DIY Home Automation: The Garage Door

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nexia

In past posts, I have written several entries while working on my connect home. Of the many different services available, I have ended up with the Nexia Home Intelligence System. I have really taken to the Nexia system not only for the ease of setup and low-cost, but also for the availability of compatible accessories. Most compatible products can be found not only on Amazon, but also most “big box” retailers such as Lowes and Home Depot.

Linear GDOYou can read my review of the base unit and start-up peripherals here. Today I want to talk about another entry point into most homes, the garage door. Linear, a well-known brand in the garage door and garage door accessories industry, recently released the Linear Z-Wave Garage Door Controller. Even though it is made by Linear, it does not require a Linear brand opener to work. In fact there are only a few openers that it is not compatible with and they are listed here.

I often times have found myself driving back to the house because I could not remember if I shut my garage door. This may sound overly cautious, but I have several times forgotten to close it in the hustle of the morning or even had the cat run out and trigger the door safety system. Because of this, I originally had planned to install an additional wireless camera in the garage, just to ease my mind via viewing on the mobile app. Luckily, Linear came out with their Z-Wave Controller before I had saved up the money to purchase the camera. First off, the Controller is half the cost of the camera (under $100) and it can open and shut the garage door via mobile device – in case I do leave it open.

The Linear unit breaks down into two wireless units that work together. First is the main unit that plugs into a wall socket and attaches to the garage door opener. This piece is that actual controller unit. Besides plugging it into power, it has two wires that attach on the opener to the same wires that connect the push button controller panel on the wall. The unit can attach to the metal rails for the current opener or can be attached to the ceiling/wall with screws. The Linear Controller also has a flashing warning light that illuminates to notify occupants that it has been activated. In case the garage door does not include a safety system, this would alert anyone to get out of the way because the door is about to be in motion. The second piece to the system is the tilt sensor. This unit attaches wirelessly to the garage door panel and works with the controller to identify the position in which the door is currently. This tells the app, no matter where you are in the world, whether or not the door is open or closed. This unit attaches via double-sided tape and is battery-powered – so it is simple and non-obtrusive. Here is a short video that demonstrates how easy the entire setup actually is:

 

I guess you could say that the mobile app is the third part to this product. With it, you can check the status of the door, open and shut the door, and even schedule it for automatic triggers (such as open or close at certain times of the day)- all from anywhere you can connect to the internet. It also sits in the Nexia app dashboard, so in one view I can see the status of my entire home now, including all door statuses.

You can check out more about the Linear Garage Door Controller and the rest of the Nexia Home Intelligence System at : www.NexiaHome.com . Next up in DIY Home Automation, I will review the Trane Z-Wave connected Thermostat.

Disclosure: After expressing an interest in the Linear Garage Door Controller, I was sent one for review purposes.

Get the Official GeekDad Books!