When faced with a decision regarding garage door openers, I began to compare features and benefits between models. So, I did some research to figure out if a smartphone could be used to open a garage door.
So, can a smartphone be used as a garage door opener? Beyond garage door openers with built-in smartphone opening capabilities, there are a variety of sensors and apps on the market to turn your garage door opener into a smart garage door opener that can be opened with a smartphone.
These days, practically anything can be achieved with a smartphone in hand, so the hassle of carrying around a clunky garage door opener that you have to remember to change the batteries in is a thing of the past. Now, simply pull out your smartphone and open and close your garage door with a tap of your thumb. Some models even allow for remote operation from anywhere you have a cellular data signal. This comes in handy if you left your car at a local business or restaurant following the night out only to realize you do not have your garage door opener!
How You Can Use a Smartphone as a Garage Door Opener
If you are like most people, your smartphone has become a big part of your life. It goes without saying that if you have a garage door opener, you could benefit from having the ability to open it with your smartphone. This prevents you from losing your garage door opener, getting stuck with bad batteries, or simply having to always remember to pack it as you leave the home. By using your smartphone as a garage door opener, you essentially guarantee that it will always be on your person.
If you are building a new construction home or are even simply remodeling an existing home, the easiest way to unlock the garage door opening potential of your smartphone is by installing a garage door opener that is already capable of pairing with a smartphone. There are multiple models on the market that are relatively inexpensive when compared to standard garage door openers.
If you simply want to control your current garage door opener with your smartphone, this is totally possible. The key thing to do here is to buy a garage door opener smartphone control kit. This will impart smartphone controlling capabilities on a standard garage door opener for a surprisingly low amount of money and with minimal setup. This is a great option for those who do not need to replace their current setup but desire the ease of smartphone access.
Essentially, a garage door opener smartphone control kit gives your garage door opener Wi-Fi connectivity. Without this, your smartphone would have no way to communicate with the garage door opener. Once your garage door opener is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi router, you simply download an app to your phone that grants you a wide range of control features. Many models feature additional capabilities beyond just opening and closing the door. If your home has multiple different garage doors, you will likely need individual control kits for each door, as the units only control one opener.
Chamberlain B550 Smart Garage Door Opener
Use Bluetooth to Control Your Garage
Beyond Wi-Fi controllers, there are other options available. Bluetooth garage door openers allow your phone to connect when you are at home but do not offer the same remote controlling capabilities as Wi-Fi controllers. However, going with a Bluetooth controller option does allow control even in the event that your home’s Wi-Fi is out, which is a nice plus.
In addition to the added convenience, these garage door opener accessories are great replacements for the traditional remotes, which are often lost or replaced due to malfunctions. Because of the simplicity of the technology, they are incredibly quick and easy to set up, even for those that consider themselves “technologically challenged.”
Use Your Smartwatch to Control Your Garage Door
Smartphones are not the only out-of-the-box ways to open your garage door opener. In fact, many of the same devices used to connect your smartphone to your garage door opener can be used to connect a smartwatch as well. Imagine the convenience of simply tapping your watch to open your garage door.
Much like a smartphone, smartwatches use both Bluetooth technology and internet connectivity to connect to devices. Some smartwatches even have data capabilities and can control garage door openers remotely. The developers of the smart garage door openers have even gone as far as to set the apps up to allow you to open your garage door with your voice.
Controlling Multiple Garage Doors
In the case of most smart garage door openers and smart sensors, you can control them individually in the associated smartphone app. Just as you need three individual garage door openers for a three-door garage, you need three separate sensors if you are planning to add smart capabilities to each door. This may seem like a hassle, but it is far less of a hassle than accidentally opening all of your garage doors every time you try to open one.
Many people with multiple garage doors opt to only add smartphone opening capabilities to the door they use the most and it is purely a matter of preference and budget. Unless you are regularly pulling a car in and out of each garage door, the need for smartphone opening capabilities on each individual door is likely unnecessary.
Connecting Multiple Devices to Smart Garage Door Openers
Obviously, it will vary from product to product, but the majority of smart garage door openers and smart sensors offer connectivity to multiple devices. This allows your entire family and anyone else you grant access to operate the garage doors with their smartphones and smartwatches. In many cases, the apps associated with the openers have an option of naming each garage door, which will help in clearing up any confusion when attempting to open specific doors.
Security Concerns with Smart Garage Door Openers
As expected, there are security concerns anytime something has the ability to be hacked. Technically speaking, a smart garage door opener that is relying on a home’s Wi-Fi signal could be controlled if a hacker gained access to the home’s Wi-Fi signal. The easiest way to avoid this is by encrypting your network to prevent hackers from accessing it and always set up 2-factor authentication where possible.
In reality, your garage door being opened may be the smallest of your worries if a hacker gains access to your Wi-Fi. A hack like this could lead to identity theft and credit theft, which can have devastating effects.
What else can I control with a smartphone? These days, practically anything in your home can be controlled with a smartphone. Stoves, ovens, thermostats, lights, and a whole lot more can be controlled with apps. This not only adds convenience, but it also gives you peace of mind. You could be lying in bed when you realize you left the oven on. Instead of getting out of bed, all you have to do is check your smartphone for peace of mind. You can save money by setting up smart controls on lights and other appliances as well as keep better tabs on your energy usage.
Do smartphone garage door openers in power outages? This may seem obvious, but a smart garage door opener will not work in the event that your home is without power, as the opener itself requires power to operate. Your smartphone or smartwatch may still have power and internet connectivity via data, but the opener will not be able to function unless it is connected to a backup power source. For this reason, it is still wise to have a backup way of getting into your home in the event of a power outage. This is no different than a standard garage door opener, as these too need power to operate.
Are smart garage door openers worth the extra money? When you consider the money you will spend on batteries and remote replacements, not to mention the hassle of carrying around a garage door remote, the added cost of a smart garage door opener is negligible. You can spend even less on simply upgrading your standard garage door opener with a smartphone control kit. Many of these are under fifty dollars, with the majority of prices hovering around thirty dollars. In fact, if you are even curious about the convenience of controlling your garage with your smartphone, you will likely be kicking yourself for not buying the system once your remote runs out of batteries and you cannot get into your home as a result.