Home Safety and Maintenance

Guide to Automatic Gate Openers

Security is a big need in homes to help you sleep better at night and go outside with more confidence that your property and belongings will be safe. With security being a more serious need now more than ever, there is also an increased demand for automatic gate openers. Instead of hiring a security guard or a having a helper to close and open the gate, you can simply install a reliable electric gate opener. This would also be a great convenience. For instance, when you’re going home from a long day at work, you don’t need to get out of your car to open the gate, as the gate can open and close on its own with an automatic gate opener.

An automatic gate opener is a mechanical device that can provide convenient access to your home and add an additional layer of safety. Most automatic gates are powered by solar power, so the gate opener can still function even during a blackout. It is operated via a wireless transmitter (such as a remote control), a manual device, loop detectors, and infrared sensors. When gate openers are paired with outdoor security cameras and solar security light, it will maximize convenience and security for your gates.

Factors to consider in choosing an automatic gate opener

Type of gate

The kind of automatic gate opener that will work best for you will depend on the type of gate you have. There are two main types of gate, the swinging gates, and the sliding games.

Swinging gates work like the typical doors and are the most common type of gate you can find. These types of gates are compatible with automatic gate openers with ram arms with either hydraulic or jackscrew-operated pistons. Swing arm operators, which have an arm extending to the gate, are also compatible with this type of gate.

Meanwhile, sliding gates usually use a gate opener that has a chain placed at the bottom of the gate, attached to an operator that pulls the chain to operate the gate. Most gate openers are only compatible with either type of gates, while some models have variants of gate openers to cater to different gate types.

Weight and length of the gate

The weight of your gate would be a big factor, too. Gates are large, heavy objects, so to automatically open and close them, it needs a great deal of power. Automatic gate openers are designed to only work for gates up to certain weight – not all gate openers compatible with your type of gate can handle the weight of your gate. You may not accurately measure how heavy your gate is, but this can depend on the material your gate is made from. Wrought iron can be very heavy, so you’d want to consider this also.

For dual swing gates, the length of each leaf is a determining factor for an automatic gate opener. A lot of swing gate openers are designed for dual gates of up to a certain length. Make sure you measure the length of each leaf of your dual swing gate before considering buying a certain gate opener.

Available power source and frequency of use

The available power sources you have and your safety needs can also determine the kind of gate opener best for you. Gate openers can operate by solar panels (as mentioned above), AC or alternating current power, and battery backups. Also, the right power source will also depend on how often your gate will be opened and closed. The more often you need to do so, the more power your gate will need. This also increases mechanical wear and tear of the gate opener, so if you plan to open and close your gate very often, it’s best to invest in a heavy-duty gate opener to withstand stress and damage.

Best automatic gate openers

Start saying goodbye to your cumbersome locks and chains. To help you decide on what automatic gate opener to buy, here are some of the best available in the market:

1. Mighty Mule FM500

Rated as the top choice for heavy-duty gates, the Mighty Mule FM500 is suitable for single-swing gates weighing up to 850 lbs. and length of up to 18 ft. It’s a reliable and inexpensive choice for heavy gates that are often used. It’s great for all gate types including wood, ornamental, panel, vinyl, tube and chain link. It’s relatively easy to install and offers an all-inclusive kit that does not require any welding or electrician. It also offers a number of accessories like wireless entry keypad and push-button remote. The manufacturer is also proud to give you an 18-month warranty with technical support. The Mighty Mule FM500 is highly reliable and cost-efficient.

2. Mighty Mule MM560

You will see a lot of Mighty Mule products on this list, simply because it’s one of the leading manufacturers of gate openers. Mighty Mule MM560 is best designed for gates weighing around 700 to 1,200 lbs., and 18 ft. in length. It’s the most powerful, heavy-duty, automatic gate opener out there in the market, with its Professional Grade technology that has many features. It offers easy DIY installation and is powered by a solar panel. It comes with an extra-large control box and an adjustable auto-close option with alarm. It’s one of the best DIY single-gate openers in its class, offering value for money.

3. USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade

Sentry 300 automatic gate opener kit from USAutomatic is the first high-quality, commercial-grade DIY gate opener. Sentry 300 has different varieties, but the Commercial Grade gate opener is a top choice. It is powered by a 12-volt DC battery, charged by an AC transformer or optional solar power kit, but the solar option is more recommendable as It qualifies for 30% federal tax credit. The energy-efficient design of this gate opener enables it to provide weeks of operation even with no ample sunlight. It best suits massive iron gates up to 12 feet long and supports chain link of up to 14 ft. Since it’s commercial-grade this gate opener is best suited for homes with large gates, farms, and other residential and commercial establishments. USAutomatic creates top-quality gate openers, but are often more expensive than other brands.

4. ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding

The best automatic sliding gate opener out there, the Aleko AC1400 is the perfect option for those who want a no-frills, electric-powered opener for sliding gates. It is perfect for heavy-duty work as it can handle gates up to 1,400 lbs. heavy and 50 ft. long. The gate opener itself is lightweight, despite its steel chassis that gives extra durability. It’s also packed with high performance, 120-volt, and 1.5 horsepower motor with a long chain. Installing this on your gate opener is easy, with its easy-to-follow DIY guide. As for the safety features, this can stop and reverse its operation if it encounters an obstruction during closing and opening.

5. Liftmaster LA400PKGU

The Liftmaster LA400PKGU Dual Swing Gate Opener is one of the most durable automatic gate opener out there. It might be one of the most expensive, but it’s one of the best that can deliver optimum performance and durability. The amazing feature of Liftmaster is its ability to be controlled using a smartphone, tablet or computer using the MyQ Technology App anytime, anywhere. The app is compatible with Android and iOS devices for the ultimate convenience. It is most suitable for dual swing gates of up to 850 lbs. in weight and 16 ft. in length. It features a heavy-duty cast-aluminum housing for its 24-volt motor. It can also be operated via solar power as well.

6. E8 400MM Stainless Steel

The E8 400MM Stainless Steel Automatic Gate Opener is one of the finest automatic gate openers made of high-quality stainless steel. The material is sturdy and reliable and works very quietly. It is suitable for dual-swing gates up to 1,200 pounds and extending up to 26 ft. long. In case of a power outage, this gate opener offers an additional AC/DC back-up system. It is compatible with a solar panel but must be purchased separately. The installation package includes primary and secondary gate-holding brackets, with nuts and bolts for installation.

7. Mighty Mule MM562

An easy-to-install dual swing gate opener, Mighty Mule MM562 is a great choice. This gate opener is ideal for the DIYer, as this kit is complete with detailed instructions and 24-hour access to tech support. It’s electric-powered and runs through AC power, but it can also be solar-powered via the Mighty Mule Solar Panel. It is designed for swing gates up to 18 ft. long and 850 lbs. per gate leaf. It features a single button remote for easy access and it will not open without activation, ensuring maximum security for your house.

8. Ghost Controls TSS1XP

If you’re looking for an affordable, solar-powered gate opener that can handle heavy-duty swing gates, then the Ghost Controls TSS1XP is for you. This is ideal for residential gates, big house gate or farm gates up to 20 feet long and 300 lbs. heavy. It features a SafeForce Technology to ensure smooth opening and closing, limiting the amount of force the opener must exert on a gate to prevent damage and injuries to passersby. It works via solar power and low voltage DC power system, making it great for areas without access to AC power. This gate opener also requires minimum installation expertise and maintenance.

9. Mighty Mule MM360

One of the best automatic swing gate openers, the Mighty Mule MM360 is designed for medium-duty swing gates that are up to 16 ft. in length and weighing up to 550 lbs. It features an exclusive Dual Sense Technology to provide you protection and safety that is up to the UL325 6th Edition Standards. It operates with a 12-volt battery that can run for hours with more power and reserve capacity, but it can also be powered by solar panels. As with other Mighty Mule gate openers, it’s easy to install with its friendly instructions and DVD guide.

10. CO-Z Automatic Sliding

CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener is cheaper than other gate openers included in this list, but it’s highly reliable and dependable. Featuring RF Hopping Code Technology, this gate opener gives extra protection for your remote code, preventing it from being accessible to others. It suits sliding gates that weigh up to 1,400 pounds and up to 40 ft. in length. It’s highly customizable as it can be programmed to use up to 23 extra remotes, plus it has an auto-close option where you can set the gate to close at 12, 24 or 36 seconds after opening.

11. Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B

If you have a heavy-duty slide gate, the Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B can help bring you safety and convenience in your going in and out. This gate opener is powered by a 12-volt DC motor and is compatible with Mighty Mule Solar Panels. It is designed for slide gates up to 30 ft. long with a 20 ft. opening, and via with each leaf weighing up to 1,000 lbs. It has a built-in, internal friction brake locking device that locks the gate in the closed position for additional security. This one also doesn’t take up much space, making it ideal for gates with tight spaces.

12. Ghost Controls TDS2XP

Ideal for dual swing gates, Ghost Controls TDS2XP is a heavy-duty, solar-powered solution for your security needs. The installation kit comes with a 10-watt monocrystalline solar panel, an operator arm with a 6-inch cable, and a second operator arm with a 30-inch cable. This gate opener can open and close residential and commercial gates of up to 20 ft. in length and 200 lbs. in weight, but it’s not recommended for solid-panel gates. It provides easy access to a lockable battery box. Overall, this is a trusty gate opener that will certainly give you value for money.

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