For the past four years, I’ve been using a GoControl Z-Wave smart garage door opener. Well, technically, I’ve been using it for about two years but it’s been installed since 2017. Once I moved away from smart home hubs that support Z-Wave, the GoControl has lain dormant. Since I’ve been transitioning over to HomeKit this year, I jumped on an Amazon deal for the Meross Smart Garage Door Opener: Normally priced at $49.99, it was $5 off and I had around $21 in credit card membership points to apply.
Meross has two models of this smart garage door opener available. I bought the one that uses Wi-Fi and works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home. There’s an older, less expensive model that only works with Amazon and Google smart homes.
The complete package includes the Wi-Fi model with HomeKit QR code, a power brick and USB plug, 25-feet of wire connected to a magnetic sensor, and a second sensor for wall mounting. These two sensors are used to determine if the garage door is open or closed. There’s also some double-sided tape to secure the device.
Right off the bat, this device is much smaller than my old GoControl. That’s not a knock on my old device. It’s more a matter of components for smart devices getting smaller over time. Still, it’s a noticeable difference.
Installation was simple and took me 30 minutes at most. And that includes removing the old garage door opener. Most of these devices are installed the same way: By connecting two wires from the smart garage door opener to a pair of screws on the existing “dumb” garage door opener.
Here’s a look at the two wires from the Meross device I attached to my garage door opener:
Once those wires are connected, I connected one end of the 25-foot sensor wire to the Meross, ran the rest of the wire along the garage door rail, and dropped the hard-wired sensor down. That sensor gets attached to the garage wall and the other sensor is attached to the garage door itself.
You can see by the leftover tape in the above picture that my first placement wasn’t ideal. Closing the garage door knocked the sensor off the wall. After moving the senor up a little, I had no issues and then secured the senor to the wall with two included screws. When the sensors are close together, the Meross Smart Garage Opener knows that the garage door is closed. When they’re not, the door is open.
With everything wired up, I used the Apple Home app to scan the device’s QR code. The app recognized the device as a garage door controller and connected it to my home’s wireless network.
All I had to do was name the device and add it to a room, which I called “Garage”. This part of the setup was complete in under a minute thanks to the way HomeKit works.
So how does it work? Fantastic, as my wife will attest: She’s been salty for the last two years by not having the smart garage door opener that she used to have. Indeed, I had her test the Meross first by using Siri.
She used voice control on her Apple Watch to tell Siri, “Open garage” and that satisfying noisy sound of the garage door opening was heard. I could see on my own iPhone that the garage door was open as well. My wife closed the garage door, again using voice with her Apple Watch and all was right again in the Tofel household.
For example, one is to automatically close it after the last person leaves home, just to make sure we don’t leave the door open.
And I was really impressed by the HomeKit app when it suggested some scenes within the context of the device.
This user-friendly approach is sorely needed throughout the smart home industry.
Although I appreciate the HomeKit approach more and more as I add devices that can use it, I’d say the Meross Smart Garage Door Opener is good for non-HomeKit smart homes too.
The application setup may not be quite as user-friendly, but this Wi-Fi device doesn’t require a hub. Note that if you use Amazon Alexa, you’ll need to download a skill to use your voice for opening and closing the garage door as well. Additionally, the Meross mobile app is required in a non-HomeKit situation.
Is this a smart home “must-have”? I can think of higher priorities for those just getting into the smart home scene: Lights, outlets, and security cameras all come to mind. However, it’s convenient to pull up to your house and have your garage door open for you. The price for that convenience isn’t exorbitant either.