As well as ensuring that the smart garage door opener is compatible with your current mechanical garage door opener, you should make sure that it is compatible with your smart home hub of choice. You might have to buy extra accessories for the device to ensure compatibility. For example, the MyQ needs a MyQ “Bridge” to work with Siri. The more hubs the device can connect to the better because then you’ll have more options when putting together a smart home. There’s no point in buying a smart garage door opener to control your garage with Siri only to find out you can’t do that. 

Read through some smart garage door opener reviews to help find the best smart garage door opener 2020. The best model will be one that has Wi-Fi connectivity and/or Bluetooth connectivity. It’s recommended that you use one with Wi-Fi connectivity if you can though. These models make it easier to remotely monitor a garage door. You can’t check your garage door from work with a Bluetooth model, which is only good for the standard Bluetooth range (up to 20 feet). 

Whether you’re looking for a brand new smart garage or want to upgrade your existing garage you’ll find there’s plenty of options out there. Read through some smart garage opener reviews to find the right one for you. At the end of the day though, Chamberlain are the best overall for both smart garage door openers and smart parking aids.

You can’t go wrong with a Chamberlain…

$36.61 $39.98
70 new from $32.95
11 used from $24.00
Free shipping
in stock
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 6, 2020 2:58 pm

$18.52 $19.99
2 new from $18.52
2 used from $16.09
Free shipping
in stock
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 6, 2020 2:58 pm