An electric powered garage door is handy and convenient. You no longer need to leave your car to open the garage door by hand when it is raining.
In spite of what the photo suggests, you do not need to hang out of the car window to operate the garage door. (Photo source: Somfy)
You of course use the small remote control which is in your car for operating the door, but it is also wise to be able to operate it from inside your home if you wish. In this article, we concentrate on things to look out for if you want to operate your garage door using your Integrated Home System (IHS). As you will see, integration with your IHS offers far more possibilities.
Standard stand-alone control
First of all, there are a large number of different types of garage doors: inward opening, outward opening, sectional, etc. The motor system you choose will depend on the kind of door and its weight. Sometimes the motor can be fixed to the door, but it is usually mounted on the garage ceiling. It is supplied with one or more small remote controls, and the installer will mount a push button inside the garage so that the door can be operated from inside.
A typical garage door motor for mounting on the ceiling. (Photo source: Somfy)
When the garage door is shut, it will open after pressing the push button briefly. If the door is open, pressing the same push button again will close the door. The door will stop if the push button is pressed while the door is moving. The push button is connected to the motor block by means of two wires and, usually, the motor block only has one input port for this purpose. The disadvantage of this stand-alone method is that we can only operate the door using the remote control or with the push button in the garage. Furthermore, there is no integration with the other subsystems in the home such as heating, lighting, etc.
Have your IHS do the work
Operating the door with our IHS requires a motor with at least two input ports: one for opening the door and one for closing it. This enables you to know which movement the door will make when it is activated, even when it is out of sight.
In addition, we must also provide a magnetic contact at the bottom of the door to provide information about the status of the door, i.e. is it open or closed. Moreover, if an object is obstructing the door, the door will automatically stop for safety reasons. If we cannot actually see the door as it closes we may think that it is shut, while in reality it may be at an intermediate position. In order to avoid this, the magnetic contact has to be closed. When not fully closed the IHS will send a message to your telephone or make one or more lights flash in the home. This will tell you that your toddler has once again parked his balance bike in the door’s path again.
Once we have complied with all the installation requirements, we can do what we like with the garage door, from wherever we wish. We can for example include the door’s operation in local and general mode settings. With an “All Off” function, we can send the “Close” command to the door. If it is still open at that point, it will then close. If it is already closed, it will remain so. Also, on arriving home we can not only open the door, but also activate lighting on a pathway when it is dark outside. If it is cold, the heating will also be immediately set to the comfort mode.
If we wish, access to the home can be granted remotely from a workshop, office, etc. by means of an app on the smartphone or a secure internet application. This once again proves that with integration (via an IHS), 1 plus 1 is not just 2, but so much more. You need not worry about the cost either as the only additional expense is the magnetic contact. This is because all functionalities are set using the IHS software already in your possession.