From gadgets to home appliances, we have each and everything digitalized and smart-tech so why not our home security system as well? Yes, we are talking about smart locks here. Smart Locks not only open and shut the door but offer a lot more. With a smart lock, you don’t need multiple keys to circulate. They are compatible and operated via your smartphone and come with wide range of features that are meant to strengthen the security system of your home.
Installing a smart lock in your existing lock isn’t a daunting experience. Some smart-locks require complete replacement while others can be installed to your existing deadlock. Some tend to be useful long-term investment while others are just an added expense and hassle to your life with no useful benefit. So how do you pick the right smart lock? Have a look at our buying guide for a better understanding;
Smart locks are of two types, deadbolt and lever-style. In a deadbolt lock, there is a keyhole, a touchpad and a separate lever which you use to open the door. A lever-style lock is a single unit with all three features, i.e. a keyhole, touchpad and lever together and requires no separate lever to open the door. All traditional locks were deadbolt, therefore a smart deadbolt lock is easier to install and replace it with minimum effort and labor.
Unlike traditional locks, smart locks function through a battery power. It is important for buyers to consider the battery power of a smart lock because it may run out just when you need it the most and there will be no other way to make it work.
When you make a purchase, you must learn how durable the battery is, keeping in mind your usage. Some smart locks are totally dependent on an external battery however, some utilize BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy, which means the lock system may allow homeowners to use some features of the lock via Bluetooth technology. Some smart locks suck the battery power with background functions while others only utilize their battery power for core functions and contain a power conservation mode for extended life.
This is definitely one of the factors you must consider when buying the right smart lock. Since you are upgrading your home security system, it wouldn’t cost you the same as the standard lock did. However, to make sure you buy the best possible lock that offers a variety of smart features, you will have to make an investment in between $200 to $300.
Some smart locks come with a built-in alarm system or provide compatibility with home devices such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit and Google Assistant to notify homeowners about any forceful entry that takes place at the door. Whenever someone tries to open or break your door or there is smoke, the alarm triggers and will send notifications on your smartphone.
Although the alarm system in a smart lock is an added feature, it is a useful and highly recommended consideration when buying a smart lock.
Key or Keypad:
Some smart locks still come with a traditional key-hole system; however, the most recent ones are key-free and digitalized with a keypad, where you enter a key password or use your smartphone to unlock the door. There are some options that offer both in one lock system as well. Although a keypad lock system is convenient, and you don’t require making or distributing keys to family members, it requires ample space on the door.
Some smart locks function through a dedicated app, while others have to be connected to a smart home hub. This hub may be Apple Homekit which uses Apple’s smart home platform, Samsung SmartThings or others. Some locks also have their own smartphone application that you can download on your Apple or Android phone. Some smart locks can be controlled through Bluetooth technology and others have built-in Wi-Fi.
All smart locks include additional features such as auto-locking, keyless touchpads, geofencing, voice activation, text/email notifications etc. As a buyer, you must evaluate your needs and see which features you need the most.
Where to Buy
August Smart Lock is a superb choice with all essential features that one looks for in a smart lock system. It features Alexa voice control system that you can separately. It will lock, unlock and control your door actions automatically. It also gives 24/7 notifications on your phone about who comes in and also if accidentally your door is left unlocked.
August is easy to install and can be attached to your existing deadbolt, with a simple DIY installation guide and a screwdriver. August Home App is frequently updated with newer convenient features and compatible with Android (5.0 or higher), iOS (9.0 or higher) and Apple Watch devices
- Available in silver color
- Smart Lock-Hub style
- Certified Z-Wave Plus home product
- Installation Method: Retrofit deadbolt lock
Samsung Smart Door Lock is an elegant, black color metallic lock with a touch screen. It uses a secured password system to lock and unlock the door with no hassle of giving keys to homeowners or forgetting keys around. The in-built LED system blinks a red light when the door is in use and homeowners can listen to a password input and door opening sound as a notification.
Samsung Smart Door Lock has gone through various security tests and certifications. In case there is s fire in the house and the temperature rises up to 60 degrees Celsius, the system predicts that it will not be able to electronically function, hence the door unlocks automatically for homeowners to open and exit. Although this system provides smart features and elegant ergonomic design, it fails to be installed on any regular door and requires a professional locksmith’s assistance to install it, which is its biggest drawback.
- Available in black color
- Provides access code capacity of 5-12 digits number combination
- Battery Life: About 12 Months (Ten Times Per Day)
- Emergency power supply feature
Yale is one of the oldest and most trusted names in the door lock system. Featuring the Z-wave technology, Yale Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt will make you forget keys and make your home digitally smarter. It allows you to store up to 250 pin codes, so you can share codes with frequent visitors, friends and family. Being super convenient, Yale gives notification when users enter or leave the house and can also unlock the door for any of your visitors if you aren’t at home to open yourself.
One of the biggest advantages of buying Yale is its easy set-up system. It can fit onto any ordinary door and you don’t need any professional assistance to for drilling or wiring. Easily compatible on your smartphone, Yale allows you to see visitor history and block access for unwanted visitors.
- 1 year for electronic and lifetime limited warranty for finish and mechanical operation
- Z-Wave Certification
- Can store up to 250 pin codes
- Voice guided programming in 3 languages
- Available in 3 different colors
Ultraloq UL3 smart lock is a one of its kind keyless lock that operates only on Bluetooth technology. It provides a variety of ways to lock and unlock the door. The Ultraloq application requires no high battery power or internet connection and you can easily download the application on any smartphone. Interestingly you don’t need to open the application to unlock and lock your door, simply tap it a few times and the magic happens.
Alongside smartphone features, it also allows you to scan and recognize fingerprints of homeowners and frequent visitors. The advanced fingerprint technology can identify prints in less than 0.5 seconds and made up of a scratchproof, waterproof and dustproof sensor. Ultraloq is a wise investment and three AA batteries can easily last up to 8,000 times.
- Available in black and silver color
- 18 Months Electronic and Lifetime Mechanical Warranty
- Bluetooth technology
- Can store up to 95 finger prints
- DIY installation system
Schlage Connect is a BHMA/ANSI Grade 1 certified smart lock system for residential purposes. It features a built-in audible alarm sensor that gives notifications of your door activities. The three alert modes; activity, tamper and forced entry can be utilized to customize your alerts and double your home security.
With its advanced remote management system, it is compatible with home monitoring systems and allows you to do more what other lock system offer, for e.g. you want to unlock your front door or turn off the lights? You can all of this by connecting Schlage with your computer or smartphone.
Schlage is not recommended in locations where it rains often or there is high humidity. Users have noticed water inside the circuit and battery pack resulting in malfunctioning othe f keypad.
- Uses Alexa voice control device
- Features a built-in alarm system
- Certified Z-wave technology
- Backup key included
- Stores up to 30 personalized user codes
Smart locks are not designed to make your home full-proof protected from all kinds of strange and unwanted activities. They are meant to improve the security system of your house and keep you updated with its operations. They add convenience to your lifestyle and most importantly, give you a relief from having your keys 24/7 with you or distributing spare keys to all members of the family.