How to choose the best automatic gate opener
So, you’ve decided to have an automatic gate opener in order to add value to your home and control the entrance. Automating your gate with an electric gate opener is a great way to eliminate the need to physically open or close it. Some types of gate openers also allow you to program it for opening and closing the gate under certain conditions. High quality gates come with fantastic high-tech features with cutting-edge safety features fully adaptable to your swinging or sliding front gate.
Depending on the type of gate you choose, you need to consider numerous options including availability of power source as well as external interface type including remote controls. Picking the right gate is crucial but it’s the only way to ensure optimum functionality and efficiency.
Anyhow, there are a number of automatic gate openers out there in the market, and picking one seems quite daunting. Every type and brand has pros and cons and you can easily fall for the luscious marketing claims. So, before the enthusiasm takes better of your, do your due diligence. Picking up an automatic gate for your home is a big decision. You’re spending a hefty income, so try to find a gate that blends well with your existing conditions and needs minimal maintenance.
You need to consider the type of gate you have because a slide-type gate opener will only work with a sliding front gate. Similarly you need to figure out the power source and safety requirements because they’ll vary with the type of gate and brand you choose.
To your rescue, we’ve made this buyer’s guide, so you could find the best automatic gate opener your home deserves.
Liftmaster – LA400PKGU Dual Swing Gate Opener Kit
This kit by Liftmaster is ideal if you want to replace your existing door as it is easily adaptable to the existing environment. You can engage a professional installer who would have no problem putting it in. The gate opener is exceedingly quiet as compared with other brands. So, you’re getting the best value for your money with high quality material and warranty of 12-months for peace of mind.
In this Dual Swing Gate Opener kit, you’ll get everything including battery backup, receiver, photocell, gate sensor, Two LA400 arm, and control board. This kit is ideal for ornamental or large swing gates (upto 15 feet in length of weight upto 850 lbs.) and rural gate applications.
The best thing about these gate openers is the solar-ready system so it is efficient to maximize solar performance. This set includes one control box for both the gate wings. You can program it to simultaneously close gates and even with wireless communication there’s no need of expensive conduits or unsightly driveway scars. You’ll get 50 remote controls with secure 2.0 on-board radio receivers.
The kit comes with the reputable brand name of Liftmaster and they guarantee unsurpassed safety and performance. The company’s support is highly responsive and is very cooperative for answering queries to your questions.
Here are some specifications:
- Power: 24VDC or Solar Power. 120/230V Single Phase (Standard control box).
- Accessory Power: 24VDC 500mA output. Switched and unswitched power.
- Monitored Safety: 3 main board, 3 optional expansion board
- UL Usage Classification: I, II, III, and IV
- Gate Travel Speed: 90-degree opening in 17-17 seconds
With Security + 2.0, you get encrypted signal that eliminate the chance of interference. With inherent reversing sensor and included monitored safety, you got peace of mind for not hurting your pets or kids. With its quick close feature, it easily prevents unauthorized access and stops vehicles from tailgating. With smooth start/stop operation, you get years of reliable use without the need of daunting maintenance.
The kit doesn’t have the additional push to open bracket that is required for outswing applications. This bracket kit is a three-piece type with bracket set and hardware bag. So, you need to buy that separately if you require outswing doors. The gate opener is a bit slow while compared with other brands. It is little bit costly than other brands. In order to use myQ smarphone app, you need to buy an additional internet gateway unit to monitor and control you gate through smartphones.
Apollo – Nice Apollo 1500
This is a residential swing type gate opener that comes with an automatic adjustable close timer. With simple bits and parts, the model is easy to install, especially when you’re looking to replace your existing gate. It can tackle the gate with 16 feet in length and weight of upto 600 pounds. It features an adjustable current sensitivity for automatic safety reverse. The best thing about Apollo Nice 1500 is the soft start/smart feature that ensures reduced wear and extended life.
A typical gate kit of Apollo 1500 includes control box, control board, one opener arm, a receiver, two remote control, automatic battery charger, and photocell or photo eye with reflector.
It can be used for both applications in push to open or pull to open. So, you can have the actuator inside or outside of the gate regardless of the hinge left or right. The cycle time for open or close in each direction is maximum 15 seconds. The kit comes with externally adjustable switches and 8 ft of cable.
The drive system attaches directly to the gate. You also get a long-range adjustable antenna that boosts its range. It also has a hood over the reflective photo eye kit to ensure smooth operation even in extreme weather conditions. It is pretty easy to install and is weather-resistant for long life with NEMA 3R Control Box.
The battery equipment is not supplied with the kit. You need to get a 12VDC battery and recommended is a maintenance-free, deep cycle marine battery with upto 150 amp. per hour.
The opener attaches to the gat at 8 feet so although it shows good gate control but it looks bit odd.
Here’s standout features of Nice Apollo 1500:
- Automatic, Adjustable Close Timer
- Adjustable Current Sensitivity for Automatic Safety Reverse
- Inputs for: Free Exit Loops, Safety Loops, Under Gate Loops, Safety
- Edges, Free Exit Probes, Keypads, Telephone Entry Systems, Intercom
- Systems, Pushbuttons, Locks, Radio, Receivers
- Fully Systems Capable
Viking – Viking K2 Residential Slide Gate Operator
It is without a doubt known as the best choice for residential slide gate application. This K-2 Viking Access System package is perfect for light duty residential applications. It is suitable for a single slide door with length of about 25 to 45 feet and 700 lb in weight. It is a pad-mounted type gate opener. The opener comes with a standard battery backup system of 12 DC with two batteries. With its efficient-technology, the opener provides a solution for high traffic residential applications.
If you want a solar-energy efficient gate, it is suitable for low voltage installation. It is a reliable gate as it can operate during power failure due to battery backup. You can operate for maximum of 100 full cycles on battery backup operation.
With maximum capacity of 700 lbs it can work with single phase AC power of 115/230 and 24 AC/DC solar powers. The best thing buyers like in Viking K-2 is the convenient fuse access and LED status indicators for the high voltage.
With its 10,000 AMPs / 20,000 Volts, it provides the industry’s leading in-unit lighting and surge protection system. The standard package comes with a VIKING 5 year warranty on residential applications.
Operating temperature of -20°F up to 160°F. The gate will work only within this temperature range.
Max. Operating speed of 12” per second. You can select the speed and that will the speed opener pushes/pulls the gate.
You must need to install a secondary protection as per UL325. It needs at least two monitored “10K resistor based” sensors otherwise the opener will not run. One option is to get one non-contact sensor by Miller edge which is based on photoelectric beam. The other recommended is edge sensor which is contact-based.
You need to buy optional items like keypad, exit system, lock kit, monitor, pedestal, and a compatible receiver.
All-O-Matic – SL-45 DC Residential Slide Gate Opener
It is no doubt, the most affordable and most-efficient slide gate opener available in the industry. It is a small DC operate gate opener that delivers performance and outstanding power transmission efficiency. It is a highly reliable gate operator featuring top of the line planetary gearbox and brushless DC motor. It delivers smooth and quieter operation which results in minimal need of maintenance. You will get plethora of benefits with DC opener against traditional gearboxes and brushed DC motor commonly used in the market.
The opener has a control board with number of features like programmable relay, leaf delay, slow start/stop algorithm, and solar power capability. The best thing about Sl-45 DC slide gate opener is the integrated battery backup. With such, you can fully operate the gate upto two week s in case of a power outage. Moreover, it comes with an emergency release option so you can push it open in the event of a power failure. Anyhow, a standard package comes with two 8 AH 12VDC batteries.
Here’s some specifications of the gate opener:
- Maximum limits: 30′ x 800 Lbs
- 120/220VAC Power Source or 12 and 24VDC Solar Compatible
- 24VDC Operational Voltage
- Opens ~ 12″ per Second
- Geobox ratio: approximately 29:1
- Shopping weight: 60 lbs.
- Temperature range: -40 to 160 degree celcius
- Breaker requirement: 20 amp dedicated
- The gearbox and motor pulley is not available
- With the package you will get Continuous Duty Brushless Motor.
- 24VDC Battery Backup System w/ (2) 7-Ah Batteries
- 7 / 5-Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty for residential application. However, the installation has to be free from defects in circuitry, motor, gear box, and workmanship.
- Additional Entrapment Prevention Devices REQUIRED along with protector cover, and transmitter and receiver kit.
The bottom Line
So, you’ve just done the right decision of having a brand new automatic gate opener for your entrance door. It is without a doubt, a wonderful feeling to sit comfortably in your car while the gate opens itself. Besides, it is one of the best ways to protect your home and business from buglers or uninvited guests.
But to have a flawless experience, you need to pick a reputable brand and high quality gate. But your automatic gate is only useful when it is properly maintained. With so many moving parts, motors, arms, and pieces, it requires routine maintenance to perform the intended function properly. So, it is best to entrust this job to expert installers and a reputable company. They’ll not only help you to pick the right type of gate opener but also protect your investment.
We at Bay Area Lions Gate has got years of experience automating our customer’s gate. Our staff has got the knowledge of all the technicalities of automatic gate openers. We’ll help you to step up your security and feel peace of mind with an automatic gate opener. Bay Area Lions Gate is your one stop shop for all your requirements. We supply and install the best automatic gate openers in the town. Call us now and let’s discuss your requirements. We’ve got tailored services fully in line with your gate requirements.