A Comprehensive Smart Lock Buying Guide
Are you contemplating replacing your front door lock with a Smart Lock? Is so you will need to initiate a comprehensive search to find the perfect Smart Lock for your home. As you well know, the existing deadbolt securing your front door has served its purpose, by keeping out unwanted visitors. While many homeowners find the conventional lock suitable for their needs, others are looking for something more innovative and convenient.
Is The Smart Lock Safer?
Even a Smart Lock developer would not be able to make the promise that a Smart Lock is safer than a heavy-duty deadbolt. However, most Smart Lock brands are ANSI Grade 2 and BHMA certified, which says enough about its ability to provide resistance against sophisticated forced entry. Some brands, such as Kwikset Kevo, are integrated with lock-bumping safety mechanisms.
One of the main reasons consumers are drawn to the network-connected lock is the ability to control it remotely. Sharing digital keys with friends, family members and public service providers is also very intriguing. This feature eliminates the need to hide a mechanical key under a welcome rug or flowerpot, which are two of the first places a burglar will look.
Replacing The Existing Deadbolt
Many homeowners invest a lot of money in their door hardware, so they are reluctant to replace them. Well, you will not need to do away with it, if you invest in a Smart Lock that retrofits to the existing deadbolt. The Poly-Control Danalock and August Smart Lock are only two examples. August is compatible with a variety of standard deadbolt brands, including Kwikset, Defiant, Baldwin, Schlage and Arrow Hardware.
The retrofit design allows you to keep the existing deadbolt’s hardware, while adding an innovative layer of connectivity.
Wireless Standards For Smart Locks
There are three wireless communication standards utilized in the Smart Lock industry, including Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Bluetooth. Many device manufacturers prefer Bluetooth because it is inexpensive, flexible and uses less battery power than the other options. Most connected locks that are powered by batteries are integrated with a Bluetooth chip to keep the device operating costs to a minimum. Now there is one downside to Bluetooth and that is its connectivity range is very limited.
Z-Wave was unveiled in the late 2000s, supporting full interoperability, but it does require an additional multiprotocol hub such as the Wink or Samsung SmartThings. Two examples of z-wave-enabled Smart Locks are the Schlage Connect and Danalock. Investing in a Z-Wave-enabled hub will definitely be beneficial, since it will allow you to connect to a wide range of third-party devices. In fact, Z-Wave integrates with more connected devices than Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi is most often utilized as an add-on, adding more value to a Bluetooth-enabled device.
Importance Of Interoperability
Interoperability is the ability of different software applications and technology systems to communicate, exchange data and utilize the exchanged data. Consumers expect to be able to bridge the gap between their Smart Lock and all the other Smart devices connected to the same home network. In order for this to be possible you will need to design a very interactive Smart environment. Smart gadgets such as the Amazon Echo act as a Smart Home controller, integrating with hundreds of third-party devices and products.
Interacting With The Smart Lock
Most consumers are gravitating towards Voice Recognition Technology, which allows consumers to interact with their connected device with voice. There are currently two popular Smart gadgets that offer this capability, the Amazon Alexa Voice Service and Apple Siri. In July 2016, August Home announced the new Alexa skill that allows August customers to lock/unlock the front door, using voice automation. This was the first Smart Lock to offer this capability.
The Schlage Sense is integrated with Apple’s HomeKit, so users can interact with the lock using voice automation commands.
Now, you must consider whether you want a Smart Lock with a touchpad. The Yale Real Living, Schlage Sense and Kwikset SmartCode 914 come with touchpads. Most Smart Locks support auto locking and unlocking capabilities and comes with a traditional keyhole for a backup access.
When it comes to shopping for a new Smart Lock, consumers have a lot to consider, which will make the task very daunting. However, if you combine the information provided with your needs and preferences, you will find the perfect Smart Lock for you home without issue.
To learn more about Smart Locks, please click on the following Amazon link.