Perhaps you still have your safety sensor from your old garage door opener, and you are wondering if it will work with your new garage door opener? Or you are not getting a replacement safety sensor for your garage door opener. Or maybe you want to give it to a friend who has a damaged safety sensor, and you want to find out if garage door openers’ safety sensors are universal. Well, I was in a similar situation too, so I did some research. Here is what I found out.
Short answer, no. Garage door opener sensors are not universal. Safety sensors can only communicate with garage door openers from the same brand. Also, a couple of garage door opener brands make unique safety sensors with features that work only with their products.
If you own a garage door opener from a company that is not in business anymore, we’ll discuss the different options you have and how to find the best safety sensors for your garage door opener. Now, let’s take a look a look at why garage door openers are not universal.
Why are garage door safety sensors not universal?
Before we take a look at why it’s vital to know how safety sensors work, all garage door opener sensors work with the same principle. Two sensors are installed at the bottom of your garage door, preferably 6″ above the floor. One of the sensors, known as the sending sensor emits an infrared signal, and the other sensor, which is the receiving sensor, must receive that signal. This is why both sensors must face each other. The infrared signal creates an invincible trip wire at the bottom of the door. So anytime the signal gets blocked from reaching the receiving sensor, the garage door won’t close, or it will reverse when it is closing.
What makes safety sensors different is their communication protocol. All garage door safety sensors communicate differently. It varies from one manufacturer to the other.
What do I mean by communication protocol? By definition, communication protocol refers to the set of rules that two or more entities use, two exchange messages. In essence, garage door opener manufacturers, such as Liftmaster, Genie, Craftsman, and the like, make unique communication protocols that facilitate effective communication between their safety sensors and garage door openers. Think of communication protocols as languages. Safety sensors from two different manufacturers don’t speak the same language, so they will not work together.
In addition, some brands also make special features for their sensors, and will only work when paired with an opener from the same brand. For instance, Overhead Door and Genie use a safety sensor technology that they call the Safe-T-Beam® system. This system alerts homeowners if the safety sensors on their garage door are malfunctioning or are not properly aligned. This feature will only work if the sensors are paired with the right opener.
Is there a way to make it work?
As we have established earlier, garage door safety sensors are not universal, and will only work with garage door openers of the same brand. Here are the two main exceptions to the rule.
If you own a Liftmaster, Chamberlain, or Craftsman garage door opener, the same safety sensor will work on all three brands. For instance, Liftmaster’s 041A5034 Garage Door Opener Safety Kit (on Amazon) was made for Liftmaster garage door openers. However, they are also compatible with Chamberlain and Craftsman garage door openers. That’s because Chamberlain is the mother company of Liftmaster and Craftsman.
Similarly, the Genie brand is owned by Overhead Door, so Genie’s Safe-T-Beam sensor (also on Amazon) is the same sensor used for both Genie and Overhead Door garage door openers. So if you upgraded your Overhead Door garage door opener to a Genie opener, then you are in luck.
These are the only two exceptions to the rule. If you have any other garage door opener, different from the ones mentioned above, your safety sensor will not work with any other brand.
How to find the right sensors for your garage door opener
The best way to find the right sensors for your garage door opener is to visit the manufacturer’s website. Most manufacturers make replacement parts and accessories for their products, and safety sensors are no exception. The next place to look for a replacement safety sensor is Amazon. The chances are that you will find the perfect replacement sensor for your opener.
Here is a link to Linear’s HAE00002 Safety Sensor Kit (on Amazon). This will work with their LD033, LD050, and LS050 model garage door openers. Surprisingly, you won’t get this on their website.
If you own a Challenger garage door opener, unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t have an official website where they offer support, parts, accessories, and product details. Fortunately, you will find their replacement safety sensor on Amazon as well. The Challenge 109775 All-Clear Photosystem (also on Amazon) is the best option out there for Challenge garage door openers. This safety sensor will work with all MVP garage door openers from Challenger. It also works with 1500, 9100, 9300, and 9500 models from Challenger.
If you didn’t find an original replacement safety sensor made for your garage door opener, then you need to consider the universal safety sensor by Digi-Code. Let’s talk about this in the next section.
Universal Safety Sensors
Over the years, some garage door opener companies have gone out of business. And since then, garage door openers made by these companies are left in the lurch. They get no form of support, parts, and accessories replacement or whatsoever. Also, older garage door openers from garage door opener companies such as Chamberlain are not getting any support or attention. This is where the universal safety sensors come in.
Let’s take a look at the two universal safety sensors on the market. That is the CR2149 safety sensor by Digi-Code and G801CB-P safety sensor by Chamberlain.
Digi-Code CR2149 Universal Safety Sensor for Garage Door Openers
The CR2149 Universal Garage Door Opener Safety Sensor (Amazon) by Digi-Code is the solution for older garage door openers with no replacement parts. This device is made to work with all major garage door opener brands in the market. They work with Chamberlain, Liftmaster, Genie, Stanley, Linear, and Overhead Door openers made after 1995. They also work with Moore-O-Matic, Challenger, and Raynor garage door openers. This is a plug and play device as well. Simply put, all you have to do is connect the sensors to your existing sensor wiring, mount and align them, and they will start working, with no programming required.
It doesn’t just replace your damaged safety sensors; it also comes with some essential features.
- It has the ability to filter out sunlight.
- This is also a non-polarized garage door opener safety sensor. This means, no matter how you connect them, they will work.
- Very straightforward to install
What you will get in the package are two sensors (sender and receiver sensor), mounting brackets, screws for installation, and then an installation manual.
Chamberlain G801CB-P Safety Sensor
I wouldn’t really call this a universal garage door safety sensor. However, the G801CB-P safety sensor (Amazon) by Chamberlain is made to work with Chamberlain, Liftmaster, and Craftsman garage door openers. It’s no news that these three brands are the most popular garage door opener brands in the US alone, so this safety sensor has to be mentioned.
If you own a Liftmaster, Chamberlain, or Craftsman garage door opener, the G801CB-P is the best option replacement option out there. Homeowners love it, which is why it has a ton of good reviews on Amazon.
The only downside is, it will not work with Craftsman 100 series garage door openers. That’s something to keep in mind if you are planning to buy this.