Sometimes it seems like most conversations around smart home technology focus on the smart home office. Internet of Things (IoT) devices have so much more potential than just making a convenient work-from-home setup, though. One room in particular that could use the smart tech treatment is your garage.
Bringing the IoT into your garage has two main advantages. First, it makes getting in and out a lot more convenient, especially if you’re out of the house. Second, it can increase your home’s overall security.
So how do you do it? Here’s your guide to creating a smart garage:
1. Ensure You Have a Wi-Fi Signal
The first step in setting up a smart garage may seem like a bit of a no-brainer. You can’t go on without doing this first, though, so it’s worth the mention. Before you do anything, make sure you can get a strong Wi-Fi signal in your garage.
Go into your garage and look at your Wi-Fi signal with your phone. As long as you have at least two bars, you should be good to go. If you don’t have enough, you can increase it by buying either a new router or a range extender.
2. Get the Right Gadgets
The next step is to get all the gadgets you’ll need. Smart home devices make up a multibillion-dollar industry, so you have some options here. The specific kinds of accessories you’ll need depends on how far you want to take your smart garage.
The most basic setup will only require a garage door opener. If you want a true smart garage, though, you can incorporate some other devices as well. The four primary components of a full-fledged smart garage are door openers, cameras, smart locks and smart lights.
Smart Garage Door Openers
Smart garage door openers are the backbone of the connected garage. These devices allow you to open and close your garage door from your phone. If you ever forget if you’ve shut it or not, you can use your phone to make sure.
When it comes to these gadgets, Chamberlain is by far the most famous name in the game. Their MyQ Smart Garage Hub is an affordable and reliable option. Other brands include Garadget, Tailwind, and Nexx.
Security Cameras and Motion Sensors
Garages are worth securing like any other point of entry in your house. You can do this through IoT cameras and motion sensors. What separates these from their traditional counterparts is the ability to access them from your phone.
Some smart garage hubs come with cameras as part of the package. You don’t need to buy one of these to incorporate a camera into your setup, though. Wyze and Nest are among the best brands for smart cameras to use in your garage.
There’s likely more than one door in your garage, and you can use the IoT to secure them. Consider using a smart lock on the door that leads into your house. It’ll add an extra layer of protection and convenience.
You can unlock these devices with your phone, so forgetting your keys won’t be a problem. Like with smart garage door openers, you can also lock or unlock them remotely. Notable brands for these devices include Schlage, Yale, August and Ultraloq.
You can use IoT devices to reduce the amount of electricity you use in your garage too. If you spend a lot of time in there, you may want to consider installing some smart lights. With these, you can monitor their energy usage, and like everything else, control them remotely.
The Phillips Hue line of smart lights is the most widely praised option. They offer an impressive range of different lighting solutions and colors to meet your needs. Whatever kind you end up buying, though, make sure your light fixtures are compatible with it.
3. Install All Devices
Once you’ve picked your devices, it’s time to install them. Make sure you have enough outlets for things that need to be plugged in and batteries for those that don’t. If you’re using security cameras, angle them towards your garage door.
If you want, you can adjust your setup so you can control everything from a virtual assistant. If that’s the case, make sure you buy products that can all work on the same one. Some gadgets only offer Alexa or Google Assistant support, while others are compatible with both.
4. Connect Everything to Your Network
When you have everything in place, connect it all to your Wi-Fi network. This step will look a bit different for each device, but they should all come with easy-to-follow instructions. Usually, you handle everything from each gadget’s companion app on your smartphone, which should be straightforward enough to follow.
After connecting everything, run some tests to ensure it all works. Test all of each device’s functions from different distances from your garage. If you’re using a smart speaker to run all your electronics, make sure you can recognize the other devices with it.
What to Do if Tech Fails
If you’re having trouble with a device, make sure it has sufficient power and a Wi-Fi signal. All of these gadgets could take up quite a bit of bandwidth, so ensure your network can support them all. You may have to get a new router, ideally a mesh one, if it turns out the Wi-Fi is the problem here.
If your garage door won’t open and you’re trying to leave, you can disengage and reengage your door manually. The nice thing about garage doors is that they can still work when their technology fails. Once you can come back to inspect the issue, consider that it could be a mechanical problem, not an IoT one.
Bring Your Garage Into the 21st Century
The IoT market is booming right now, so it’s the perfect time to update your home. If you want to make your house one of the many connected homes across the United States, why not start with your garage? If you leave your house regularly, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Smart garages are more secure, more convenient and more energy-efficient than their traditional counterparts. With the right gadgets, making your own isn’t a complicated process. Bring your garage into the 21st century today.