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Enhancing Your Garage Door Safety with Light Beams

We all want our homes to be as secure as possible to keep our families safe. As garage doors see frequent use, it’s important to have safety features that alert you to any potential issues. In this post, we’ll discuss how adding visible light notification and safety light beams can enhance the security of your garage door.

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What are Light Beams?

Safety light beams, also called light curtains, work by emitting invisible infrared light across the garage door opening. An infrared sensor on the opposite side detects the light beam and if anything interrupts the beam, such as a person or object passing through, the door will stop moving and reverse direction. This creates an invisible light screen that protects against people or items being hit by a closing garage door.

The beams provide an extra level of protection beyond basic obstruction sensors that are mounted on the garage door itself. Obstruction sensors only detect if something physically contacts the moving door, but light beams can catch potential accidents before contact is made. Having this additional level of detection helps create a safer environment around the moving door.

Installing Light Beam Sensors

It’s a fairly simple process to install light beam sensors on most garage doors. Newer garage door openers sold today often come with light beam sensors already included. If upgrading an existing opener, light beam sensors purchase separately for around $100-200 depending on the brand.

Installation involves mounting the infrared light emitter on one side of the door opening and receiver on the other. The sensors need direct line of sight to each other without any obstructions in between. Cables then run from the sensors to the garage door opener control board inside the garage. The settings on the control board are adjusted to activate the light beam safety feature.

The entire installation process typically takes less than an hour for an experienced DIYer. Instructions are included and most brands have installation videos online as well. A professional garage door technician can also install light beams for a service fee if you prefer not to do it yourself. Once installed, the light beams seamlessly enhance the safety functions of the existing garage door system.

Notifying You of Open Beams

While light beams prevent accidents, it’s still possible for the infrared signal to be interrupted without a physical object blocking the opening. This could happen if the emitter or receiver alignment shifts over time or if they accumulate dust/debris. To address this, many modern safety beam systems include visible light notification.

Visible lights, usually bright LEDs, are mounted alongside the infrared sensors. These status lights let you know if the invisible light beam isaligned and unobstructed. A solid green light indicates the beam is intact while a flashing red light alerts you if it has been disrupted. This visible indication helps troubleshoot any issues with the safety sensors without having to check the garage door control panel.

The status lights are a simple yet effective way to let homeowners know the light beams are functioning properly. No more guessing if something subtly shifted the alignment over time. You have clear visibility into the system’s active safety functionality. This extra assurance of proper operation increases confidence that you and your family are protected when the garage door is in motion.

Extra Detection Beyond the Garage

Safety is about layers of protection. While light beams and contact sensors guard the actual garage door from hitting things while closing, it’s also important to be alerted to movement in other areas leading to the garage. This is where adding extra detection zones can provide valuable notification.

Some modern garage door openers offer add-on motion sensors that mount to the exterior of the garage, similar to security system motion detectors. These detect when someone or something enters the path near the garage. They also integrate with the garage door control system to trigger visible and/or audible alerts before the person reaches the actual door opening. This Garage Door Replacement in Richmond gives useful advance warning of nearby activity to reduce surprises, especially important for homes with little outdoor lighting at night.

Taking safety to the next level, some homeowners install full security cameras monitoring outside areas around the garage as well. Camera systems with motion detection can send smartphone alerts directly to check the feed from anywhere. This combines detection and visual confirmation of what’s happening outside, allowing a more informed response if needed before granting access to the garage interior and home.

Prioritizing Visibility and Safety

Whether upgrading an older system or installing a new garage door setup, consider incorporating features that provide visibility into the moving door’s safety functionality. Status indicator lights, additional motion sensors, and security cameras add layers of detection and notification that help keep all members of the household safe around the garage. Catching potential incidents before contact is vital, and the technology exists to accomplish this without breaking the bank. Taking proactive steps to enhance safety through visibility pays dividends in peace of mind.

So in summary, adding light beam infrared safety sensors and visible status lights is a smart way to strengthen your existing garage door security. The low installation cost is far outweighed by the value of preventing possible accidents and gaining confidence that your home’s entry points are fully protected.