I have to admit since I purchased my Google Home, I’ve been trying to find ways to automate various things around the house. One of the easiest/quickest things to do is to purchase the smart outlets or smart plugs. Recently, I was looking at smart options for garage door openers. I went looking through eBay and found a very low-cost solution; it’s not glamorous, but it does work.
So if you do a search on eBay for ‘WIFI Garage Door Opener with Alexa and Google Home smartphone app iPhone Android’, you’ll get a lot of results, but the item I found was low-cost for $30 (basically). You can reference the picture above. From the picture, you’ll see that it’s just a power supply and to outgoing wires. You might find it a little bit comical but the housing for the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener is just a plastic travel soap dish with some holes cut it for the wiring. The circuit board is hot glued to the bottom of the travel soap dish.
How it works
Most garage door openers have a satellite button that’s mounted on the interior wall of the garage. The satellite button has two wires that come off of it and connect to the actual garage door opener. The satellite button works as a jumper/trigger for the garage door opener to activate; to actually open/close the garage door.
This solution is actually pretty simple. It has two wires coming out of it that are about 12 inches long. You connect each of the wires from the garage door opener to the same connection as the satellite button. This allows the Wi-Fi garage door opener to trigger the same connection as your satellite button, allowing for the door to open and close.
Installation and set up
- Your garage door opener is going to have to have a power connection somewhere; typically just a standard political outlet. You take the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener and plug that in the same outlet as your garage door opener. If needed, get a power strip.
- Take the two outgoing wires from the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener, and connect them to your garage door opener; the same as the satellite button. (Shown above)
- Program the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener.
For this particular unit, you need to download the eWeLink application from the Google Play or iTunes Store. This application will require you to do a quick registration. Since I have an android phone, I had to use Google Play.
Once the application has been loaded, open the application and click on the + at the bottom of the application. On the next screen, you’ll have the option to actually add the device.
Just follow the instructions in the pairing of the device should take just a few seconds.
Here’s a screenshot of the circuit board inside the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener.
Shortly after the smart Wi-Fi garage door opener has paired to your phone, you’ll be able to use the application to open and close the door. The application also gives you some basic information about the Wi-Fi signal strength, but you can also schedule events.
You can use the application to open the garage door or you can use Google Home.
To add the garage door device to Google Home, open Google Home on your smartphone, choose settings from the top left-hand corner, choose home control, click the plus button to add a device and then select the eWeLink service and walk through the linking process.
This smart Wi-Fi garage door opener is very basic. The integration with Google Home only allows you to say ‘okay Google, turn on the garage door’ or ‘okay Google, turn off the garage door’. You don’t have the option to ask Google Home if the garage door is open, but that would’ve been a really nice feature.
To be clear, I knew this was not going to be an elegant solution, but curiosity got the best of me. I had to try this economical solution for myself. It does work. Being able to open your garage door from virtually anywhere is a nice convenience. And if you want to make it even more elegant, you can use the IFTTT application to automatically open the garage door when you get close to your home.
In the future, I do plan on upgrading my garage door to something a little more robust. My goal is to be able to ask Google Home to open and close my garage door, but also be able to ask it if the door is open. But for now, this’ll work for me.
Leave me your comments if you have any suggestions on home automation. I’d be glad to hear it.