SimpleCommands

How to control your garage doors through Alexa with SimpleCommands

Many smart home users love that they can use their voice to control so many smart home devices through Alexa, but with one glaring exception: garage doors. Alexa Smart Home Skills currently do not recognize garage doors. SimpleCommands has a solution to enable our users to control their garage doors with their voice. 

Please follow the instructions below to enable voice control of your garage doors through Alexa with SimpleCommands:

 

1. After enabling our Alexa Smart Home Skill (kloee for SC), create two Routines in SimpleCommands. One to open your garage door and one to close it. After this, run discovery in the Alexa app or ask Alexa to "discover devices". Once this process is done these Routines will appear under the Scenes menu in the Alexa app.

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Now you are able to control your garage doors with your voice! To run a scene with your voice, say, "Alexa, turn on [scene name]", or "Alexa, start [scene name]".

 

If you want to be able to execute the Routine by saying, "Alexa, open my garage door" or "Alexa, open garage" please see this article on how to customize prompt-words for Alexa scenes!

 

 

For any additional questions please visit our Knowledge Base, or contact us here. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can! To get started, go to the App Store or Google Play store and download SimpleCommands!

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Comments

  • You can take it a step further by creating an Alexa routine. That way, you can program your phrase, ie. "Alexa, open the garage", to trigger the SimpleCommands routine. This way you don't have to say "trigger" or "start", etc. you can just say "open the garage"! I use it regularly and it works perfect! Thanks for the workaround SimpleComands!

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  • Works great. Thanks! How long before Chamberlain shuts it down?

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  • Jigar Patel, how did you create the routine in the Alexa app? What actions did you use to trigger the simplecommands routines?

    I want to say Alexa, open garage door or Alexa, close garage door.

    Right now I have to say Alexa, turn on open garage door or Alexa, turn on close garage door.

    In the Alexa app, I chose routine and under Alexa says, I entered Alexa, open garage door. For actions, I didn't see a way to link or incorporate the simplecommands routines. When I chose the smart home category and chose control device, i see my garage but it is greyed out and says it is unsupported.

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  • Use “control scene” not “control device” then choose your open or close garage scene. In the next screen it will say Alexa will turn on “xyz” scene, just click add at the bottom and that’s it. You’ll have to make one for open and one for close. Hope this helps!

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  • Thanks for the hack Jigar! I'll add a section about it in the article so everyone can prompt the Routines more naturally.

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  • Thanks Jigar for the help setting up the routine. That worked.

    Thanks simplecommands for offering the functionality that Chamberlain won't allow for it's own garage door opener. It is great to be able to use Alexa to open/close my MyQ garage door opener the way I intended to use it when I bought my Chamberlain product more than a year ago. After this headache, I will never buy another Chamberlain garage door opener again. There were a couple of skills that worked at one time, but Chamberlain ended up shutting them down. Hopefully this won't get shut down.

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  • You're welcome! We are very glad to enable users to use their tech the way they way. Have you tried using Locations trigger to control your garage door based on your location? With that type of Routine you can have your door automatically open/close when you arrive/leave your home.

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  • No I haven't. That would be awesome to have my garage door close when I leave and automatically open when i come home.

    When I look in the simplecommands app, and go under routines, I do not see a location trigger listed. How do I add the location trigger to be able to choose it? Below is a screenshot of what I see. in the simplecommands app. I do not see a location trigger.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8l4rxbd7z044lls/Screenshot_20190402-211419_SimpleCommands.jpg?dl=0 

    Edited by Mark Reilly
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  • Unfortunately that feature is not available on Android yet. However, it is available via our online portal (www.simplecommands.com/dashboard) so you can everything up there and just let SimpleCommands do the rest of the work!

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  • When I goto the dashboard I see this.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/v3aaaxgwl2wf9pk/simplecommands1.JPG?dl=0

    I clicked on routines and choose one of my routines (open or close) and clicked on the edit button. I then click on add triggers to routine. When I click on this, I can choose on schedule trigger which is for sunrise, sunset or a specific time. When I try clicking on most of the other choices, it wont let me because i don't have the right connection type. When i click on automatic trigger, there is location updated button, but I cant add it. I have simplecommands linked to my automatic ODB2 connectior that is hooked up in my car. If my check engine light comes on, the device will let me know what the code is. It also monitors when the car leaves. If someone would happen to steal my car, as long as the ODB2 connector is hooked up, it will show me where the car is parked so I would be able to track my car down. It also has a crash detection. If i were to get in a crash with my car, I can have it set up to contact a person of my choice. It also keeps track of how many miles I drive each week and shows me the miles I drove to each destination (work - home - store etc.) as well as how much it cost. It is 5.4 miles from my house to work. It took me 15 minutes to get to work and costed me $0.43 cents in gas. I have a hybrid car and get around 600 miles per tank. It is nice, i fill my car about once every 30 days. Maybe in the near future, the location feature will be added to the android app. At least I can use Alexa to open/close my garage door. Here is a screenshot of the triggers I see listed.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/qa3e8tl7hlhr46l/simplecommands.JPG?dl=0

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  • Mark, once again, you’re trying too hard lol! Go into Alexa app, create routine, the trigger action is location, the item again is “control scene”. I try to run all location based automation on one app, whatever app controls/connects to the most stuff... in my case, Alexa. Therefore, I only have to enable location settings on that app, instead of 10 apps checking my location all the time only Alexa is enabled to do that; the rest have location services disabled.

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  • Also, what OBD2 product are you using? That sounds like something I might like!

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  • Mark, I responded too soon. We are pushing location triggers to the dashboard very soon and it just hasn't gone out yet. I will let you know when it does!

    I am opening a support ticket for your issue adding an Automatic location trigger so we can work out what is preventing your from doing so.

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  • Here is the message I get. Later tonight when I am home from work, I will try what Jigar suggested and let you know the results. In one of the previous screenshots I sent you, when I went to triggers, I only have a handful of options and most of the triggers are for things I don't have which is why I can't add them.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/f3wj0u43g72dnsv/simplecommands2.JPG?dl=0

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  • During my morning break, I went to both the simplecommands and Alexa app on my phone and enabled all of the permissions from both apps. I then deleted the routines in the simplecommands app and also deleted the routines in the Alexa app.

    I then recreated the routines in the simplecommands app. I went to the Alexa app and ran discovery and it found the 2 new scenes to open and close the garage door. I than created 2 location routines (one when I leave home and once when I arrive home). I also created 2 other routines - one to open garage and one to close garage. I now have 4 routines. I ran discovery again but it did not find anything new. I went back to the simplecommands app to routines but did not see location as an option.

    When I come home tonight, I will see if my garage door automatically opens when I pull in my driveway. I'm guessing it won't work, but am hoping it will work. When I set up the location routine in Alexa, I chose when this happens, I chose location, I choose arrives, and then added my home address. I added a action, chose smart home, control scene and added open garage door scene I created earlier. As i mentioned i have 4 routines. Open garage, close garage, leave home and arrive home.

    I will post tonight if it works. Thanks for the help.

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  • Mark,

    Thanks for all of your interest in figuring out how to make it work while we add this functionality to Android. Looking forward to hearing if your method works!

    FYI, SimpleCommands does not pull any devices or scenes from your Alexa. So any other stuff you have from other skills or routines in the Alexa app will not show up in the SimpleCommands app.

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  • Mark, I don't think you need the two extra routines in SC. I only have the two routines labeled "left garage open" and "left garage close" (I only use my left side). In Alexa app, just set triggers for leave/arrive accordingly and use it to control the scene exactly how you set up for voice control. I just did this last night after seeing all of your's and John's convo on this thread... When I left my house this morning I left my garage open until it was out of sight (scary feeling lol) then logged into my Chamberlin app just to see what was going on... sure enough, the garage was closing and then showed closed. In Alexa the shortest distance you can set for the geofence is 492ft. so thats what mine was set at. I saw my Chamberlin app show garage closing right around the time I drove past that 500ft mark. I will see when I get home after work if it also opens accordingly. Again, simple setup within the Alexa app... may be a good work around until SC gets location services implemented on their android app.

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  • If you would like a little more peace of mind when leaving, location triggers in SimpleCommands are set to go off at 100m from the routine's set point. At that distance you probably could still see your garage door when it starts to close!

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  • Mark,

    Location triggers are now available on the dashboard! Try editing your open garage and close garage routines again and you'll see the new trigger option.

    Let me know if you need help doing this. I'll be happy to walk you through the process.

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  • I added the location trigger to both open and close garage door in the simplecommands web portal. When I looked in the simplecommands app and went to edit the routine to see if it was listed, the screen blinked and took me back to the all items page.

    After reading John's post that the simplecommands routines works in 100m(328 feet), I deleted the 2 Alexa location triggers.

    I came home from work and pulled in my driveway, but the garage door didn't automatically open. I waited over a minute to see if it would own, but it didn't. I still have the other 2 routines where i can say Alexa open or close garage door so I said Alexa, open garage door and my garage door opened.

    When Igot in my house, i deleted the 2 routines to open and close my garage door and added the 2 location routines.i have 2 Alexa routines and 2 simplecommands routines.

    I will be leaving in a few minutes and will see if this works. If it doesn't work, I will try deleting the 2 Alexa location routines and only have the 2 simplecommands routines. If that doesn't work, I will try deleting the 2 simplecommands routines and only have the 2 Alexa location routines.

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  • When I left my home last night shortly after posting, my last post, I opened up my MyQ app and pulled out of my driveway. I live at the bottom of a hill and can pull out and have hills to the left or two the right. I also have a side street. I went to the side street and went down the street 4 blocks and looking at the MyQ app, the garage door was still open so I closed it through the app. It did not work when coming home either.

    Ideally it would nice that when I was leaving or coming home and got 2-3 maybe even 4 houses from my house my garage door would start opening so that I could see it opening/closing. If at some point I could get the location trigger to work, that would be great, but through the Alexa routines, I am able to say Alexa, open or close the garage door and that works.

    I will be busy tonight and this weekend, but will try different things next week to see if I can get the location triggers to work. If I can't, I can still say Alexa, open or close my garage door which was the main thing I wanted. Getting the location trigger was a bonus.

    How does the simplecommands location trigger actually work? I assume it uses my phones location. On my phone, NFC is turned on at all times. Do I need to enable Bluetooth or anything else? Does the simplecommand app need to be open?

    I am running the latest version of Android 9.0 (Pie). In the past I had IFTTT triggers set up that when I came home my phone would connect to my WiFi network automatically and when I left, it would turn off WiFi, but since getting the newest version of android, it doesn't seem to work the way it used to. When I get to work, I have a popup asking if I want to allow the app to disable/enable WiFi. I hit yes, but have to do this every time. The same things happen when I get home. I quit using the IFTTT trigger.

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  • Mark,

    Thank you for trying out all of these permutations to see what works/doesn't work! I'm very glad you are able to use SimpleCommands for what you wanted (control you garage door via Alexa).

    As for location based triggers, it does go by your phone's current location only with your express permission (location setting must be set on), so your bluetooth and NPC settings are not pertinent in this case. The SimpleCommands app also does not need to be opened. I will also look more into this issue and get back to you with any solutions when we find them.

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  • Between step 4 and 5 is appears to be necessary to open Alexa Skills and activate "kloee for SC". Having done this, everything works perfectly. Many thanks for this.

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  • Robert,

    I added a note in step 5 so no one else runs into the same hiccup. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  • Trying to have SimpleCommands control myQ based on location. Set everything up in the online dashboard, but when I approach or leave the house, nothing happens, even though I've enabled location services. I am using iOS - is location services not enabled for iOS with SC?

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  • Larry, location triggers are enabled on iOS with SC. If you continue to experience issues please submit a ticket to our help center here: https://simplecommands.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

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  • Works perfectly to link MyQ / garage door openers to Alexa. My only hitch was Alexa wouldn’t find the scenes on the first discovery scan.

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  • I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I was to find this post, and to get it working within minutes. My Chamberlain doors now work with Alexa, with commands to open/close a single door, or both at the same time. I'm just trying to figure out the State commands now so I can ask Alexa if they are open or closed. Alexa recognizes the command from what I've set up in SimpleCommands, but doesn't say anything back to me. Must be a step I'm missing, so if anyone has insight to this, please share. But thrilled to have this working. THANK YOU!!

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  • Hi Mike,

    Our currently Alexa skill doesn't have the ability to report garage door state back to you. We are working on adding that feature so stay tuned!

    Edited by John Thompson
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