'Tis the season to be jolly and we're spreading the joy with our own take on the 12 Days of Christmas. Each day we will feature a different aspect of home automation and integrating all the devices in a home which turn it into a smart home. On the 3rd day of a Smart Home Christmas, we bring 3 garage door sensors and controllers.
What they do
We've all forgotten at one time or another to close our garage doors. Whether it was on our way out somewhere or rushing in the door as we returned, life finds a way to distract us. Garage door controls and sensors offer a solution to our busy lives and forgetful nature. They are one more way to make a home smart.
There are two major features these devices provide: a way to monitor garage door status, and enabling homeowners to open and close garage doors remotely. With both of these features in tow, you'll be prepared to quickly and conveniently address your concerns the next time you're unsure. You can take this a step further by connecting them up to a security system or home automation system. In doing so you can setup alerts and notifications to help you keep an eye on things. Let's take this for a test drive.
It's been a long day and you're walking in the door with your hands full of groceries. As you reach for the door the phone rings. You hurry in the door to put down the groceries on the countertop and answer the phone before it sends your caller off to voicemail. Meanwhile the dog is barking, trying to get your attention to let it out, and the kids are tugging on your arm because they desperately want something from one of the grocery bags. Five minutes later you've let the dog out, the kids have the items they were wanting out of the bags, and you've wrapped up your phone conversation. You go about things unloading the groceries and having completely forgot about the garage door. Fortunately, you've got garage door sensors connected to your smart home system. As you're pulling items out of the grocery bags your smartphone comes to life with the familiar sound of a new text message being received. You check the phone and there is a text message from the home automation system notifying you that the garage door is still open.
It may seem like a silly situation because you were home, but the fact is the garage door still got left open. There are plenty of other scenarios where someone gets distracted on their way out the door and forgets to close it too. The important takeaway here is that the sensors and controller provide a way to resolve the situation before the doors get left open for a long period.
There's one last item to cover before we go into how it's done, an optional but very useful third device. Remember we started off by talking about three sensors and controllers. Number three is a controllable outlet. It's optional because it's not a required part to provide you with the ability to check status and control the garage doors. However, it does provide an additional level of security to garage doors if you have a home automation system with which to connect it. Replacing the standard electrical outlet your garage door opener is plugged into with a controllable outlet enables you to completely cut power to the door opener while you're away from the home. Short of some extraordinary measures, no one will getting into your garage.
How they do this
There are several methods for connecting sensors and remotely accessible controllers to garage doors. Above, we've provided an illustration showing a combination of magnetic contacts and a sensor/controller device. The magnetic contacts tell the sensor/controller unit if the door is open or not. The sensor/controller reports the status to your smartphone application and provides the capability to open and close the door from your phone as well. When a request to open or close the door is received, the sensor/controller sends a momentary signal to the garage door opener, the same way the mechanical controller mounted on the wall does.
Why they Matter to You
Making your home smart leads to a great many benefits. The majority of home burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Open garage doors are particularly attractive targets. It represents an opportunity to get in and out quickly, quietly, and carry a much lower risk of discovery compared to entry into the house itself. Garage door sensors and controls improve the security of your home and property. They allow you to keep apprised of the status of the doors and provide a way to close them from wherever you are. Connecting them with a smart home automation system opens the door to more enhanced capabilities such as using geo-fencing to trigger the opening and closing of the garage doors automatically. Check out our pages dedicated to adding controls to your home and smart home automation, or contact us to learn more.
Links to the Other 12 Days Articles: