This $17 device automated my garage with no problems
Deciding on the best DIY home security systems and then installing them can be a somewhat daunting experience. There are so many products and different ecosystems and price points that it can certainly take some time and research.
There is always something to add or tweak, and when it comes to home security, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. But I found this one device that helped me turn my garage into a “smart” garage in minutes.
Before I tell you more myQ Chamberlain Intelligent Garage Control ($17 at Amazon (opens in new tab) at the moment), Let me tell you the pain point it solved for me. I recently added my own home security system and although I write about technology for a living, a simple home automation project that requires tampering with wires has me concerned.
To update: As of November 28th, this Cyber Monday deal is still in stock.
I love tinkering with gadgets, but give me a mesh router that I can install myself and I could be pretty much at sea. I went ahead and ordered the easiest DIY home security system out there – the Ring Alarm.
I bought the Ring Video Doorbell (battery), some window and motion sensors, the keyboard, and a base station. I also bought a Ring outdoor camera (battery) for my garage, which is one of the best outdoor security cameras out there right now. Everything was surprisingly easy to set up and I was very happy with my purchase.
Driving to work one day, I suddenly realized that there was a gap in the devices I had chosen. After leaving the house, I just couldn’t remember closing my garage door behind me that morning. My outdoor garage camera was facing out, so there was no way to check from there either.
The garage is the most common entrance to most homes, but unfortunately none of the home security systems I’ve looked at include a garage door sensor. All I needed was a sensor to tell me if my garage was closed or open, and none of the top security system companies had one available.
The garage door opener I have with my house is the WiFi Liftmaster. It can connect to an app called My Q, which should be able to get the job done – but unfortunately that doesn’t work. I tried pairing it with the app on my phone a couple of times, but it synced to a different frequency in my neighborhood — and of course, that made me jump out of my skin every time my garage door happened to open. I scrapped that plan and decided that I definitely needed a solution to my problem.
A little sensor that changed my garage
A smart garage controller can alert you every time your garage is opened and you can also use your phone as a remote control to open your garage. My Q’s Chamberlain Smart Garage Control is currently at the top of our list of the best smart garage door openers and is very easy to install.
I bought the unit and put off the installation for some time due to the huge mess of wires I thought I would have to deal with, not to mention my radio frequency jammed garage door opener. But it was easy enough. The base just had to be plugged in and stored in the garage itself, while the sensor had to be attached to the garage door. The rest of the installation required the My Q app.
The My Q app walks you through the process in detail, step-by-step, and the detailed video walkthroughs helped me get set up in minutes.
The best thing about this smart controller is that it syncs with most 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 when the garage door was opened or closed.
This device also allows Amazon delivery people to enter your garage to drop off packages if you want to enable this feature and protect your packages from snooping pirates on the porch.
Available at Amazon (opens in new tab), this is one of the best smart garage controllers and it is currently on sale at the regular price of $29. If you’re looking for a simple device that will turn your garage into a “smart” garage and give you the ability to control your gate from your phone, then the My Q Chamberlain controller is a great option.
Next: I’m testing Roku’s new security cameras – and this is a feature I really like. Also see how This clever $13 product just saved my Philips Hue lights.