Want a smart home or smart garage? Don’t know where to start? No problem.
One of the first things you can do is to install a smart garage door opener that can be controlled remotely – not from a conventional remote but a smartphone.
It may seem silly, but there are several benefits to having a “smart” garage door, namely when it comes to security.
Have you ever left home only to realize miles away that you left the garage door open? Or worse, you can’t remember whether you left it open or closed? With a smart door opener, you can check the status on your phone and close it even while you’re away.
But the garage door isn’t the only “dumb” thing you can make smarter. There are tools, light bulbs, parking sensors, and more! You can even move on to door locks, doorbells, security cameras, and more.
We’re going to focus on the best smart garage devices. We’ve put together a list, so read on to discover more!
1. Store Your Stuff and Save Space with a Bluetooth Smart Winch
You can control the myLifter smart winch from your phone.
A lot of items get stored in your garage, like bikes, yard tools, equipment, power tools, car accessories, and more. Sometimes, these items can take up a ton of space.
Bikes, for example, will clutter up an area fast especially when you have several. But what if you could store them out of the way? In other words, what if you could store them so that they didn’t take up much space, allowing you to make better use of it?
The myLifter Bluetooth Storage Winch can do exactly that. It mounts on the ceiling or wall and can store large items – like a bike – out of the way. The winch is actually controlled from a smartphone.
Just attach your bike to the winch, and activate it via the mobile app. It will fold up so that the item is effectively out of the way.
Pretty cool, no?
You can use it to store nearly anything, not just bikes. Imagine hanging tools, storage chests, materials like wood, and more. With several of these, you could totally declutter your garage, which let’s face it, you’ve probably been wanting to do for a while now.
2. Locate Your Lost Tools and Items with a TrackR Sticker
You can use a TrackR sticker to locate anything, like tools, equipment, or car keys.
Ever lose items in your garage like an extension cord, hammer, or something else? When it happens, you end up wasting minutes or hours searching for what you need. But what if you could locate them much faster?
The TrackR StickR is a smart locator that can sync with your phone. What is the point, you ask? You can use it to organize and locate items that you have stored in your garage or home.
Just attach it to the item you want to track, open the app, and you can find it just like that.
You can buy them in bundles of 1, 2, 4 and 6, and the bigger bundles come with extra stickers. For instance, the 6-sticker bundle comes with 4 free trackers and costs $149.95. A single tracker sticker is $24.95.
Once you have the sticker attached to your item you can either ring an alarm, use a distance meter within the app, or enable “Crowd” GPS to find its exact whereabouts. You’ll never lose your most important items or tools again.
3. Interact with Your Tools from a Smartphone
You can interact with Black and Decker’s SMARTECH tools from your phone.
Speaking of tracking items, if you have a “smart” tool – like one of Black and Decker’s SMARTECH models – then you can locate it from your phone.
You can also interact with the tool from your phone, to do things like check measurements, lock or unlock them, and remotely operate them. Black and Decker’s cordless drill can even charge your phone when you plug it into the external port on the device.
It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase multi-purpose tool.
4. Park Safer and Avoid Hitting Your Belongings with a Smart Garage Parking Assistant
The Chamberlain Laser Parking Accessory will tell you how far to pull in your garage, safely.
Have you or your spouse ever pulled too far into your garage and hit your belongings or even the wall? Some people rig up a tennis ball on a string to indicate when you should stop. But this isn’t always accurate, and it can be easy to miss.
The Chamberlain Laser Parking Accessory is a neat device that helps you optimize garage space, at least when it comes to parking. It mounts on the ceiling and sends out a laser – Class 2 that’s safe on the eyes – to indicate when to stop your vehicle. You can even sync two lasers together if you have a two-car garage.
Chamberlain claims it is both “easy to program” and “simple” to install. Since it only costs $29.99 for a single laser, you’ve got nothing to lose either. Sure, that’s a bit more expensive than that tennis ball and string setup, but it works much better too.
5. Turn Your Man-Cave into a Home Theater Room
The Rif6 is a portable projector that can connect to your phone to playback media.
Some people treat their smart garage as an extra room and choose not to park their vehicles inside. If you’re one of those folks, you may be considering what to do with all that extra space. Why not turn it into a home theater room or entertainment center?
The Rif6 Cube Projector is an affordable projector that is both miniature in size and portable. It can also be connected directly to your smartphone to play media content.
You don’t necessarily have to confine the device to your garage, you can move it anywhere. But wouldn’t it be cool to have a large, movie-theater type screen in your garage? Pair it up with a surround system and some great seating and you have yourself a great little man-cave – or kid-cave.
The Rif6 Cube mobile mini project is $299.
6. Let a Robot Take Over Your Chores
The Husqvarna Automower will leave its dock and trim your grass, all on its own.
Let’s face it, chores suck. That includes both cleaning a home and doing yard work. But what if you could employ a robot to do it all for you?
There are plenty of robot vacuums out there, but did you know there are also robot mowers? Yep, you read that correctly!
The Husqvarna Automower is just one of many that will operate autonomously out of a charging dock. The mower will come out, trim your grass and tidy your yard, and then return to its home. It has a variety of safety features to make sure it doesn’t chop up anyone’s feet. You can also control and interact with the device from a smartphone.
The Husqvarna Automower starts at $1,999.95 for the entry model (Automower 315). But it’s electric so it saves you money on gas – and it can also save you a lot of time – so it certainly seems worth the price.
7. Automate the Lighting in Your Smart Garage
The Auto LED bulbs include an IR motion sensor and will turn on as soon as they detect movement.
By now, you’ve likely heard of “smart” bulbs or lighting fixtures that can be automated and controlled from a phone. There are many great applications for this technology. If you have your hands full you can set up the lights so they turn on automatically when you’re nearby. You can also schedule them so they turn on at a set time, so it looks like someone is home even while you’re away.
But what if you could extend that support to a smart garage or driveway?
The LED Auto Bulb is a 60-watt LED bulb with an integrated motion sensor. After it detects movement it will stay on for 40-60 seconds, depending on the setting you choose.
Unlike some of the other smart bulbs you might see, it doesn’t connect to a mobile app and it cannot be controlled remotely, but that’s not why we chose it. The passive infrared motion sensor allows it to turn on when movement is detected, automating the entire process.
Of course, if you’d rather have more control over your lights you can opt for something like the Philips Hue series.
8. Control Your Smart Garage Door from Anywhere Using Your Phone
The Chamberlain MyQ system is compatible with most garage door openers made after 1993.
You didn’t think we’d end the list without talking about a smart garage door opener, did you? Come on, it’s the most important device in the room!
There are several options when it comes to making a dumb opener “smart”. Alternatives include Garageio and the Garadget Smart Garage Door Controller. You can read our favorite Smart WiFi Garage Door Openers here.
Our pick, however, is the Chamberlain MyQ Garage door opener system. Why did we choose this one over the others? Well, aside from the fact that Chamberlain is a well-established brand, it’s compatible with nearly any brand opener – so long as they were made after 1993.
Yep, that means you don’t even have to buy a brand-new garage door opener. You can simply hook up the MyQ system to your existing opener, and control it remotely.
You can also control – and check the status of – your garage door from a web browser through the MyQ website.
The MyQ is usually $129.99, but it’s been on sale lately for about $100.
Initially, some of the features for these “smart” gadgets may seem a bit silly, but we urge you to give them a chance. You’d be surprised what kind of problems they can solve, and how truly convenient they can be.
What do you think of our list? Would you include these in your own smart garage, or would you choose other devices? Let us know in the comments!