While deciding to buy a smart lock, the first question turns up in our minds is: why should I buy a Smart Lock?
The fundamental reasons of buying a smart lock can be as follows:
- For easier locking system
- For styling
- For well-organised access system for outsiders
- For better assured security
- For having a key backup
Smart Locks Featuring Along with Video Cameras
Certain smart locks with video cameras are available too though most smart locks do not have a video camera. For high security, prefer locks with cameras as video allows visual verification. At times, you will be able to get a visual glimpse of the people at the doorstep to authenticate them.
The best smart locks are equipped with a motion sensor that enables a live video stream to the phone connected with the lock, to notify about the visitor at the door. The HD camera captures that guest for you to have a look. This visual verification system of a smart lock is particularly supportive for owners who either have to allow the service people inside their house when they are not physically present there or for keeping an eye on their children’s entry and exit from the house.
It is important to note before buying a lock with video camera that such locks are comparatively more costly, but can provide you with 100% assurance about visitors at the doorstep.
Features Of a Perfect Smart Lock
Checking Out Door’s Adaptability Towards Smart Locks
Imagine buying the most suitable smart lock and later finding out that the lock isn’t compatible to your door size. So, while buying keep the installation process and the door size in your mind. Research all the requirements related to the door of the house or go for an option that fits on all kinds of door. Though most smart locks have D.I.Y. installation, not all will work with every door.
Certain smart locks allow you to utilise the pre-existing deadbolt already on your door. They’re typically known as “retrofit” options. Such smart locks are mostly used by renters or someone who do not want to switch keys. Such smarts are the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock , Sesame Smart Lock and others.
These are developed to particularly clamp over the top of the deadbolt already present there. With these smart locks, you get to add another layer of connectivity over the pre-existing locks and enables you to use the physical keys.
Though there are options to change the deadbolt altogether. Such locks include the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt, the Yale Assure SL Touchscreen Deadbolt and others.
Such Locks need more time duration and efforts for the installing process. Such locks have more options as compared to the retrofit ones. Though before buying such locks ensure that the door is compatible to them or not. Also, make the copies of the new key hand to hand as with the new lock mechanism, every member will need a new key.
10 Pointers to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Smart Lock
10 Pointers to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Smart Lock
There are various mechanisms available with the smart locks to deal with them. Different lock mechanisms have different uses with various advantages or disadvantages. This is up to the user what kind of smart locks with suit them.
Do keep in mind the ranges, power consumption or the requirements of addition hubs while choosing among Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and ZigBee operated smart locks.
Also, give preference to the smart lock that allows you a convenient lifestyle, that can be by buying a lock that allows you to operate it remotely, to tweak passcodes or letting people in while not at home as per you needs.
Examples: Poly-Control’s Dana lock (Z-Wave version), Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt etc.
Examples of Z-Wave hubs are Samsung’s Smart Things and the Wink Hub.
Examples: August Smart Lock (WI-fi), Kwikset Kevo Plus
Wi-Fi mechanism is usually an optional add-on in certain locks. For e.g., for August locks, as the Connect plugs into any power outlet, it establishes the connection between the Bluetooth lock and the Wi-Fi signals.
Disadvantages Of Using Smart Locks
Major drawbacks for installing a smart lock are:
- To need call an expert mechanic to install these smart locks which will surely add to your expenses
- You need to take time in understanding all the features, operations and controls of the new smart lock, hubs or other external devices (if present) and smart lock application.
- Also, the wireless mechanism is always having a small potential of unexpected occurrences. What if due to some reason the lock doesn’t unlocks or do not act as per needed? What if the lock battery dies faster than you can take time to recharge or change it?
- The cost of the lock ranges from $99 to $999. Also, you need to have a hub for certain locks or other devices to work with smart locks. All this can increase your expense further.
- Since there are a variety of options of smart locks available to choose from, it is possible that you are not able to buy the one suitable as per your needs and may face issues later.
Tips To Choose A ‘Smart’ Smart Lock
To check the smartness of your smart lock it is not always possible to go through some extensive testing by the users before buying. Here are some of the ways to guide you to choose the best option for you:
- Go through customer reviews. Check out whether other users of the same product are satisfied, safe, and content with the lock? Or are there certain experiences shared by them of lock breaking, problems in fitting, or malfunctioning, or any other fraud cases? Customer reviews can give you the best first-hand info about the lock’s efficacy and security.
- Go through the lock’s design. Is the lock built with best materials? Is the mechanism of the lock reliable as per the given lock technology? Has it been completely checked and tested by using appropriate methods? Try buying smart locks physically from a supplier as physical hold over the lock will give tell you more about the lock’s manufacture and design rather than the edited pictures on the internet.
- Research properly about the manufacturer. Does the manufacturer making the lock has enough experience regarding the design and mechanism of the technology required there? A team combining security experts, experienced mechanics and tech engineers is preferable. Also try checking the past track record of the manufacturing team in this field.
Keep all the given pointers in mind before choosing the smart lock for your house. Security is a big responsibility which should be bestowed up on a reliable source so take enough time and choose wisely.