A Smart Lock Buying Guide For Beginners

Smart Locks offer a wide range of benefits, which are far too many to mention them all. If you are continuously locking and unlocking your entrance door, it may just be time for an upgrade. Many homeowners are trading their traditional deadbolt in for a Smart Lock that can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.


Kwikset Kevo 2nd Gen Smart Lock

Upgrading a door lock will not be as simple as replacing an outlet, because the installation is a little more in depth and hands-on. Smart Locks are also more expensive than a traditional deadbolt, but with its innumerable features, it is no wonder why.

Below, you will discover a few things that you need to know, before you head out on your shopping adventure.


Inspecting The Entrance Door

One of the first things that you should know is different Smart Lock brands offer many different functions, with several similarities. The most notable similarity is they will automatically turn the deadbolt. While this is great, you should still inspect the entrance door, just to make sure it is ready for an upgrade.

Open the door, shut it and lock it manually. When you are completing this process did you have to push the door in, just to get the thumb turn to work smoothly? If so, your door may just not be ready for a Smart Lock. Since, the Smart Lock automatically turns the deadbolt, it must be able to operate smoothly, because if it does not, this function will be prohibited. Fixing the problem may be as easy as tightening a few screws, adding a few shims or sanding down frame.

You must also examine the bolt, when it is fully engaged. If the bolt does not extend fully, this could be a problem for the Smart Lock’s built-in motor, causing it to work harder and longer. The doorjamb may need to be deeper, so the bolt will extend all the way out.

When you are examining the door, you should go ahead and measure the door thickness. The Smart Lock manufacturer will provide you with the appropriate measurements, so you know whether a particular brand will fit your door or not.


Exploring The Features

As mentioned above, each Smart Lock has different functionalities. Now, you must first decide whether you want to invest in a Smart Lock with its own deadbolt or one with just motorized attachments that clamp onto the existing deadbolt. This type is much easier to install, but there are some potential compatibility issues that many consumers have been left to deal with. However, most of these models come with several adapters that are compatible with different deadbolt brands.


Access Options

You must think about what you want to get from the Smart Lock. For instance, do you want the lock to automatically unlock, when you enter the signal range or had you prefer to control the lock from your smartphone. There are a wide range of Smart Locks that have a touchpad, so the homeowner can manually input a digital code to unlock the door. There is also the Smart Lock that is embedded with a touch sensor that will automatically unlock the door, when the homeowner touches the lock (Kwikset Kevo).


Preferable Connections

One of the things that most consumers seem to forget when shopping for a new Smart Lock is creating a mesh network. Most Smart Locks integrate with a wide range of third-party devices and platforms, but this will vary from one brand to another.

The Schlage Connect and August Smart Lock works with Apple HomeKit, which provides voice automation control with Siri. There are also Zigbee and Z-Wave locks (Yale) that will sync up with SmartThings, Piper and Wink hubs. Then you have the Kwikset Kevo, which syncs up with the Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell Wi-Fi Doorbell.


Electronic Key Codes

Most Smart Locks provide users with the ability to share electronic key codes with family members, friends and public service providers. You can create these codes from the app and set them for temporary and permanent use. Some locks will automatically delete the code after 24 hours, while others will allow the user to make the decision when to deactivate the code.

The Yale Real Living Deadbolt will allow the user to assign someone a code and then track the individual every time they enter and exit the home.



As you can see, buying a new Smart Lock is not like buying a traditional deadbolt. These devices are embedded with a wide range of components and technology, making it even more difficult for consumers to make up their mind. However, with research you will find the perfect Smart Lock for your home, without having any regrets later on down the road.

To learn more about Smart locks, please click on the following Amazon link.