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Having moved fairly recently to an older house once occupied by an older (now dead) man, there were many “opportunities for improvement” for us as we noticed numerous areas he’d neglected his last several years while going through five wives and a terminal illness. One of these was the loud and rickety garage door opener. So, we decided to try out a new contraption from LiftMaster that I was certain would improve all areas of our lives but my children’s proclivity for cussing in Sunday School.

Here are the features I noticed and liked about this new system for entering and exiting our house:

1) It’s quiet. I’ve heard mice fart louder than this thing when it opens and closes our garage door. Don’t believe me? Here’s a fancy video shot with my iphone. Notice the only sounds are a faint hum and a bit of creaking from the door itself–nothing from the opener. And those lights? So bright I instinctively rattle off my name, rank, and serial number every time I see them.

2) It has a motion detector built into the mounted control panel, and when activated, it turns on those super bright lights. This is great when I drive home intoxicated late at night and can’t find my way out of my vehicle and into the kitchen to pour another stiff one. It’s also good for avoiding nasty falls when I leave for work at 0630 the next morning with the grace of a rhino on ice skates.

3) There’s a wireless remote thing (they call it a “door monitor”) that shows whether the door is open or not, and it allows the user to shut the door. This is helpful for when my wife asks if I closed the door upon arriving at 2am, and I don’t remember. She can look at this remote thing we keep by the bed and know for sure. And, she can close the door. In our old house, the neighbors would call if it got past 10pm, and we’d left the garage door open. In our new neighborhood, we don’t know anyone yet, so no one calls about open garage doors. Either way, it’s great for late night “did I shut the door or not?” paranoia.

 

4) The best part: there’s an iphone app (or Android, but I don’t have a ‘droid) that controls the garage door and lights in your house! Since we’re having lots of rennovation done at our house, this feature allows me to let the contractor inside when he calls to say he’s at the house, and I’m busy at work or a bar. Here’s what the app looks like when the door is being opened:

Opening

It says “Sandy Springs,” because that’s where our home is. If you’re fancy enough to have more than one house with garages, you can differentiate them by geographic description. Here’s the screen shot for when it’s closing:

Closing

This can also be good for when I’m expecting my in-laws at the holidays, and they want to be allowed inside to unpack and get away from the cold. I can hit the pretty button on my iphone and remain comfortably at my favorite watering hole.

So, would I buy this system had I not received it for free from LiftMaster?

I would. It’s better than any other system I’ve seen in houses I’ve visited or owned, and it fits my “active” lifestyle. In fact, we’ve already ordered some remote light controls (these were not included), so the in-laws will have a well-lit home to enter while I continue “working.”