Have you ever gotten to work for the day only to have a mini panic attack about whether or not you locked your home?
Do you ever get sick of combing through your purse day after day in an effort to locate your keys? Or do you get tired of the destruction that keys being in your pocket every day has on your pants?
Annoyed with having to set down groceries or other items in your hands in order to unlock your door?
Sick of making and giving out replacement keys to your home to the likes of contractors, relatives, friends, etc. (not to mention never really knowing how many spare keys are out there)?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you’d likely benefit from a “smart” door lock. Smart technology has evolved into the home over the last several years with the likes of appliances and thermostats – and not to be excluded from this trend is door locks. That’s right, smart door locks.
Smart door locks work similarly to other technology in a connected home. They can network with your smartphone via Bluetooth connection, sensing when you are near and automatically unlock the door to allow for easy entry. You can even send “keys” from your phone to the smartphones of your friends, family members or contractors, thereby permitting them access to your residence on designated dates and during designated times. And these smart door locks can be controlled via smartphone app so you’ll always have the peace of mind that your home is locked and secure when you’re away.
Here’s a closer look at some of the latest trends & types of smart door locks as we begin 2016:
We already briefly discussed how smart door locks help connect you with your home from anywhere in the world. But smart door locks are also being developed to connect with your home’s other smart appliances and devices. Take, for instance, your smart thermostat. Some smart door lock models now can communicate with your smart thermostat, so that it can adjust temperature for maximum efficiency based on whether you’re in or out of the home. The August Smart Lock, for example, is able to connect with the Nest smart home thermostat and others are able to connect with other types of smart thermostat devices.
As most technologies become more popular, more effort is put in as far as research and development goes (just think of cars, for example). And as R&D improves, so does the overall product and the overall cost of the product. This is true of smart door locks too. Development has picked up in this sector, and the cost of these products have dropped. These days, it’s not uncommon to find a quality smart door lock for less than $50.
Most smart locks either work via Bluetooth connectivity or Wi-Fi connectivity. Touch locks are those that work by the former, but with a little bit of twist. Unlike most smart locks that work with Bluetooth technology, which simply unlock your door whenever your phone is nearby, these touch locks require you to tap on them to deliver the unlock command (as long as your smartphone or key fob is nearby, of course).
The vast majority of smart locks on the market today look and operate like a normal deadbolt or key lock. But there are others, such as Haven, which operate a bit differently. Specifically these smart locks attach to the base of the door and act as a mechanical barrier to entry. It’s an unusual twist on the standard lock concept, but one that aims to keep homes more secure. That’s because the strongest part of the door is its base – not where the latch meets the strike plate. Hence, these smart locks that attach to the base of the door, and the corresponding floor, are likely to be more secure than others, though they may take a bit of getting used to.
More and more smart door locks are beginning to incorporate “doorbell cameras,” which essentially allow users to see who exactly is at their front door at any given moment. It also allows users, from the app, to allow access to anyone regardless of where the user is located. What’s more, if the doorbell rings while the user is home, they’re able to essentially preview who is there before making the decision to allow them to enter from the app or get up to greet them.
While door locks are somewhat of a cut and dry technology, smart door locks, to a certain extent, make this technology cool, savvy and extremely convenient, to boot. And while smart door locks have come a long way in a relatively short period of time, they’re likely only going to become even more functional and user-friendly in the future. At Great Valley Lockshop, our expert locksmiths are experienced and knowledgeable with all different kinds of locks, including smart door locks. And when you have to deal with the likes of Wi-Fi connectivity and lock installation, installing the smart lock is often best left to the experts. What’s more is that Great Valley Lockshop’s experts can analyze your home situation and get to better understand your wants and needs in order to pair you with the appropriate type of smart lock.