Chances are, you have a garage door opener. Chances are it’s made by Chamberlain or Liftmaster (same company). Well if you want to catapult your garage door into the future of phone automated wonder, read on. This past week I have entered the marvelous world of simple phone based home automation with the purchase of a Wink (more on that in a future article) and the Amazon Echo (Alexa - turn on the Kitchen Lights). Wink plus Echo is an incredible, in-expensive, way to connect all the mish mash of different home automation technologies (locks, lights, sprinklers, garage door, motion sensors, security, thermostat and so on). One product that Wink integrates with is the Chamberlain myQ system for controlling a garage door. This immediately set off a pavlovian response to acquire this device.
For reference, there are three different ways to gain home automation of your garage for the purposes of:
- Opening the garage door
- Closing the garage door
- Checking status of the garage door
- Setting alerts on open/close
The first way is the most expensive. Get a new Garage Door Opener. I did not pursue this since there is no reason to.
The second way, is to get the Chamberlain MYQ Garage Door Controller. This device basically works with any garage door opener but is less preferred to the next option. The reason being is that it’s harder to install, and is not really as integrated.
The third way, which is the approach I took, was to replace the existing wall control unit for my current Liftmaster Garage Door Opener with the Chamberlain myQ Connectivity Kit. That thing on the right there basically replaces the button thingy you use today to open and close your garage door. The thing on the left is the thing that connects the thing on the right to the internet, which allows for your phone to open and close the door (with an app).
This solution has the added benefit that:
- It’s the cheapest of all options
- It’s the same benefit of getting a new garage door opener
- It’s hard wired to my garage
- It has the new Security 2.0 wireless standard which means that I can get remotes with much better range than my old ones (another side benefit of this upgrade). I can now open the door from my car (via HomeLink) from down the street. Before I would have real challenges on occasion due to wireless interference and poor range.
Install took me 5 min. I removed the old control panel, wires, connected to the new one and attached to the wall. Then I downloaded the app, created an account and connected the ethernet dongle to my network. Voila.
Now I have smart garage door with a lot of upgraded capabilities.
★★★★★ Exceptional. A spectacular product.