Electric garage door openers come standard on most houses today. And for those who like a little extra touch of convenience, garage access keypads are a piece of hardware that is not far behind on the “must-have” list.
Some garage door openers can now be purchased with the entire bundle of electronic means of opening and closing. In addition to the unit that opens the door, the wall-wired button for the inside of the garage, and two clicker openers, a keyless pad for the outside can come as part of the package deal.
Improved tech bundles like this one can be pretty great if you’re overhauling your unit or building a house from the ground up. But for homeowners whose homes were built before these newer additions even existed, adding a universal keypad to the existing unit can take some research. We did some looking into universal garage keypads, comparing the features and the value, and here’s what we found.
Garage keypads are generally sold by brand name to pair with openers of the same brand. However, there are some universal keypads for sale that can pair with nearly any make of garage door opener. These universal keypads have similar features but a few different angles to explore, based on installation and personal preference. Here are four of the best universal garage keypads on the market priced around thirty dollars.
Features We Looked At
To better guide our journey, we broke these universal garage keypads down by a few features.
- Compatibility. This is generally the biggest concern people have with adding a new keypad to an existing garage opener unit. Understandably so, when you drop money on an upgrade, it needs to be able to work the way it’s designed or you’ve wasted time and money. Each universal keypad lists which specific unit models it can pair with, or the frequencies that it runs on. We’ve included these in our comparison list so you can check before your purchase your own.
- Battery Type and Battery Life. We also looked at the type of battery needed to run each universal keypad and how long each battery was expected to last. As a keypad adds a measure of security to your home, it is important that it can function optimally for long periods of time, without you having to carry back up batteries in the glove compartment in your car. A long battery life also ensures that you and your kids aren’t accidentally locked out after taking a walk or going to the neighborhood pool. Some people also have preferences about the type of batteries, based on how easy they are to acquire when they need to be replaced. A shorter battery life may be okay if the replacement is a 9-volt battery that can be picked up at any store, versus an obscure battery type that is special-order only.
- Passcode Options. Next, we looked at the entry code and password options on each universal keypad. Most of keypads are programmed with a simple 4-digit pin. However, other features such as encryption or additional or temporary entry codes varied from one keypad to another.
- Physical Features. In general, garage keypads are built in a similar fashion. The outer casing is designed to be durable and weather-resistant to a point, although some makes choose to highlight different aspects of said durability. There are a few differences with how the keypad numbers are accessed, such as a sliding or flip-up panel, and some keypads added a backlight so the numbers could be seen more easily at night. All of the keypads listed here have a wireless set-up and shouldn’t require additional hard-wiring to get them up and running.
- Additional Features. Some of the universal keypads we researched had other features that were more unique to their model. For example, one of the keypads listed can operate two different garage doors for the three-car garage, with different codes for each.
- Where to Buy. Lastly, we also included places where you can purchase each of these universal keypads at the time this article was written.
1. Chamberlain Group Clicker Universal Keyless Entry (KLIK2U-PU) Garage Door Keypad
The first keypad we researched was manufactured by Chamberlain Group. This universal keypad is frequency compatible with over 90 percent of all garage door openers, including the bigger name brands. The manufacturer adds that residential garage door openers that use photoelectric, or safety sensors (I.e. those made after 1993) are the best fit for this unit as the technology will be most likely to pair.
- Compatibility: The Clicker is compatible with Genie, Linear, Moore-O-Matic, Stanley, Overhead Door, Wayne-Dalton, Craftsman, Chamberlain, LiftMaster, and others. Specific compatible frequencies for other models are listed on Amazon.
- Battery Type/ Life: 9 Volt Battery, 1-2 years
- Code/ Password: Single 4-digit code for one residential garage door. This model has an encryption feature to prevent the unit from being hacked.
- Physical Features: The durable plastic cover slides up and is described as being “all-weather” to protect the keypad from the elements. The keypad itself is backlit so you don’t have to pull out a flashlight to get into the garage after dark. The dimensions of the pad are 1.22” x 2.56” x 5.90”.
- Additional Features: A keypad programming instructional video is available on the official website.
- Where to Buy: Home Depot or Amazon (Link)
2. Chamberlain/LiftMaster/Craftsman 940EV-P2 Garage Door Opener Keyless Entry Keypad, Security +2.0 Compatible
The next keypad we looked at was also manufactured by Chamberlain. Its compatibility was less universal than the previous keypad we reviewed, but it did have some different features that we thought were worth mentioning. Just like the previous model, this keypad works with garage door openers manufactured after 1993.
- Compatibility: This keypad works with most major brands including Chamberlain, LiftMaster, and Craftsman models manufactured from 1993 to present. (Again, these are openers with safety sensors). This keypad is specifically not compatible with the Craftsman Series 100.
- Battery Type/ Life: 1 CR123A lithium battery, 5 years
- Code/ Password: 4-digit pin numbers are used as passcodes. This keypad can operate two garage doors with a different code for each door. Temporary codes can also be programmed for your neighbor who needs to borrow your saw or the delivery guy who has a package you don’t want to be left on your doorstep while you’re out.
- Casing and Keypad: The casing is made out of durable “all-weather” plastic, with a cover that flips up to give access to the number pad. It has a backlit keypad and also has a single button closure feature. The keypad dimensions are 7.3” x 3.8” x 1.2”.
- Additional Features: It can sync with two garage door openers.
- Where to Buy: Amazon (Link)
3. SkyLink Universal Keyless Entry System Kit – Model #318KR $25 (Home Depot)
The next keypad we researched is manufactured by a company called SkyLink. This universal model was only available at Home Depot but was less expensive than some of its competitors. It has a few extra installation steps, as this set has two working parts. But the instructions seemed user-friendly, and it came with a list of positive reviews on the Home Depot website.
- Compatibility: The manufacturer states that this keypad is compatible with “most national brand garage door openers.”
- Battery Type/ Life: 2 3-volt Lithium batteries (CR2032), 5 years
- Code/ Password: A standard four-digit pin is used as the passcode. Only one passcode can be active at a time.
- Casing and Keypad: The keypad casing is ABC UV Plastic and is designed to be weather-resistant. It also has a flip-up cover and a back-lit number pad. The dimensions of this keypad are 9” x 7” x 1.5”.
- Additional Features: This particular keypad comes with an additional transmitter that will need to be plugged into an outlet and then wired to the existing garage door opener button inside your garage. This transmitter is what will receive the signal from the keypad and open the garage door. This feature can add an extra measure of security by essentially moving the guts of the keypad to the inside of your garage, where it is harder for unwanted visitors to access. The signal’s operating range is 100ft in an open area.
- Where to Buy: Home Depot
4. Universal 387LM Keyless Entry by Liftmaster – $35
Lastly, we looked at a universal keypad manufactured by LiftMaster. This model was fairly straight-forward without any additional bells and whistles. The compatibility was listed as pairing with frequencies, rather than specific brands. Again, the reviews were positive on Amazon, and there were few complaints about the clarity of the installation instructions.
- Compatibility: 300/310/315/372/390 MHz compatible
- Battery Type/ Life: One 9 Volt Battery, 1-2-year battery life
- Code/ Password: Standard 4-digit pin passcode for garage door entry. Single code used at a time.
- Casing and Keypad: This keypad has a standard weather-resistant casing. The cover slides up to give access to the number pad.
- Additional Features: None
- Where to Buy: Amazon
Truthfully, each major brand of garage door opener (Craftsman, Genie, Chamberlain, etc.) has their own lines of garage keypads that will ONLY pair with their other products. Most of these seemed to run closer to $40 each and have similar features when it came to wireless programming and installation.
A universal keypad does have the added risk of “not pairing” with what you already have doing the heavy lifting with your garage door. However, most reviews and online customer service responses seem to indicate that these universal remote companies are quick to provide information and assistance with this kind of troubleshooting. And for discontinued models, sometimes this route is your only option.
As you shop and research products, side-by-side comparisons can be helpful. We hope that this article has helped you make a more informed decision before you buy!
If you’d like more info on this topic, check out our article on “How to Install a Garage Keypad.”