Everything To Keep In Mind Before Choosing A Smart Lock

Everything To Keep In Mind Before Choosing A Smart Lock

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

Smart locks are accompanied with many operations. All of these may not suit you. So, check out these points first before thinking to buy a smart lock.

Failsafe and Backup

Certain common occurrences such as Power cut, 0% battery life, Uncharged phone, harsh weather conditions can become the reason behind you locked out of your house, if the smart lock do not have resiliency. So, choose a smart lock that has a physical key as backup. That is, prefer a failsafe lock.


Sometimes you have to rely on the multiplicity of your smart lock. For e.g., if your hands are full or you are not at home but need to invite in some guests, your smart lock should be able to allow access as per the conditions fitting in your lifestyle.


The best smart locks should be convenient to use. That is, your smart lock should make the task simpler. Therefore, before choosing the smart lock for you, don’t get distracted by all the extra attractions, and focus on ensuring the fact whether the lock truly make your life easier or not. Also, cross check the operations in your smart lock. Whether it accessible via an application or provides a unique PIN code for an entry. Choose features which are easier for you to adapt with.

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

It’s always better to keep a few parameters in mind while buying a smart lock to avoid inconvenience later. Some of those are:

Battery Life

Most of smart locks requires either multiple batteries or a rechargeable cell. No matter on what kind of battery the lock works with, you’ll get a warning message on the app whenever the battery is about to die. Different locks have different battery life depending up on the lock’s functions. The battery life usually lasts from approx. Three months to a year. Nevertheless, choose the battery that is convenient for you

Alternate Entry Options

Availability of alternatives for locking/unlocking locks becomes a must particularly with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi operated locks, as these are occasionally unreliable. The technology companies are gradually developing alternative ways to operate smart locks.
These locks with wireless operations are now offering other physical or electronic options, such as PIN codes either via app or by providing an additional keypad and/or a physical key.

Auto Lock/Unlock

Decide whether you want a smart lock with auto lock/unlock feature or not. Bluetooth locks usually give keyless/PIN-less entry. These locks automatically unlocks as soon as your smartphone is in the Bluetooth range of the lock and then lock itself after a user-decided period of time. This Bluetooth range is usually for about 30 feet, and you can only use this feature only from outside. On the other hand, locks with keypads don’t have this proximity auto-unlock feature for security issues, i.e., to prevent an intruder with a lost or stolen phone from entering.

Guest Keys

Choose about the guest keys feature.
Certain smart locks allow you to assign “keys” for people whom you want to give entry while you are not at home These ‘keys’ are given via a message or email by using the smart lock app, and made to give entry to these visitors only for a buyer decided time period or for a certain number of entries. Replacement smart locks with keypads provides one time use PIN codes, made for a single use or for a particular number of hours/days. Most locks also allow you to keep a note on the entry and exit of the visitors by sending an alert text to the smartphone.

Weatherproof Rating

Smart locks are not just mechanical piles of gears and tumblers, but are electronics too. So, ensure their resistivity towards extreme weather conditions.
Smart locks should indicate the temperature the lock can handle and should have an IP water/dust-proof rating. Since, not all locks can deal with adverse conditions for a much longer time period, so, prefer buying smart locks only from a reliable lock supplier with a hard-core proven record of tests to make sure the lock is resistible to these conditions.

Checking Lock Quality

Different locks have different specifications.
So, it is important to verify that the smart lock you are buying is suitable for you or not in terms of resistivity towards harsh physical conditions.
For making this choice easier for the buyers, 3 standard lock designations are developed by the ANSI/BHMA (American national Standards Institute/ Builders’ Hardware Manufacturers Association). These designations are given to the smart locks on the basis of the tests the locks go through to check their robustness and resistivity against picking, bumping, etc.

Wireless Connectivity

Security remains a major concern, especially with all the hacking attacks around, even Wi-Fi enabled lock security. Though most smart lock manufacturers will introduce you with the details of how much more secure locks’ W-Fi security is, but it is to keep in mind that no wireless security is actually 100% fool proof. So, instead try to find out the actual priority the lock manufacturer gives to security. Though it’s impossible without extensive research. Finally, the most secure locks can be the one with keypad-enabled locks that don’t have Bluetooth/Wi-Fi as the primary method.

Smart Home Compatibility

With the increase in technology, the controls of most smart locks can be tweaked as per the buyer’s home surroundings with the help of Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Zig bee, Samsung Smart Things etc.
However, not all locks are compatible with all the smart home operations. So, while choosing the smart lock for you choose the one that suits your lifestyle.

Voice Control

Nowadays most smart locks that are accessible with HomeKit and other technologies also provide voice control operations. Though, this voice control feature is often limited to locking the door only. Amazon recently has introduced a voice control feature using which the user can give a vocal unlock command followed by a vocal PIN. With this many other smart lock manufacturers are also implementing such voice control system in their lock operations.

Fit and Finish

Finally, along with the features, aesthetics is important too to suit the smart lock with your smart home. Certain lock vendors are now offering a large variety of lock hardware look and finish along with the matching latches, involving different kinds of silver, bronze, brass and black. Though many lock manufacturers who are more tech-focused do not provide such choices. So, prefer the lock wisely

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.


  • Bluetooth enabled locks doesn’t drain the battery life that quickly when compared with that with the Wi-fi. The batteries usually last for a year or even more.
  • Since Bluetooth locks are connected to the phone or tablet itself, the complete mechanism does not require any kind of hub device as translator, since the phone already has in-built technology to decode language.
  • There are certain quite appealing features available Bluetooth locks. For e.g., the August lock comes with an opt-in auto-unlock facility. This allows the front deadbolt of the door unlock automatically as soon as you return back in the Bluetooth range after locking the door and leaving.
  • Bluetooth range is very limited when compared with other lock mechanism, i.e., nearly 300 feet is the maximum approach, which is difficult too as the interior of the house can hinder the Bluetooth range.
  • Also, if you are not at home, the Bluetooth mechanised lock will lose the range.
  • Since Bluetooth locks do not require any kind of hub device, this becomes inconvenient as a hub allows you to operate multiple devices from a single app, which is more beneficial than operating different home controls via different apps.


Examples: Poly-Control’s Dana lock (Z-Wave version)Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt etc.

  • Though the standard range of a Z-Wave is approx. 120 feet, but with external Z-Wave range extenders the range can exceed by repeating the signal. The exceeded connection is now about max. 600 feet (ignoring the obstruction due to house interiors).

  • Z-Wave and ZigBee mechanised locks need less power when compared with Wi-Fi.
  • With the hub for Z-Wave you can connect to multiple third-party devices if you have other home controls.
  • Ones you are done with connecting with the hub and required settings, you can operate your lock controls from anywhere.

  • Z-Wave locks are non-connectable to your phone and thus need a Z-Wave compatible hub to convert the Z-Wave signals to make it understandable for the router.

  • Some locks with Z-Wave mechanism like the Schlage Camelot Deadbolt do not have their own app, instead the controls related to the lock will show up in the app of your Z-Wave hub itself. This can be disappointing as now you can’t access any specific or detailed controls for your lock.

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.

  • Locks with Wi-Fi will provide you with features like Google Assistant.

  • Once you are done with setting all the accessory devices and connecting them, you can handle your lock operations from anywhere via an Internet connection.

  • After the Wi-Fi is turned on, lock/unlock the door from anywhere you are present at that time, create new users/codes and check out the status and activity log.

  • The built-in Wi-Fi mechanism drain batteries quicker than Bluetooth or Z-wave mechanised locks.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top