Garage Door Opener Trends-Whats New?


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Garage door openers have come a long way from the days when our parents would come home and one of the children would have to hop out of the car and open the garage door so they could pull the car in. Now it’s as easy as a remote control or a smart phone.

It’s the dead of winter… and you’re on your way home in a rainstorm, when you pull into your neighborhood you notice that the power is out, great…now what! Your mind starts to ponder how long the powers been out, how much “Grade-A” prime beef in your freezer is now thawed out, and now you are going to have to cook 35 lbs of meat in one sitting when the power comes back on, oh brother!!

Then as you snap out of that fog, you pull into your driveway and out of habit you push the remote control on your visor and voila! your garage door opens. For a minute you think nothing of it because that’s what it always does, then suddenly you remember…wait a minute, if the power is out how is that possible? Maybe, just maybe you are lucky enough to be the only house on the block with power? Answer=No, but you were smart enough to spend the extra coin on a new garage door opener with the new “Ever-charge” battery back up system, so while nothing else in your house works at least you were able to effortlessly get into a dry garage and out of the rain thanks to some of the new garage door opener technology available and on the market these days.

That’s one of the many new features available on more and more garage door openers, what else is new you say? Let me lead into this one with another of my (famous?) scenario’s as well, lets just say you have a garage full of expensive tools and a teenage son who’s prone to forgetting to close the door, hey we’re in the 21st century…my friend! There is an opener on the market just for you! Liftmaster has a feature on some of their machines where you can program the wall console to close the door after a set, or should I say “programmed” amount of time, voila! foolproof.

Now if that’s not enough to get the blood pumping for the tekky that wants all the latest, then let me throw this one at you, Liftmaster now has an “Internet Gateway” which is a modem that can connect your computer to your garage door opener. So what good is that you ask? well you guessed it, its scenario time again! Lets say you had to take off out of town for the weekend and forgot that your brother was coming by to grab the lawnmower or some tables in your garage for the Superbowl party he was having but alas no one is home, he calls you and since your out of town well I guess he’s just stuck right? and you know that your never going to hear the end of it, but now wait!! you have the “My Q” internet gateway installed so you simply open the garage door through your smart phone and the day is saved! How handy is that! Not only did you save your own keester but now your brother is trying to figure out how you got one up on him in the technology department, so he spends the next day or two thinking to himself if this guy can open his garage door through his phone I wonder what size 3D flat screen TV he’s got…it must be a monster! Bingo you win.

Now that’s just a fun scenario, but you get the idea that yes maybe it’s not something for everyone but its a choice and an option that is available on some of the new garage door openers out there.

Now as far as anything new with the machines themselves go there’s not much, most of the new stuff has to do with features and advanced electronics, for example most openers have whats called a “force control” setting which is two dials that control the amount of power your machine applies to the garage door to get it up and down, well these same Liftmaster openers have circuit boards that weigh the door and apply just the amount of pressure needed to get the door up and down so you will no longer be reliant on the installer or yourself to set it correctly, because if the dials are turned up too high it could hit an obstruction and damage the door, car or anything else it comes into contact with, or if its set it too low, it will reverse and open back up on a cold morning when the weatherstrip hits the garage floor meanwhile you are driving down the road, which by the way is a bad habit…you should always see the door close then count to 5 before actually driving away. Some Liftmasters already have this feature but other models should follow next year.

Some of the really cool add-ons that are available are items such as the “Garage Door Monitor” which tells you inside your house that you have left your garage door open. Then there’s the “Laser Garage Parking Assist” which is for those of you that still insist that you can fit two cars into a garage designed for one, this thing will emit a laser light that you line up with your dashboard and when the light beam hits a designated spot on your dash…voila! your parked. Then there’s the old standby called a “Remote Light Control” which is a small receiver that you plug a lamp into and then plug this receiver into an outlet in your living room or anywhere else in your home and when you come home you can turn on the lights before you even get into the house by pushing one of the spare buttons on your remote control.

So to sum it all up, it looks like the very near future has some garage door opener options and solutions out there for you and if you see something that looks like it might be of interest or helpful to you, take advantage of this technology, its out there to make life easy and lets you focus on more important things like… 3D TV’s??

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