Why Automate The Garage Door?

I'm looking for something else to automate. Why would you automate the garage door?
I have an exterior keypad which is easy to use.
I can see maybe not leaving doors open by mistake after leaving or overnight, but not sure of other reasons.

Personal preference, I like the door to go up automatically when I pull up. I do this using a zigbee "arrival" sensor.

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Same as @aaiyar. Open when I get home and close when I open the inside door. Also, I have my Truck start when I get up for work and open the garage.


You can open the garage doors when you are getting close to home so that they are open when you arrive. I open and close my door via Siri in my car. Just activating Siri via the steering wheel and ask her to open or close my garage door...
I have a double button on the inside of my door. When leaving home I click my button to unlock the door and open my garage door. In my garage I have another button I can click that closes my garage door and unlock my door so that I can just walk into the house.

I have both of my garage doors automated and have for years. I don't really use it for anything though - I am very against automatically opening them on arrival. Just my preference.

I wouldn't automate them again if I had to do it over. I would just put a tilt sensor on them to know door status, and use that for lights/automation/"door open" alerts.


I automate mine for closing. I agree with @JasonJoel that automating opening is not a good idea.

I have mine close at sunset, again at late night (in case I open it again after dark and forget to close), and when all presence devices become Not Present from the house.

I also like having the contact sensor status to monitor remotely, and I have opened it remotely before for a visitor or trusted contractor.


Good reason is peace of mind on closing. I have two times in my life forgot to close the door when leaving. Now I can check the status when on-road (using Alexa) and if not closed, close. Senor Moments!

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I personally have left the garage door open overnite, luckily no one robbed me. Probably because I live in podunk Illinois (home of communism). Just the fact that when I tell Alexa goodnight I know that if the garage door is open, HE will close it.

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What's a presence device? I usually keep location off on my phone. Trying to stay off the internet, when I can.

I too have left the garage open overnight, and a couple of times it rained.

I never leave my garage door open, so that isn't a big concern of mine. I check the door locks and garage doors as part of my bedtime routine.

That said, I also have a 'garage door left open' alert too. Never needed it though.

But anyway, like everything in home automation, there is no one right answer to 'is it necessary' or not.

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I recently connected my GDO to a Zen16. I also drive a motorcycle and have a steep driveway, so I've been trying to think of a good way to automate the door opening in a way that is a little more secure. I think I'm going to make a virtual switch called "coming home" and not give any access to something like Google assistant so no voice commands. When I leave work, I can turn the virtual switch on. If the switch is on, then use presence to open the garage door. The virtual switch will turn off after the door is opened or after 2 hours, which should give me plenty of time to get home even if there is a traffic jam.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm hoping this works well. It would be especially nice when it's raining.

Is any of this "necessary", lol?


Along the same lines of forgetting to close the Garage and having it close automatically, I have setup the mudroom lights to go red when the garage is open. We then know the garage was left open and correct it sooner, but the main reason was so our dog did not escape when we take him out to do his business.

Yes, same here.

I have a couple of virtual presence devices set up. One based on this. And I also have been trying to work some BLE beacons into that same sort of approach, but the results are sort of mixed. And I also use the Hubitat mobile app presence sensor, but it can be flaky. I use @jwetzel1492's Combined Presence app to help combine and dither out inconsistent states between all of those.

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I wouldn't have even bothered getting into home automation in the first place if the fam could turn off a light. I got tired of coming home to every single thing that could be turned on being on. My electric bill was regularly over $400. Now its usually around $100. Most of that savings came from turning off the AC units while the doors are open and scheduling them off while we're away.


There are a lot of options. I personally use a Tile keychain and one in my wallet.

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I use auto open mainly for safety incase my car's auto start is trigger and the car is running in the garage with the doors closed. It will open up the doors. This doubles as an added bonus of opening as I arrive home.
I was a little concerned about security of the auto open.
so I wired my zigbee arrival sensor (an Xbee3) to the usb ports in my car so they are only powered on if the car is running.

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Oddly..that's what started me down the home automation path. I have 3 garage doors and then a man door into our house. It was pretty common for someone to leave a garage door open, especially in the winter. So I wanted something to auto-shut them. I started with finding the Garadget on Amazon...that led to smartthings...yada yada now I'm here.

I still only use HE to shut the doors if they are left open...and let me know if they are open when no one is home or when we go to bed. I used to do the whole open when I got home things but with 3 doors and 5 cars...and the cars sometimes shuffle between where they are parked...that didn't work out so smoooth.


I automated mine because we would frequently forget to close it, sometimes when leaving home, but primarily when going to bed at night. Years ago (before home automation) we left both the garage door and the door into the utility room open. One of our neighbors got home around 2AM and actually called the police, concerned about us. So we woke up to really loud banging on the front door and calls of "This is the police!" :open_mouth:

I don't have any automations that automatically open or close the door when I come or go, open doors, etc. I just don't trust HE or any consumer home automation/presence system that much. I wouldn't do that w/my front door, so not going to do that w/my garage door. Also, an automation that closed the door when I leave would be a problem if someone in my family is in the garage (son is a bike fiend and is regularly out there working on them) and needs the door open. I could set up some motion-based rules to not close, but if he's sitting on the garage floor cleaning parts that's just not reliable. Neither my son or wife want presence trackers on their phones.

So my main uses of the garage door automation and open/close status are:

  1. Check open/close status when I'm away from home: If I start to wonder "Shoot, did I close the door???" I can check in HE, and if it's open, I'll take a look at the camera I have in the garage to confirm the garage is empty/inactive, and then close it remotely. Since my family is usually home when I'm not, having a notification that the garage door is open when I'm away is not much use, as it could be any of them going somewhere after I've left, one of them already in the garage when I leave, or them doing something in the garage while I'm gone, or just opening the garage part-way for a breeze through the house. Too many indetermite situations, all of which are relatively common.
  2. Check door status when I'm going to bed: The garage door is tied into an Event Engine automation that tracks a bunch of my doors/windows and sets a light to red in the evening if any are open. If it's open I'll go to the garage so I can see it's clear and push the button manually to close it. Not leaving it open when going to bed (our most common "oops") is the most valuable part of the automation for us.

As usual, YMMV, and the nice thing is that each of us can come up w/automations and options that meet our personal situations/concerns. :slight_smile:


The Liftmaster 889LM saved me many times. Installed it and the 828LM a few years ago after leaving door open too many times over night, and making too many trips home to check if I closed the door after leaving.