Smart Home Locks
It is not science fiction anymore, Smart Homes have arrived and are evolving at a fast pace. Smart Home is a current buzzword and mostly used to boost sales. Our series of articles will cover the technology with respect to each device or appliance. A Smart Home by definition uses devices or appliances that are connected and controlled easily, mostly through apps. Smart devices and appliances vary from simple easy control, status updates to intelligent decision-making algorithms.
A lock secures our home. Traditional Lock & Key have been the norm for centuries and it is time for us to update to the latest technologies. There are several options available with many advanced features.
KEYPADS: Most simple upgrade is a lock with a numeric keypad. It is simple to setup and use. Most models allow anywhere from two to ten codes other than a master code. A master code is required to change all the other codes. Codes are usually 4 to 8 digits. The keypad can be buttons or touch screen. Some locks require you to touch random numbers before entering the code to prevent fingerprint marks only on the buttons used for code.
CONNECTED: Next level of upgrade would be lock with connectivity like NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The connectivity adds several features and much easier control via Apps. The phone can unlock the door by taping the lock or by proximity. An additional step may be added for safety. Connected devices can be controlled from anywhere in the world as long as you are connected to the internet. Digital keys can be assigned to friends or a house cleaner's phone which will only work for the specified times and days. Independent codes allow for notifications of entry and exit for kids or help. Gone are the days when you drive back to check if you forgot to lock the door.
INTEGRATION: The most common integration is through voice control. Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home are the currently available controls, which allow locks to be locked or unlocked by voice commands. Emerging and evolving integration is mostly through collaboration of different manufacturers. Examples would be the ability to unlock or lock the door through a doorbell device app, surveillance camera device app, etc.
Another level of integration is through Z-wave and ZigBee. Both are competing wireless communications protocol used primarily for Home Automation and will require professional help.
Some models do not require changing the lock; they simply latch on the deadbolt lever and give you all the features. Some models have eliminated the key. They provide external posts to which you can connect a 9-volt battery, giving you enough juice to get the door open. Some smart locks have built in alarm that sounds in case of tampering.
Smart locks are an incredible upgrade to traditional Lock & Key. Digital locks allow easy configuration, recordings of entry and exit, and setting specific entry times, (Airbnb application).
Forgot your key, no problem. No one has to wake up to open the door. Open the door remotely for friends or deliveries.
Do you need any more reasons to upgrade to Smart Locks?
Tip: Deadbolt must align properly to the strike plate. Smart lock batteries run out of juice very quickly if the deadbolt movement is tight.