Introduction: DIY Smart Garage Door Opener

About: I'm a long-time DIYer and full time engineer with an interest in home security and home automation. Check out my web site for more articles that don't fit the Instructable format.

I know you’ve gotten 5 minutes down the road and asked yourself, “Did I close the garage door?”.
Now, instead of turning around or leaving your garage and house vulnerable to thieves, you can check and close it with your phone with your choice of home automation protocol!

Z-wave? Of course.

WiFi? Sure.

Insteon? Why not?

We’ll cover the installation and setup in detailed steps so that anybody can do it.

You can see the parts list and more details on my website,

Step 1: Install Your Smart Outlet Near the Opener

This one is easy.

Wherever the outlet that the garage door opener plugs into, we're going to replace it with a smart outlet of your choice. Or, to avoid the wiring, you can use a smart plug that just goes into a standard outlet.

Simply follow the directions to install the new outlet.

Usually, the steps will be:

  1. Disable the outlet at the breaker
  2. Remove the outlet cover and unscrew the outlet
  3. Disconnect the live, load, and ground wires.
  4. Connect the new outlet using the provided instructions
  5. Secure the new outlet back in the electrical box
  6. Reinstall an outlet cover

Note: Most smart outlets have 1 switched outlet and 1 normal (always on) outlet. The garage opener will go in the normal outlet and the relay control will plug into the switched outlet.

Step 2: Mount and Connect Your AC Relay to the Outlet

Now, you'll need to connect the smart outlet to the relay that you will use to provide the input to your garage door opener.

  1. Use a NEMA 5-15P plug with bare wires or cut the cord off of an defective device and strip the two wires.
  2. Connect the two wires across the coil of the relay to switch the output.
  3. Mount the relay to your opener or the support structure using zip ties or a bolt and nut.

Step 3: Connect the Relay Output to Your Garage Opener

Now, simply connect two wires from the two legs of the switch on the relay to the input terminals on your garage door opener that control the opener. The terminals on the relay will normally be marked C and NO (for common and normally open). NOTE: Usually, you will already have wires connected here from the garage door switch mounted by your door. If not, just read the manual to determine the right terminals to connect to.

Step 4: Use Your Home Automation App/software to Open and Close Your Door

Now, you just need to pair the new outlet with your existing home automation network or with the app installed on your phone. Just use the manufacturer's instructions, there are really too many options to cover here!

Once you do, you can switch the outlet on and then off immediately to simulate the pressing of the button at your door switch. Or, if your home automation app will allow it, you can configure the outlet to momentarily switch on and then off.

WARNING: If you switch the outlet on and then leave it on, that's the equivalent of having a stuck button on your wall switch, and your door will probably continue to open and close constantly. Be SURE to switch the outlet back off.

If you're looking for an easier way to automate your garage door, be sure to check out the other options for COTS solutions at