As smart home automation becomes more mainstream, the appearance of smart door locks is on the rise. Smart door locks allow you to automate and control via your phone, the highest traffic area of your home: the front door. Most smart door locks these days are either Z-Wave or Bluetooth compatible, each of these having their own host of benefits and shortcomings.[caption id="attachment_483" align="alignleft" width="300"] Kevo in front door during review. It lights green LEDs when unlocking is complete.[/caption]
The first Apple Home Kit compatible locks have hit the market – in fact, one of our reviewers uses an Apple Home Kit compatible Schlage lock. The majority of smart locks can be controlled remotely, making it possible for you to monitor, lock and unlock your door from far away. Most are Z-Wave compatible. Some are Wifi, one though, Kwikset’s Kevo, uses Bluetooth technology, very simple, local only. To allow remote access, Kwikset has come out with an accessory (Kevo+) which talks to the lock by Bluetooth, but reports via WIFI.
Smart door locks range from $200-400 each; with well-established brands making them, as well as crowdsourcing companies. A small percentage of companies are making adapters for existing locks, which essentially motorize the lock. Most smart door locks are standalone products where you are completely replacing your lock. Some allow for easy re-keying, others do not. No matter which lock you have, you will be able to look at logs to see who has locked and unlocked the door (unless it is done manually). Smart door locks have features such as having an internal alarm, set schedules, and auto-lock just a few short minutes after you unlock the door yourself. Notable brands include Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale, but there are plenty of relatively unheard of brands like August. Some of them are new companies, that are crowd-sourced (nothing wrong with that).