Deciding on and installing home automation devices and sometimes even the best DIY home security systems can be a bit overwhelming. There are many options to choose from with different products and different natures and price points – it can take time and research. There’s always something you can add or tweak to make it perfect and with home security, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. I found this one gadget that helped me transform my garage in minutes into a “smart” garage.
Before I tell you more about this gadget, let me tell you the pain point it solved for me. I’m just in the process of adding my own home security system and even though I write about technology for a living, a simple home automation project that requires some wiring, makes me nervous. Hacking with gadgets – I like it, but give me a route with slots to plug them in and I might really be at sea. I went ahead and ordered the simplest DIY home security system around – the Ring Alarm.
I bought a Ring Video Doorbell (battery), window and motion sensors, keypad, and base station. Additionally, I also bought a Ring outdoor camera (battery) for my garage which is one of the best outdoor security cameras out there. Everything was surprisingly easy to set up and I was very happy with my purchase.
However, when I went to work one day, I suddenly realized that there was a gap in the equipment I had chosen. After I left home, I couldn’t remember if I had closed my garage door that morning. My outdoor garage camera faces outside, so there was no way to check there either.
The garage is the most common entrance to most homes, but unfortunately none of the home security systems I looked at included a garage door sensor. What I needed was a sensor to tell me if my garage was locked or unlocked and none of the best security system companies had it.
The garage door opener I have that came with my house is a WiFi Liftmaster. It can connect to an app called My Q that should be able to do the job — but unfortunately, that doesn’t work. I tried connecting it to the app on my phone a few times but it synced to another frequency in my area – and naturally, that made me jump out of my skin every time my garage door randomly opened. I quit that program and decided that I really needed a solution to my problem.
The little sensor that changed my garage
A smart garage door opener can notify you every time your garage opens and let you use your phone as a remote control to open your garage. My IQ’s Chamberlain Smart Garage Control has a deal on it that makes it super affordable right now at $19 (currently $10 off) and super easy to install.
I bought the device and put it off for a while because of the amount of wiring I thought I would have to deal with, not to mention my faulty garage door opener. But it was easy enough. The base had to be attached and stored in the garage itself, while the sensor had to be attached to the garage door. Some installations require the My Q app.
The My Q app takes you through the process step-by-step in detail and the in-depth video walkthrough helped me get set up in minutes.
The best part about this smart controller is that it syncs with multiple home security systems. It also supports Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. I connected it to my Ring ecosystem and was able to get notifications in my Ring app whenever the garage door was opened or closed.
This device also allows Amazon delivery people to enter your garage to drop off packages if you enable that feature and want to keep your packages safe from porch thieves.
Available on Amazon for $19 (opens in a new tab) this is one of the smartest garage controllers and it is currently on sale for its regular price of $29. If you are looking for a simple device that can turn your garage into a “smart” one and give you the ability to control your door from your phone, then the My Q Chamberlain controller is a great option.