Garage doors have evolved from being manually operated to being controlled by a button on your remote.
However, with recent advances in technology, homeowners want garage doors that are even smarter.
A smart garage door not only provides convenience but also enhances home security by allowing remote access and monitoring. In this article, I’ll show you how to make your garage door smart using retrofit smart garage door kits that will turn most garage doors into smart garage doors.
But first of all, what is a smart garage door, and what does it do?
- What Is A Smart Garage Door?
- Benefits of a Smart Garage Door
- How To Make Your Garage Door Smart
- Eleven Best Retrofit Garage Door Opener Kits
- #1. Chamberlain MyQ (G0401-ES)
- #2. Tailwind iQ3
- #3. NEXX Garage Remote Door Opener (NXG-300)
- #4. Garadget (FBA GRT1US)
- #5. Remootio 2 WiFi and Bluetooth Smart Garage Door Opener
- #6. Meross Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener (MSG100)
- #7. Wofea WiFi Switch Smart Garage Door Opener Controller
- #8. YoLink Garage Door Kit 1
- #9. Tuya Smart Life Garage Door Sensor Controller Opener
- #10. HBN Smart Garage Door Opener
- #11. eKyro Smart Garage Door Opener
- Installing Your Smart Garage Door Opener
What Is A Smart Garage Door?
Smart garage doors often have sensors, Wi-Fi capability, and other smart features that allow them to connect to your home network and interact with your other smart devices.
With a smart garage door, you can open and close your garage door from anywhere. You can also receive notifications when the door is opened or closed, and you can set up automations that open or close your garage door based on the time of day.
With some smart garage doors, you can even use geo-fencing to open or close the garage door based on your geographical proximity.
Benefits of a Smart Garage Door
There are four key benefits to having a smart garage door: convenience, security, integration, and peace of mind.
With a smart garage door, you don’t have to interact with the door itself or even with a remote: you can control the garage door from your smartphone or with your voice.
Picture this: you are drifting off to sleep, and you suddenly wonder if you left the garage door open. With a ‘dumb’ garage door, you would have to get out of bed and go and check. But with a smart garage door, you pick up your smartphone and the app will tell you if the garage door is open or closed.
Smart garage doors come with various security features. For example, you can program the smart hub to alert you if your garage door has been open for more than a certain amount of time (eg. 20 minutes).
You could also set up an automation in Alexa or Google Assistant so that every night at 9 pm (or whatever time you choose), the smart hub checks the status of your garage door and closes it if it is open.
Another useful security feature is that you can receive push notifications to your phone every time the garage door is opened or closed.
A smart garage door is connected to your Wi-Fi network, and that means you can link your garage door to other smart devices.
For example, you could set it so that when you open the garage door at night, your smart lights turn on at the same time. Or, you could set your smart locks to lock when the garage door closes.
Peace of mind
One of the biggest advantages of a smart garage door is peace of mind. How many times have you gone to work and then wondered, when you are halfway there, if you left the garage door open?
With a smart garage door, you’ll never have that issue again. Just check the app on your smartphone and you can see if your garage door is open or closed. And if you did leave your garage door open, you can close it using your smartphone!
This article explains the benefits of a smart garage door opener and shows you which kinds of existing garage doors can be turned into smart garage doors. The article also lists 15 retrofit smart garage door kits that you can use to turn your existing garage door into a smart garage door.
How To Make Your Garage Door Smart
This section explains which types of existing garage doors can be turned into smart garage doors and what a smart garage door hub is.
Types of Garage Doors That Can Be Made Smart
There are two factors to consider when checking whether your existing garage door can be turned into a smart garage door.
Date of manufacture
Most garage doors made after 1993 can be turned into smart garage doors with the addition of a retrofit add-on kit.
But garage doors made before 1993 usually lack certain features required by smart garage door openers, such as infrared sensors. These sensors ensure that a motor-operated rolling door will not close on an object. If an object enters the path of closure, the entrapment protection device will stop the door from closing on it and return it to the fully open position.
So if your garage door was made before 1993, you will most likely have to replace the entire garage door opening mechanism with a smart garage door opener.
Garage door openers use a variety of drive mechanisms. The most common is a belt drive, but there are also threaded rod drives and chain drives.
Most retrofit smart garage door opener kits only work on a belt drive garage door.
Hubs and Smart Garage Door Openers
Some of the smart garage door openers listed in the following section are advertised as “no hub required”. It’s important to explain what this means.
What is a smart hub?
A smart hub, also referred to as a gateway, bridge, or controller, is like the nerve center of a smart home. It’s a piece of software (and sometimes hardware as well) that connects all your smart devices together so that they can be controlled from a single, central point. A smart hub allows the connected devices in your smart home to ‘talk to each other’. That means you can set up automations so that when one device turns on or off, another device also turns on or off.
When you add a retrofit smart garage door opener to your garage door, in most cases, the smart garage door opener will integrate with one of the popular smart home hubs, such as Alexa, Google Home, or HomeKit.
What does ‘no hub required’ mean?
When a manufacturer says ‘no hub required’ for their smart garage door opener, what they mean is that the smart garage door opener comes with its own smartphone app. In other words, you don’t need to invest in a smart home hub to use the smart garage door opener.
However, the words ‘no hub required’ can also mean that the smart garage door opener is not compatible with the major smart home hubs. In that case, you would have to operate it using the manufacturer’s smartphone app.
There are distinct advantages in having a smart garage door opener that works with your smart home hub. So before purchasing a smart garage door opener kit, check to see if it will integrate with your smart home hub (eg, Alexa or Google Home).
Eleven Best Retrofit Garage Door Opener Kits
Here are the eleven best smart garage door opener kits you can use to make your garage door smart.
#1. Chamberlain MyQ (G0401-ES)
Chamberlain MyQ features:
- most popular of all retrofit kits
- only works with sectional garage doors (not rolling doors)
- alerts you if your garage is left open
- works with Amazon Key in-home delivery service
- offers two-factor authentication
- has buttons that let you manually control your garage door
- intuitive mobile app
- doesn’t work with Google Home
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- price: $29.00
Image Credit: myq.com
#2. Tailwind iQ3
Tailwind iQ3 features:
- closes the door automatically when you arrive and leave
- “night mode” gives you extra security – if the door opens at any time during the night, tailwind will close it again after a few minutes
- receive customized alerts anywhere in the world using your smart device
- share access with as many people as you like
- revoke access instantly if necessary
- timed auto-close if a door has been left open – configurable up to 60 minutes
- additional adapters required for some brands of garage opener
- vehicle sensor is required for iphone users to have the auto open and close feature
- price: $79.99
Image Credit: gotailwind.com
#3. NEXX Garage Remote Door Opener (NXG-300)
NEXX Garage Remote Door Opener features:
- share access to the garage with multiple approved visitors (friends, family members, the dog sitter, cleaning service, etc)
- compatible with most garage door openers
- receive notifications if someone has forgotten to close the door
- lets you know who accesses your garage and when
- wifi connection plus bluetooth capability
- activate by voice or tapping: tap on the Nexx home app or use voice commands in siri, alexa, or google assistant.
- calendar in the app lets you see when the door was opened, and by whom
- feature called just drive uses geofencing to detect when you’re arriving home, and will automatically open the garage door
- create multiple schedules to automatically arm and disarm at a certain date and time
- snooze feature for situations where you leave the garage open on purpose
- price: $79.99
Image Credit: getnexx.com
#4. Garadget (FBA GRT1US)
- uses uses a laser that shines on a reflective tab to tell if your garage is open or closed
- gives you alerts in real-time if your door is opened, or if the door stays open for too long
- reports real-time open/closed status
- no activity log
- Price: $21.97
Image Credit: garadget.com
#5. Remootio 2 WiFi and Bluetooth Smart Garage Door Opener
Remootio 2 Smart Garage Door Opener features:
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- open the garage doors automatically as you approach the house
- automations – set your garage door to close or open at certain times of the day
- notifications – get notified when someone operates your gate or when the gate has been left open.
- share keys with family and friends or even Airbnb guests via QR code or via text message
- revoke/manage access rights easily
- limit when users can operate the gates based on weekly recurring pattern (useful for gardener, for example)
- check whether your garage door is open or closed from the Remootio app
- uses 256-bit authenticated end-to-end encryption between your smartphone and the Remootio device for greater security
- no external bridge or hub required
- Price: $119.00
Image Credit: remootio.com
#6. Meross Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener (MSG100)
Meross Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener features:
- overtime notification and overnight notification to remind you to close the garage door: sends you a warning if the door is left open for a user-configured length of time
- see garage door open/close status in smartphone app
- wired door sensor (two-part magnetic sensor to tell if the dor is open or closed)
- compatible with over 200 brands and 1600 different models of garage door opener
- set the door to close automatically after it’s been open for a set time, or close at a certain time of day
- activity log shows you garage door open/close activity
- price: $21.87
#7. Wofea WiFi Switch Smart Garage Door Opener Controller
Wofea Smart Garage Door Opener features:
- works with Alexa, Google Home, and SmartLife/Tuya
- compatible With Alexa Echo, Google Home voice control
- no Hub Required
- check the garage door open or closed state in real time.
- authorize multiple people to access your garage.
- activate your garage door opener by placing a voice command to your Alexa or Google Assistant
- compatible with most general garage door openers
- quick & easy installation as well without the need of a professional
- price: $87.00
#8. YoLink Garage Door Kit 1
YoLink Garage Door Kit features:
- works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
- YoLink Hub Required\price: $87.00 (does not include Hub)
#9. Tuya Smart Life Garage Door Sensor Controller Opener
Tuya Smart Life Garage Door Opener features:
- supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pairing
- voice control and identity authentication through popular third-party smart speakers such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
- can be used to control most garage door motors.
- check the status of the garage door in real time
- when it is opened or closed, you will receive a notification in your app
- if garage door remains open for a long time, you will receive an alert
- Price: $129.20
Image credit: Tuya.com
#10. HBN Smart Garage Door Opener
HBN Smart Garage Door Opener features:
- turn garage door on/off from anywhere with smartphone via the HBN Smart / Smart Life / Tuya Smart app
- voice Control: compatible with Alexa and Google Home,
- works with all major brands of garage door openers manufactured after 1993 that have standard safety sensors
- check garage door open/close status in the app
- easy to Install
- Price: $22.99
#11. eKyro Smart Garage Door Opener
eKyro Smart Garage Door Opener features:
- universal adapter connects to existing openers & connects to wireless b/g/n so you can control from anywhere wirelessly
- works with Alexa, Google Home, iPhone, Siri, Android
- compatible with most brands of garage door
- Price: $39.95
Installing Your Smart Garage Door Opener
Installing a retrofit smart garage door kit is much simpler than you probably think.
While the installation instructions for each smart garage door opener will vary slightly from brand to brand, in broad outline they will usually involve the following four components:
- Infrared sensors that detect when the door is open and closed
- Wires that go from the infrared sensors into the sockets on the back of the garage door opener
- Gateway that links the garage door opener with your Wi-Fi router
- Manufacturer’s smart garage door opener app
Because of safety requirements in the US and other countries, most smart garage door retrofit kits come with infrared sensors that can detect whether the garage door is open or closed. These sensors also tell the smart garage door app whether the garage door is open or closed.
The two wires from each of the two sensors need to be inserted into the back of the garage door opener mechanism.
The Gateway connects your Wi-Fi router with the garage door opener. It needs to be plugged into the back of your Wi-Fi router.
Most smart garage door adaptor kits come with an app that you download from Google Play or from the App Store. The app connects with your router and allows you to remotely control the garage door mechanism.
A smart garage door provides great convenience and makes your daily life that much easier. No more searching for the remote because you have the app on your phone. And it’s hands free: all you need to do is speak a command into your voice assistant or your smartphone.
But a smart garage door also adds layers of increased security to your garage door. You can get alerts when the door has been left open and you can program the door to close at a certain time every evening.
You can get an SMS every time the garage door opens or closes and you can see a history of activity on your garage door.
The amazing thing about smart garage doors is that they are not expensive. For less than $100 you can add a retrofit kit to your existing garage door and turn it into a smart garage door.
I hope this article has inspired you to take your garage door to the next level and make it part of your smart home!