When seeking out the best automatic gate opener, you’ll after several things: convenience, security, and ease-of-use. Gate openers are a great way to take the hurdle out of getting in/out of a location, while providing you an extra layer of security. Whether it’s for a gated community, home, farm, workshop, or area you need to enclose, automatic openers are practical equipment choices.
But what’s the best choice? Everyone has different needs, and solar gate openers are a heavy investment. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of some of the best picks for 2020 in hopes you’ll find an option ideal for your needs.
Our criteria was based on a few factors to assure we found the top selections for you. We considered price, security features, solar charge and/or electric charge, ease of installation, and durability. We also took into account the type of gate and frame, as each opener is specified for certain lengths and weights. Some options are better suited for residential, and others business and/or security. No matter the need, you’ll find something to love!
Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener
Mighty Mule MM562 Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Dual Swing Gates
G.T.Master Sliding Automatic Gate Opener Kit
- 1 Top Picks of 2020
- 1.1 1. Mighty Mule MM562 Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Dual Swing Gates
- 1.2 2. Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener
- 1.3 3. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
- 1.4 4. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
- 1.5 5. CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener Hardware Sliding Driveway Security Kit
- 2 What to look for in an automatic solar gate opener?
- 3 Why solar gate openers?
- 4 Preparing to Install
- 5 Pros and Cons of Solar Gate Openers
- 6 Conclusion
Top Picks of 2020
1. Mighty Mule MM562 Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Dual Swing Gates
Our first selection is a prime do it yourself option for heavy-duty barriers. This opener is perfect for gates up to 18 feet and and 850 pounds (per leaf). It comes included with a tutorial so no expert installation is necessary.
Purchasers will get everything they need to correctly install the gate opener, and can take advantage of the equipped solar panel so the gate remains charged for use.
The included DVD also arrives with an extensive instructional booklet. The hardware received includes a hardware box with 12 volt charge, single control button remote, 5 watt solar panel,
We like this choice for its versatility and ability to support heavy gates, ideal for residence or fencing. This is a good option if you want some additional convenience and security for your residence while avoiding the hassle of expert installation. Though it’s one of the pricier options, it’s well worth the investment for its durability/weight limit.
2. Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener
The next automatic solar gate opener is better suited for smaller gate sizes, adjustable for weights of up to 350 lbs. However, this doesn’t mean it performs any less and is still useful for practical/security reasons. As with our first choice, this is an easy-installation DIY yourself option. Barring 12v batteries required for the controller, it comes with everything necessary/
It’s best suited for swing gates of up to 20 feet across (though not recommended for solid panel gates). The Ghost design gets its designation for quickness and quietness, as in, it won’t make noise when in use and is fast to respond at the signal press. And, of course, the option arrives with a solar panel, so no electric charge is required.
3. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
Our next option is another heavy duty choice backed by a 3-year warranty – which is great for those who require durability or frequent usage. Like the others it’s strictly do-it-yourself, and barring the necessary tools required for installation, everything you need for said installation is included.
The device is capable of providing force for gates of up to 400 lbs and ideal for those up to 20 feet in length. Regardless of the weight specifications though, time to open gates is estimated around 16 seconds. For its specifications, it’s recommended to use with farm gates (or heavier) gates versus a traditional residential.
Despite the investment, it comes included with a variety of equipment for smooth installation and different options. Purchasers receive multiple remotes and signal buttons, solar panel accessories, exit/entry sensors and an electric gate lock. With its multiple, flexible uses, it’s a great investment for those seeking additional security and convenience for their home, business, or farm.
4. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
Here’s an automatic gate opener more suited for security purposes, and is an inexpensive choice among our current list. An accessible choice, purchasers can install so long as they have the appropriate tools and the installed signal box can support up to 25 remotes (good for small companies).
Don’t be fooled by its low price though, this selection packs quality. The security slider is capable of working with gates of up to 1300 pounds in weight (sliding), up to 27 ft. A single remote can set options from open to close for accessibility, along with an auto close format ranging from 12-36 seconds (whatever is needed).
Do note as an AC powered gate opener, this one is not compatible with solar panels, so adjust accordingly. The apparatus also has a built in safety feature against overheating if the motor is left on for over 15 minutes.
5. CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener Hardware Sliding Driveway Security Kit
Another low-price but powerful option for security purposes, the CO-Z gate opener is suited for heavy slide gates of around 14000 lbs and 40 feet. This is accomplished with a silent 200W motor that doubles with an auto-close feature (if needed).
Up to 23 remotes are supported with a range of 100 feet, with an automatic close timer ranging from 12-36 seconds. In order to maintain long-lasting quality and durability in the harshest conditions (and use), the base is made with aluminum and copper fixtures for an extended lifespan.
Comes with two remote controls. There are additional options for automatic gate openers supporting up to 3300 lbs as well (if needed). Of course, this is another easy DIY option, so no expert installation is required. Great for anyone looking to add convenience and security to their gate fixture. We like this one for those who need to have their gates opened at a distance, especially if you’re planning to move cargo/trailers in and out of a property.
What to look for in an automatic solar gate opener?
Now that you’ve got an idea about the different automatic gate openers available for installation, you no doubt have questions about specifications, quality, and things to look for. As with these solar cameras, not every option is suited for every individual.
Primarily, the main thing to keep in mind is convenience. Gate openers – solar powered or otherwise – are so you don’t have to exit your vehicle to open a large gate, whether that’s in/out of a residential property or place of business. It’s worth then considering how much time you’d prefer to “wait” for a gate to slide open, and how much range you’ll need. Most options we’ve listed average around 50 to 100 feet in signal range, so this is useful for security reasons or if you’re hauling material in and out of a location (such as trailers for animals, supplies, etc).
Aside from convenience, think about the amount of times the opener is used on a given day. If it’s a company site, for instance, you can imagine an automatic gate getting used multiple times a day. Therefore, you want something long-lasting and capable of handling that level of stress and strain. Remember, the mechanism most not only have high endurance for use, but also outside elements as well (storms, rain, rising and falling temperatures).
You also want to look for options with easy DIY guides and installations. While our choices all include the proper manuals and supplies needed for a DIY operation, some are easier (or harder) than others. Remember, you may require tools to complete installation of a solar gate opener, so keep that in mind when browsing through possible options. Some DIY installations are easier than others and will vary based on the complexity of the gate opener in question.
Why solar gate openers?
We’ll dive into the ups and downs of purchasing an automatic gate opener, but if you’re still on the fence, there’s a few reasons to consider grabbing one for your business or place of residence. (While you’re at it, solar driveway alarms make a great combo with these products!)
For one thing, solar powered gate openers are environmentally friendly and will save on your power bill – if at least by a small amount. Similar to solar car fans, they make a small but noticeable dent in your electricity bill. Because they are compatible with panel chargers, you can expect the mechanism to work at any time to day. For some, you can also save money on insurance, since gate openers add an extra layer of security to a property, and thus make it more valuable.
Convenience, too, is something we emphasize. It’s nice opening a gate to and from your place of work or residence. For those dealing with physical impairments or disabilities, this is especially helpful, since you won’t need to move a large, heavy gate. Automatic timers also allow for larger cargo or objects to be transported to and from a site, like trailers, equipment, or other material larger than a single vehicle.
Lastly, a solar gate opener provides your home and family one additional layer of privacy. You can inspect who comes and goes to your property, while assuring no strange or unrecognized vehicles come to said property. Outdoor solar lights or these solar parking lot lights make a great addition if you’re pursuing this strategy.
Essentially, if you’re looking for something giving you one more layer of protection without an expensive contract or professional cost, a DIY gate opener is a prime option, whether that’s for personal or professional use.
Preparing to Install
We’ll jump into the good and bad of automatic gate openers, but before we do, make sure you have everything you need to make your DIY installation easy. You’ll need appropriate tools for screwing objects together, enough space for your solar panel to have visible sunlight, and enough of an accommodating area to install the actual lock box mechanism.
Study the included guides (if applicable) carefully. If you’re doing a dual install with both AC power and solar energy, make sure you practice safe handling standards to avoid risk of personal injury. Never work during the night or poorly lit areas. Be prepared to do a bit of kneeling and standing.
Expect things to go rough or smooth. Though included guides will give you all the information you need for success, not everything can go perfectly. Give yourself at least 45 minutes of expected work time just in case. Total installation periods are generally around 15/20 minutes, but complications can change this.
Now, what about the good and bad of an automatic solar gate opener?
Pros and Cons of Solar Gate Openers
You’re getting an idea about the best qualities to find in a gate opener along with their price range and specifications. Great! But what are the positives and negatives to sliding gate openers? What are the things you should consider before making a big investment? To help you make the best choice, we’ll break down some of those factors.
Whether it’s a residential or place of business/work, the benefits of an automatic gate opener are the same.
- Convenience. If you’re someone who has limited motor functions, sustained injury, or just prefer opening a gate from the comfort of your vehicle, an automatic gate opener provides said convenience. This is also perfect for rough roads, stormy conditions, or situations where physically getting out to open a gate is impractical.
- Safety. In harsh weather conditions, getting in and out of a vehicle to open a gate is dangerous. Additionally, you leave yourself at risk when opening a heavy gate out in the open, depending on the area. Accessing your residence or business from the safety of a vehicle, then, is another great positive.
- Security. Again, not only is a solar gate opener perfect for personal safety, it’s a fantastic security option too. Your place of business can keep only approved staff and visitors, same for a place of residence. If you don’t want unfamiliar cars or visitors coming to the property, gate openers are a nice extra layer of security.
- Avoids Hazards. Aside from weather, opening a gate through traditional physical means presents its own dangers, where improper balance can cause dangerous issues like slips and potential gate collapse. Automatic gate openers, solar powered or otherwise, can prevent these issues and significantly reduce personal risk.
- Flexible Charge. Because an automatic gate opener works with both solar and electric charges, you’ll never need to worry about power problems. Even if some gates don’t come with panels, most are compatible with different power options. For a similar product for your vehicle, take a look at these solar trickle chargers.
- Warranties. Many of our choices come with extended warranties, some up to three years, so you can rely on the equipment for a long time.
- Significant Financial Investment. Though we selected choices with the best value, even the lowest cost gate opener can be a large financial investment. For some, this price point can be off putting, although the benefits are well worth it.
- DIY Installation. While also a plus, do-it-yourself can also be a negative. Our options will provide you with the necessary supplies for installation, but you’ll still need tools depending on the option. Most installations are easy, but various circumstances can make said installation more complex than normal.
- Solar Reliant. Though most control boxes and automatic gate openers have versatile power options, they will require sunlight to make best use of a solar panel. Therefore, if your gate is in a shaded area or receives little sunlight, you won’t be able to take advantage of it.
- Specification Specific. Gate openers are designed for different weights and sizes, so one choice won’t fit all. That means you’ll need to spend a fair amount of time measuring the distance of the gate in question, along with understanding its total weight. Otherwise, you risk damaging the product and potentially other property.
Now you’ve got an idea about the benefits to an automatic solar gate opener. As you can see, the layers of protection, security, and convenience they offer can’t be beat. (That explains why the solar gate opener market is growing by leaps and bounds!) There’s a range of options for any scenario, whether it’s a place of residence or professional workplace. Regardless, we know you’ll find something suiting your needs and hope our breakdown leads you to the best possible selection!