Home8 is a DIY security platform with a line of starter kits that tackle everything from door and window sensors to smoke detectors and even medication dispensers. Home8’s kits work as standalone products or as part of a broader Home8 system. The Home8 ActionView Garage Door Control Relay System costs $100 and adds remote access and voice commands to your garage door.
If you’re intent on using Home8 products for your smart home, the garage kit is a good piece of that puzzle. If not, the Home8 ActionView kit isn’t quite smart enough as a standalone kit to recommend over other garage systems with more garage-focused apps and broader integrations.
The Home8 ActionView Garage system comes with a standard-definition camera, a hub called a “security shuttle” and a garage door controller. There aren’t any garage door sensors included in the kit, so you’ll need Home8’s $50 tilt sensor to know whether your door is open or closed. To check whether your garage door opener is compatible, visit Home8’s website.
Home8 gets points for ease of setup. It took me just a few minutes to plug in and connect each product. The devices pair up quickly, thanks to the security shuttle that connects directly to your router. Once I downloaded the Home8 app and created an account, the camera and garage door controller paired automatically with the security shuttle and connected to my wireless network.
Connecting the garage controller follows the method used by most smart garage controllers. Using the provided adhesive tape, attach the white, mouse-shaped controller to either your existing garage door opener or the wall beside your opener’s push buttons. Plug it into a nearby standard power outlet and attach the two wires from the controller to the open and close command nodes on your push button or opener.
When it comes to smart home video, the garage is one place where I see the appeal of remote monitoring. I like the idea of having a live look at your garage and visual confirmation of the garage door’s status. Home8’s Wi-Fi camera isn’t the fanciest, but it does a fair job for the price. The camera includes night vision, motion detection with adjustable sensitivity and the option to record and save video while live streaming. Finding the live feed in the Home8 app is easy, and I found the picture clear enough, even with a standard-definition camera (640×480-pixel resolution).
Home8’s camera is rated for a temperature range of 32 to 113 degrees, so if your garage gets below freezing in the winter, the camera might not perform well. Other smart garage devices such as the Gogogate2 ($138.48 at Amazon.com) allow for the integration of higher quality cameras like the Nest Cam ($179.75 at Amazon.com) Indoor. The option to integrate a better quality camera would be a big improvement for Home8.
The Home8 app
Home8’s app is unique among garage controllers we’ve tested, in that it’s built to support every Home8 device available. The app itself isn’t garage-focused, so if you only own the Home8 ActionView Garage Control System, your home screen and subsequent menus might feel a bit bloated with options you’ll never use.
On the flip side, if you do have other Home8 devices, it’s a handy one-stop shop for controlling everything in your home. There are even options to link up smart home devices from other brands such as Nest, Philips Hue, Schlage, Yale, Kwikset and Honeywell for convenient control.