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Easy Home Automation - Control Garage Doors with Smartphone

Updated on December 9, 2016
Are your garage doors open -- or closed? image credit: istockphoto -- everydayeyes
Are your garage doors open -- or closed? image credit: istockphoto -- everydayeyes | Source

Garage door safety

Before you begin your garage door automation project -- your number one consideration should be garage door safety

Make sure your garage door system is safe. A surprising number of injuries and even deaths occur each year involving garage doors.

Non-reversing automatic garage doors are dangerous. That is why the Consumer Product Safety Commission have declared non-reversing automatic garage door openers a hazard and issued a consumer alert.

Additional potential dangers. Garage Door Child Safety is a well-illustrated and clearly written piece warning about inherent hazards in the design of some garage doors and their opening-closing mechanisms.

Safe garage door operation. Make sure you operate your automatic garage door in a safe manner. You should only remotely close a garage door when you are sure it is safe. Safety beam devices can further increase the safety of remote garage door control, and are usually required by law

Other safety devices for garage doors include visual and audible alerts, garage door safety devices, and a video cam to visually check the door. Martin Doors now offers a Soft Touch Reversing Technology that eliminates the need for photo eyes,

In summary, check your door and make sure it is mechanically safe, has appropriate safety features and is operated safely. Better be safe than sorry.

Have you ever been on vacation and forgot whether you closed your garage door before you left home? No one is at home. What do you do?

You take out your smartphone and with a few taps you check to see if the door is open or closed. Your "smart" garage door tells you that it is closed . You double check with your web-enabled garage door security camera. You see that the door is closed. You breathe a sigh of relief.

But what if the door is open? No problem. With a few more taps you instruct the door to close, and it does. Once again you check to see whether it has in fact closed. It has.

Now your mind is at ease. With INSTEON easy home automation, this garage door automation is easily within your reach.

How to set up remote garage door automation using your smartphone

First you'll have to turn your garage door into a "smart" garage door. Smarthome offers an garage door control and status kit that allows you to do just that. It includes a magnetic door closure sensor and an INSTEON I/O Linc (input-output link).

Close the garage door and mount the magnet unit on the door near the floor. Then mount the magnetic sensor on the floor close to the magnet unit. Plug the i/o unit into an unswitched wall outlet near the door. Connect the I/O Linc to the sensor and to the garage door opener motor following directions that come with the package.

Now link the sensor and i/o unit following directions. Your smart garage door is now ready to be connected to your Hub and Internet.

You'll need an SmartLinc INSTEON Hub. I suggest getting an Insteon Starter Kit -- light dimming kit that includes an INSTEON Hub and two lamp dimmer modules. Connect the Hub to your Internet router with an Ethernet cable. Now link the Hub to the I/O Link for your garage door. (Use plug-in lamp modules for INSTEON remote lamp control.)

Finally you need to download an INSTEON app for your Smartphone. Follow the easy linking instructions and you're ready to go. You have just installed an INSTEON home automation network (HAN).

How your Insteon home automation network works

You call up your HAN app on your smartphone and send a command to check whether the garage door is open or closed. Your controller receives your command and broadcasts over the existing electric wires in your house, Insteon is a reliable and flexible dual band network that also sends your commands on a designated radio frequency.

Your garage I/O Linc picks up your command and sends back the status of the door closure sensor -- open or closed.

When you want to close an open door, your command reaches the i.o link which in turn sends that signal to the garage door opener motor.

Expand your Insteon home automation network

Your Insteon HAN can be expanded as needed to help you automate other functions around your home such as remote lamp control. Home do-it-yourselfers like Insteon HAN technology because it is reliable, flexible, easy to install and operate, and required no monthly or annual fee.

Do you have a home automation network?

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    • John Dove profile image

      John Dove 6 years ago

      Thank you Faceless39 -- Lots of new products are coming in the home automation network (HAN)space these days -- keep tuned.

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 6 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Rated up, useful, awesome, and interesting. I didn't know these existed. How cool! :)