01 Mar Tech Tuesday, Edition 2: Smart Locks
Welcome to Tech Tuesdays on our blog! Each week, we will take a moment to discuss a new tech trend or product for your home. The smart home trend is here to stay, and by upgrading to a few simple smart home tools, sellers can significantly raise the appeal of their home. For those wishing to stay in their perfect home, these tech upgrades can easily improve quality of living by increasing energy efficiency, adding the ability to control home systems anywhere via a personal smartphone, and more!
Best Smart Locks For Your Home
Today, we are exploring another easy tech upgrade for your home: Smart Locks! Smart locks are arguably one of the nicest upgrades one can make to their home. These devices can detect your presence via the Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, or a Bluetooth fob on your keyring, and can unlock or lock your door for you.
With smart locks, you can also set up electronic “keys” for friends, family or guests that you’d like to grant access to your home for specific periods of time. Smart locks connectto your home’s WiFi, so they can also connect to other smart home products. For example, when you leave, a smart lock can detect this change and alert your smart thermostat to enter your preset home-away mode, saving you money and increasing your energy efficiency. Bonus: They look pretty cool on your front door, too!
But first, let’s cover the basics.
There are two main options when it comes to smart locks: Bluetooth-only locks, that simply connect to your smartphone or to a key fob, and locks that connect to your home Internet via WiFi.
Bluetooth-only locks are a great entry-level option if you are new to smart technology and simply looking to get your feet wet. These locks will detect your presence when you have your Bluetooth enabled on your smart phone, and are generally considered safer, since they are not connected to your home Internet connection, and therefore cannot be hacked by an outside user. It is important to note that these products are generally at the expense of add-ons like apps and connectability to other smart home products, and can cause a lag in response time in
the unlocking process.
WiFi locks connect to your home Internet connection, and are great for the homeowner who would like to add more smart home products in the future, or purchases the lock as an addition to an existing home automation system. If you have a smart thermostat, security camera system, or more, these locks will find a way to integrate into your existing system. With that, these are inherently less safe since they are always connected to the Internet. Some homeowners are bothered by that, some don’t care as much. You decide for yourself!
Let’s talk options.
Like most smart products, there are a lot of players in the smart lock industry. We chose three of the biggies to compare today, but be sure to do your own research before moving forward on a product for your home!
Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Deadbolt
The SmartCode is a really slick piece of hardware. It comes in a few different finishes to match your home’s accents, and it’s packed with some great tech. The lock is also smaller than some of the other smart products out there, making it less conspicuous on your front door, and also still allows you to use your old house keys.
This lock is a great example of a home-automation-enabled smart lock, and easily connects to other smart home systems you may already have in place. That also means that it will require this connectivity to enable some of its best features, but is well worth it in the end. Some of the SmartCode’s most notable features includes Kwikset’s SecureScreen feature — which makes you punch in two random digits before entering your code — to help ensure burglars can’t guess your password by fingerprint smudges alone. And it has an alarm if someone tries to break in. You won’t get a standalone app with the 916, but it can be connected to several smart home hubs via Z-wave or ZigBee.
Price: $229.95 on Amazon.
More Info: www.kwikset.com
The Most Secure
Schlange Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
For the white-knucklers, the Schlange deadbolt is lauded for its security. While this does require a smart home hub for connection, this smart home lock has the highest possible security rating. If an intruder tries to jimmy with the lock in an attempt to gain entry, the Schlange emits an extremely loud, piercing alarm and disables the keypad. This feature makes it one of the only locks out there that can detect lock-picking and forced entry.
Guest access and remote access work flawlessly when used with other smart home hubs like Wink, and you can create and share up to 30 unique codes with guests via text or email. The Touchscreen Deadbolt doesn’t have a standalone app, which is another reason why it would work best with an existing home automation system, but the auto-feature lock will still work without one, which will lock your door 30 seconds after it unlocks, in case you forget. There is not an auto-unlock feature with this system, which adds to security.
Price: $174.99 on Amazon
More Info: www.schlage.com
Best Stand-Alone Lock
August Smart Lock
Doesn’t this design look a little familiar? The August Smart Lock is one of the easiest to install, and replaces just the inside-portion of your dead bolt so you can keep using your same key. This lock is the most basic of the three, but is compatible with seemingly endless smart home platforms and accessories from the August family and more. Unfortunately, there is not built-in alarm, but it does have its own app that is compatible with iOS and Android.
If you decide you like the lock, you can purchases add on’s like a keypad for guests to gain entry, a door-bell camera, and a WiFi bridge for remote access on your smartphone. A really fun feature accompanying this product is August Access, a network of trusted delivery companies and repair services. If you schedule a service appointment in the app, August sends a guest key for your home to that service. Pretty nifty!
Price: $149.99 on Amazon
More Info: www.august.com
For more Tech, check out:
Tech Tuesday: Smart Thermostats
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