Welcome to the 21st century.
Houses are turning on lights. Refrigerators are keeping track of grocery lists. Folding machines are helping out with the laundry. What seemed like science fiction just a few years ago, is now becoming an everyday part of life.
The rise of smart technology and smart houses are making life manageable, safer, and more enjoyable. Gone are the days when having the television turn itself off seemed like a luxury!
Now, the stove can remotely be turned on to just in time to start dinner.
One of the mainstays of technology is the way it’s deployed to make life safer. From wireless pet collars to wi-fi home security systems, smart technology is keeping pace with the changing times and providing more options than ever for safety and convenience.
Smart technology and home safety now go hand in hand.
With an app for everything from lowering the blinds to arming the home security systems, technology is making the interior of the house safer every day.
In recent years, attention has turned to the front of the house with smart systems for the front door being a natural progression in-home safety.
With the introduction of video doorbells, the front door makeover is in full swing, and a natural complement to adding the video doorbell is the smart door lock.
But, what is a smart door lock?
It’s the next device designed to make homes smarter and safer and make your life easier.
Gone are the days of working to open the door with a key while juggling bags, boxes, pets, and kids. Now the door will work for you!
As your trusty companion, I’ll explain everything you need to know about smart door locks below. Find out exactly what are smart door locks and what you can expect to get out of them.
What is a smart door lock exactly?
As you know, the most used home locking mechanism is the standard lock and key system or the deadbolt. And the primary function is that a key slides into a lock and, if the key is cut to the correct shape, tumblers will release the lock, thereby opening the door.
Barring the occasional frozen lock, no one can argue that this system works well most of the time.
A smart door lock can fit over an existing locking mechanism (simple types of locks, including deadbolts), or a new system can be installed.
The lock itself is an electromechanical lock designed to lock and unlock a door after receiving a command from a Bluetooth enabled device. An additional feature is that locks enabled with wi-fi can also act as a monitoring system, keeping track of who enters and leaves and sending alerts to a smartphone or computer.
In a nutshell, the smart lock works when a code is sent from either a smartphone app or a key fob, just like the one that comes with a smart car.
Whether from phone or fob, the door will lock or unlock. A nice feature of the smart door lock system is the ability to send the unlock code to others to gain entry if you’re not at home.
To see these things up close and personal, take a look at my guide on finding the cheapest smart door lock. It includes the top products you can buy today for the lowest prices as well as how to find the perfect lock for your needs.
I also have a guide on the best wireless video doorbell, if you’re looking to do a full upgrade to your front door.
Differences between smart door lock brands
There are many brands of smart door locks on the market, and choosing the right one can be a chore.
These locks have some essential characteristics in common, and knowing where they differ can steer you to the right choice for your needs. Here is a rundown of the differences between the main door lock brands on the market.
If you’re in the market for a lock that resembles a standard deadbolt, the Kevo Kwikset is an excellent choice. This smart lock opens with either a regular key, in case of power outages, or by the use of the app located on your phone. Another feature of this set is you can unlock the door with the touch of your finger against the Bluetooth enabled deadbolt as long as the app is open when the smartphone is within range.
For a more sleek look, August makes smart door locks with a smooth face, but it can only be opened via the smartphone app. August devices have voice activation and are compatible with Siri, Google Nest, and Alexa; thus, you can tell the door to unlock via one of those apps on a smartphone. As this brand is a retrofit, the hardware can be installed on the existing lock, turning it into a smart door lock without a lot of hardware hassle.
Touchpad based smart door locks are also an option, and the Next x Yale keyless deadbolt is a system that looks sleek and is functional. With the Yale, you need a code to unlock the door but can lock it back by tapping an app on the phone. If you’re not sure you locked the door, the Yale comes with automatic locking after 30 seconds of the door being unlocked. Another feature is this system senses when the app is inside the home versus outside the home, making it almost impossible to lock yourself out of the house.
Find the right smart door lock for you
I touched on just a few of the top smart door locks in the previous section; however, there are many more to choose from.
As I explained earlier in this guide, I have another post on the cheapest smart door lock. Check it out if you want to find the right lock for your needs. And don’t forget the guide on the best wireless video doorbell if you’re looking to do a full upgrade to your front door.
Now you know exactly what is a smart door lock and how to find the best one for your home.
I hope you enjoyed this guide!