Hardware advice for IoT/Phone app garage opener.

Hallo anyone willing to help,
I am an IT student and a motorsport enthusest who uses my garage A LOT! I often mistakingly leave my garage door open or check if it's open and would like to solve that with a few quality of life enhancments.

What I want:

  • iOS app that can open, close, and show the status of garage door
  • App to be available anywhere (internet)
  • Google Home or Alexa implementation with basic voice commands like "open garage" "garage status"

I've looked at a lot of the tutorials on here, but haven't found any that do my specific features and most tend to be over engineered. I want something simple, but I'm not sure which Ardunino hardware or IoT devices I would need. If anyone have done something similar and could simply give me a baseline of products to try so I can get the project started would be great.


I have 4 ESP32's running various tasks throughout the house.

I can, from my website, set the AC unit off/on, set heat or cold, turn the fan off/on, and change the temperature setting.

I am using a MQTT Broker, a Raspberry Pi4, and a Python program that operates as a message traffic handler.

I failed to mentioned this is all very new to me. I was looking for maybe some insight or feature tradeoffs of using let's say an Arduino Uno or nano or maybe I need an Uno Wifi to make to integrate into the network to work with Google Home.

I know I'll need to hook up to a relay to open close the garage and maybe magnetic switches for the status, but beyond that I'm tying to just looking at others projects which all seem to do it differently.

Get yourself a cheap ESP8266 chip or two. Load up the ESP8266 support into the IDE. Run some of the examples that come with it. Get it connected to your WiFi. Run some more of those examples.

Figure out how you are going to sense your garage door is open/closed. [hint proximity sensor, reed switch, etc.] Buy one of those. Get a separate sketch working that can detect open/closed.

Figure out how you are going to actuate your garage door button - probably closing a relay or transistor, etc. Get that working with maybe a button or something wired to your ESP8266.

Figure out how you will control this from your phone using some IoT service (Blynk is popular, there are others) and get those examples working of just turning an LED on/off via your phone.

Once you have all the parts working, start a new project that integrates it all together. It connects to your local WiFi, it connects to some IOT service, it receives a message and acts on it (open/close) or reports current status (open/close)

Report back if/when you have trouble

Wow, thanks for the thorough explaination BLH64. One question I still have is in regards to the hardware. Is there any reason to get a Uno + ESP8266 vs say a Uno Wifi or even a Nano 33?

I did some research and liked the idea of a reed switch and relay combo because it looks simple. I'm not to concerned about getting the physical part of the project down as I am the software side.

I see a lot of people talking about Blynk, Adafruit, IFTTT, and ThingsTalk. I guess Ill have to look into all of them.

If you get a ESP8266, you don't need the Uno. My point was to get a chip that has built in wifi such as the ESP8266 or the Uno Wifi (never tried it) or a Nano 33. The Nano 33 has BLE but you didn't mention needing that and it is about 3-4x the cost of an ESP8266 (NodeMCU or others)