In the realm of smart home devices, smart home security devices are considered the most popular. Smart home locks offer both security and convenience by allowing your smartphone to act as a key rather than some jingly, cut up piece of metal.
Some smart locks even allow you to connect your door to your home automation hub, furthering your home automation experience. Imagine unlocking your front door and having the lights turn on automatically and your thermostat being set to a comfortable temperature.
What to Consider Before Purchasing Smart Lock
The first thing to consider before purchasing a new smart lock is the type of lock and look you want to purchase. Some locks offer keypads while others do not. Locks with keypads can offer a little more flexibility and allow you to open the door without reaching for your phone or keys, but may look a bit bulky to some. In contrast, a pad-less lock looks more low-key and clean.
Just like the old school locks from a few years past, smart locks come in a variety of finishes and styles. If you want to go with something a little more modern and funky, you can opt for a black or white finished lock. Bronze, Brass, Nickel, and all the other popular selections of metallics are available as well so you can choose the best for your home decor.
Another consideration to give before purchasing a smart lock is it’s ability to connect and integrate with your other home automation devices. The locks that we’ve reviewed can be controlled from your smartphone, but don’t always offer a dedicated app. In order to get the most out of your new lock, you may need to purchase a smart home hub or confirm the locks compatibility with a current hub.
To be sure that your new lock with interact seamlessly with your other smarthome devices, check that they are using compatible communication protocols. The most popular home automation protocols include ZigBee and Zwave. Smart home hubs like Wink 2 and Samsung SmartThings allow you to integrate many devices, even if they use different protocols, and set up robots and schedules to make your home more automated.
Smart locks cost more than your traditional locks as they are packed with a little more technology. While you can find some smart locks on the market for $100, expect to pay in the $200 range if you want one of the best. The higher end locks give you more features such as remote access, voice commands, notifications, alarms, and more.
Kwikset SmartCode Series Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt
Kwikset offers a couple different models in this series with the SmartCode 916 Touchscreen being the most feature packed. While the Smartcode series does not offer a stand-alone app, most of Kwikset’s smart locks can be integrated with your smart home hub using Z-wave or ZigBee protocols. What really sets this lock apart is the re-key technology which makes it easy to pair all your locks to the same key without needing a locksmith. Full Review
Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
Schlage has been a well trusted lock company since 1920. Their Connect Touchscreen Smart Lock comes in a handful of finishes that install easily and look great on nearly any door. The Connect smart lock deadbolt uses Z-wave technology so you will need a smart home hub to control the lock remotely as it does not offer a stand-alone app. It’s extremely loud, 90-dB alarm, stands out from the rest and makes it a great option for those who want the added security.
August Smart Lock
A simplistic and modern cylindrical designed smart lock that uses your pre-existing lock hardware. August makes for a sharp looking smart lock and easy installation that lets you use the same key. This smart lock has it’s own mobile and web application. Additionally, it integrates nicely with Nest Learning Thermostat, Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Xfinity. If you require a keypad, August sells it as an optional accessory. You can use voice activation through Homekit or control the lock remotely with a Wi-Fi bridge. August Smart Lock is also one of the few locks that feature Geofencing which gives you location-based lock/unlock control.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
One of the newer smart locks in the game, Schlage Sense Smart is bluetooth equipped and Homelink ready. You can control the lock from your phone or other apple devices using Siri. If you choose not to use Siri, or have an Android device, you can control the lock using the Schlage app or the built in keypad. To get the most out of this smart lock, you’ll need to be using Apple Homekit and have an additional Apple Device such as Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad laying around to control when out of Bluetooth range. Smart Sense is certianly slanted toward a devoted Apple fanatic over the rest.