Garage IR heater integrated with smart things and thermostat?

I would like to integrate Smartthings into my garage for a gym. Long story short my wife and I relocated to Northern Illinois and now have a detached garage(only about 8’ from the house and 15-18’ from the hub) instead of a nice warm attached garage in warmer climates.

Anyway, I’ve contemplated something like the below to heat the garage:
Optimus Heater. In short this is a 750/1500W 115 heater on a plug in cord with pull chain for power. I’m going to heat a 1-1/2 car garage so MAY need to double up on these but once I get one sorted can double the components for another.

What I’m hoping to do is integrate this to turn on and to a predetermined temp(say 65F for example) in the AM BEFORE we go work out…so think turn on at 4:30 AM to work out at 5:00 AM(or whatever delay I need to make it work).

I’ve seen something like the below but didn’t know if there was a cheaper/cleaner solution I could fairly easily get to integrate with Smartthings? I know I could just plug in to a smartthings compatible outlet and leave on the heater then configure turn on time but I would lose temperature control which MAY come into play(?) sometime.

Thank you in advance and I apologize I’m typing this on my phone and so proofing is difficult. Let me know what doesn’t make sense or how I can clarify my plan if it didn’t all come out.


You may have trouble finding a pocket socket that matches the specifications – – a couple of the reviews say it has a 25 amp draw on the higher heat setting.

You will need an isolated circuit because this heater takes about 25 amps.

I couldn’t find the manual online, so I don’t know what the exact specs are. There are some smart devices used to control water heaters and other high draw items, so you can do it, but you need to be aware going in so you match the specifications.

Hey @mrgfy6 Where in Northern IL are you? I literally just moved to Northern Illinois as well and was actually researching this exact topic. Well really I was just at the point where I want to build a garage gym and I need to heat it. I hadn’t got to the integration part…yet. :smile:

So I think the temp control part of it is pretty easy, just put a temp sensor in the garage and use it along with webCore or another smartapp to do whatever you want. The problem, like @JDRoberts mentioned is finding a device that can handle that much current. Most of them are only rated for 5-10amps. The max this heater could be pulling if the specs are correct (1500 watts at 120Volts) is 12.5 amps. I think whoever said it was pulling 25 amps was wrong or had a defective device. Assuming that is true you could use a ge z-wave outlet to control the thing. The one below is rated at 15amps which should be fine.

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@JDRoberts thanks, as always for your input. I think, based on the comment from @njschwartz the amp draw has to be incorrect. I would verify first and/or find one that only drew approximately 12.5A based on the 1500W stat. Additionally, if I got two and ran each at opposite sides of the gym, on separate breakers, at 6.75A each, I would be well under 80% load for each circuit and could put one of each of the LED shop lights on the circuits.

Anyway, do you have a recommendation for a quality high amp outlet? I’ve only used the GE switches in our other house and have been happy. I’m not brand loyal but they have worked, so I was happy with them. The pocket sockets make me a little nervous for a semi-permanent situation(maybe that is not a valid nervousness?) like an in line outlet would provide.

Additionally for @JDRoberts and @njschwartz, is what you are essentially sayin is set up, pardon my lack of effective terminology, a rule like almost IFTTT with a temperature sensor to just turn the heater outlet on and off as prescribed by the temp sensor, thus leaving the heater ‘on’ all the time? I would then set up a sub-rule to only allow this to operate beginning X number of minutes before I knew I was going to work out?

Nate, we are just south of Rockford, you?

@mrgfy6 Yes, webCore is basically just a super powered IFTT. It can do a lot more than that, but that is basically what it is. You can do everything you want in one piston (that is what the “rules” are called). You would make a piston that says "IF temp is <whatever Then turn on z-wave outlet/heater. You can then add the logic for when to actually do it. That could be something like only weekdays or only if this is true or that is true etc. It’s pretty easy really, just takes some setup.

I am east of you in Hawthorn Woods, small town in the far NW burbs. It is certainly cold. I need to get to work on this project myself!

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