Whether you use your garage as a home workshop or as a place to get your vehicle out of the elements, the best smart garage door opener can be a convenient addition. These devices make wireless door openers look like Stone Age technology.
With the best smart garage door opener devices, you’ll enjoy access to the garage via smartphone, smart-home technology, or even voice control in newer vehicles. With built-in extras like cameras and security features, there are plenty of reasons to check into one of these high-tech garage door openers. Keep reading to learn more.
- BEST OVERALL: GarageMate Bluetooth Garage Door Opener
- RUNNER-UP: Refoss Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Chamberlain Hub MYQ-G0301
- BEST WITH CAMERA: Chamberlain B6765T B6765 Secure View
- BEST BELT-DRIVEN: Chamberlain Group B550 Smartphone-Controlled
- BEST CHAIN-DRIVEN: Chamberlain Group C450 Smartphone-Controlled
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Smart Garage Door Opener
While the convenience of smartphone-enabled garage door control might be appealing, it’s important not to rush into purchasing one of these appliances. There are a few critical details that you need to understand before you start shopping for the best smart garage door opener. This section will outline those factors and explain what goes into choosing a suitable model.
If the goal is to have a smart-enabled garage door opener, there are two ways to go about doing it: purchasing a new opener with smart-tech already integrated or installing an add-on device to an already existing garage door opener.
In cases where a garage door opener might be a bit older, or there was never a unit in the first place, an entirely new unit is best. Most garage doors themselves are compatible, so it’s a matter of replacing the old unit or installing the new one. Less-experienced DIYers might consider farming this out to a contractor.
If the garage door opener is relatively new but not yet tied into a smart home system, adding a smart home controller is often all it takes. These modules attach to a standard garage door opener and allow users to access it via a smart device.
Should a new garage door opener be in the works, it’s essential to know that there are different types:
- Power types: Garage door openers come in two power types: AC and DC. Both plug into a standard house outlet, but AC openers use standard house current, while DC openers use a converter. The converter changes the power to DC, which is quieter and uses less energy.
- Chain-drive: Some overhead garage door openers use chains and gears to lift and lower a garage door. As the motor turns, a gear, similar to those found on bicycles, rotates and pulls or releases the chain connected to the garage door. Chain-drive models are affordable, reliable, and effective for standard garage doors, but they can be a bit loud.
- Screw-drive: Suitable for larger, heavier doors, overhead screw-drive openers have long threaded rods that spin to open and close a garage door. They’re low maintenance and can be quiet if kept lubricated.
- Jackshaft: Jackshaft openers, otherwise known as wall-mounted or direct-drive openers, mount on the wall next to the garage door instead of overhead (like most garage door openers). These devices operate by spinning the torsion bar above the garage door to open and close the door. They’re expensive but very quiet and durable.
- Belt-drive: Belt-drive openers use steel-reinforced rubbers belts instead of chains but operate very similarly otherwise. The belts absorb much of the vibration, making these devices much quieter than a chain-driven model.
Garage Door Compatibility
If there’s a concern about compatibility, there’s good news: Most overhead garage doors are compatible with smart garage door openers. For existing garage door openers, some manufacturers offer device-specific models.
For add-on devices, you can determine your garage door opener’s compatibility based on the color of the “learn” button on the back of the opener. Check your unit’s learn button first before shopping to ensure you choose a module that will work.
With new garage door openers, there are a few things to check on your current garage door before attaching an opener:
- Check to ensure the garage door tracks are in good shape.
- Check the garage door rollers to ensure none are broken or frozen.
- Ensure the garage door opens and closes smoothly and completely.
If the garage door, rollers, and tracks are in good shape, a smart garage door opener is a real possibility.
When choosing the best smart garage door opener, the amount and type of power a unit has is an important consideration. Heavier doors like wood, faux-wood clad, and double-wide doors require more power to lift them, while lighter doors can get away with a less powerful opener. For doors made from heavier materials, 0.75 horsepower or more is best. For lighter, smaller doors, 0.5 horsepower is all it really takes.
And, since garage door openers use electricity, power outages are always a concern. Many new garage door opener units have battery backups that allow the door to open a few times when the power is out. Otherwise, all garage door openers have emergency releases you can activate from inside the garage when the power is out.
Smart garage door openers connect to a WiFi-enabled or Bluetooth-enabled device to give the user the control they’re after. For WiFi-enabled systems, most work on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi systems, which are compatible with most home wireless routers. Even routers that offer 5G networks might not have the range necessary to reach a garage.
Most Wi-Fi devices are able to tie in with smart home systems like Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Alexa. But not all devices are compatible with all voice assistants, so be sure the model you use works with your chosen smart-home system.
For Bluetooth-enabled openers, users connect the system to a smartphone and operate them via an app. The downside of this type of system is that you need to be in close proximity to the garage door opener to operate it.
Add-on-type smart home garage door openers usually come with a module and a remote for programming, keeping things as simple as possible. Since the garage door already has the hardware necessary to operate, these modules simply plug into the back of the garage door opener to provide remote access.
For brand new smart garage door openers, the kits come loaded with important hardware. Most garage door openers come with safety equipment, like infrared lasers that communicate with the opener to ensure nothing is blocking the door. There might also be security cameras with two-way audio, additional remotes, and keyless entry panels.
It’s a well-known fact that garage door openers are loud, and it’s no different for smart garage door openers. But some types are surprisingly quiet, so it’s worth doing a little research before deciding on the best smart garage door opener.
The loudest garage door opener type is a chain-driven model. Not only are the motors noisy, but the mechanical components and chattering garage door components also cause a lot of vibration, which tends to resonate through the house. Screw-type openers experience less vibration, so they’re a bit quieter than chain models.
For the quiet option, a wall-mounted or belt-driven unit is the way to go. The walls dampen most of the vibration, and the belt’s smooth operation quiets chattering doors. Some even feature anti-vibration features to remove the shake and chatter even more.
Our Top Picks
With that primer on these handy devices, choosing the best smart garage door opener becomes a bit more straightforward. To help streamline the shopping process even more, the following section contains some of the best models on the market. Be sure to keep all of the top considerations in mind when comparing these products.
Those looking to add smart device technology to their existing garage door opener should check out GarageMate’s smart garage door opener. This plug-in device attaches directly to an existing garage door opener and does not need batteries or an additional power outlet. The GarageMate functions via Bluetooth communication with the user’s smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, including all Android and Apple products.
GarageMate’s Bluetooth functionality makes setting up the device extremely easy. Simply plug in the device, download the app, and pair the phone with the opener. With the “auto-click” feature activating the door as soon as the app opens, users open and close the garage door with voice commands. Do keep in mind that this opener does not operate with existing openers with yellow learn buttons.
For existing garage door openers that need a bit of a technology boost, Refoss’s Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener is an easy upgrade. This kit installs quickly, plugging into the back of the existing garage door opener, and uses a home’s 2.4GHz Wi-Fi system to connect with the user’s phone. With the downloadable app, users have access to their garage door opener, complete with alerts, warnings, and programmable themes, from anywhere in the world.
This smart garage door opener works with most garage door openers, though units with yellow and purple learn buttons might need an additional attachment. The good news is that Refoss sends those attachments for free.
The Chamberlain’s Hub MYQ-G0301 smart garage door opener gives users control over their garage door from anywhere in the world. This device piggybacks on existing garage door openers, using 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks to provide remote access for users anywhere around the globe. The MYQ-G0301 smart garage door opener works with both Google Assistant and if-this-then-that (IFTTT) technology.
With the Chamberlain app, users can program the door to open and close automatically based on a schedule. Also, this device is compatible with Amazon Key, which allows Amazon delivery drivers to drop a package safely in a garage, reducing the risk of damage or theft. This smart garage door opener functions with most garage door openers manufactured after 1993, offering almost totally universal compatibility.
Shoppers hunting for a smart garage door opener with a built-in camera system should give this model from Chamberlain some consideration. This opener uses 2.4GHz Wi-Fi systems and Chamberlain’s MYQ App to offer control over the garage door with programmable themes for opening and closing as well as live video with two-way audio.
While this smart garage door opener has all the accessibility options most users could want, it also has some built-in features worth noting. There’s a built-in battery backup for access during power outages as well as an overhead 1.5 horsepower belt-drive opening system to make it as smooth and quiet as possible. This kit comes with a wireless keypad, two vehicle remotes, a battery backup, and a motion-detecting control panel. It works with Google Assistant, IFTTT, Wink, and Amazon Key.
When noise control is a priority, Chamberlain’s Group B550 Smartphone-Controlled garage door opener might be the product for the job. This smart garage door opener uses a 0.5-horsepower overhead belt-driven system to provide quiet opening and closing, making it an attractive option for garages below bedrooms and other quiet areas.
This smart garage door opener uses 2.4GHz Wi-Fi systems and Chamberlain’s MYQ app to provide remote control and access to the garage door. It works with Google Assistant, IFTTT, Wink, and Key by Amazon. This system comes with the opener, a keyless entry pad, two remote controls with 1,500 feet of range, a control pad, and safety sensors to ensure the door doesn’t close on children or pets.
For those looking to swap out their existing chain-drive garage door opener for a smart model, Chamberlain Group’s C450 Smartphone-Controlled opener might be worth a look. This smart garage door opener uses a 0.5-horsepower overhead chain-driven system for durability and long-lasting performance.
When tied in with Chamberlain’s MYQ app, it can be programmed to open and close at set times, provide alerts to the user’s phone, and offer remote access from anywhere in the world. It works with Google Assistant, Wink, IFTTT, and Amazon Key.
This kit comes with all the hardware necessary to install it, including a keyless entry pad, two vehicle remotes with 1,500 feet of range, a wall-mounted switch, and safety sensors to avoid closing the door on any objects, people, or critters.
FAQs About Your New Smart Garage Door Opener
Now that you know a bit more about the best smart garage door openers, there might be some lingering questions to address. The following is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions about smart garage door openers.
Q. Are smart garage door openers safe?
Smart garage door openers are as secure as traditional remote garage door openers. While there is always a risk of someone hacking a garage door opener, there is just as much risk as someone stealing the signal from your remote and reusing it when you aren’t home.
Q. How do I connect my garage door opener to my phone?
Most smart garage door openers use apps that automatically detect the garage door opener’s presence through Wi-Fi. Simply download the app, and follow the prompts.
Q. How do I pair my remote to my garage door opener?
On the back of most garage door openers, there is a “learn” button. Typically, holding that button until it flashes and then pressing the garage door remote button links the two devices.
Q. How do I reset my garage door opener manually?
If you had to release your garage door manually and it’s not opening, resetting it is fairly simple. Simply unlock the garage door and push it back toward the opener until the emergency release handle snaps back into the carrier.
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