Keys will always have a purpose but imagine not having to worry about losing physical keys or fumbling around in your purse to find them – what a pleasure. A large percentage of homeowners are choosing to make the switch to digital locks for these exact reasons and more.
All you need to operate your smart lock is an app on your phone that’s connected to your specific front door lock.
You can now lock and unlock your front door from anywhere. Whether you need to let someone in when you’re not at home or have your Amazon delivery placed inside your house instead of leaving it outside, digital locks make this possible. This is a prime example of technology advancement at its best.
If you’re new to the world of digital locks, however, you might be wondering which digital locks are right for you, what to consider, and how to install them – this guide will answer your questions.
How to Choose a Digital Lock for Your Front Door
There are a few key things to consider when selecting a digital lock.
The first thing you should consider is how you want to interact with the lock. Not all digital locks are the same, they differ in terms of technology, installation, and integration with third-party products. For example, where one digital lock might operate with Bluetooth, another will have a touchpad. Many digital locks offer both these options. This way, if you can’t launch your app, you can still use a code to get into your home.
Having the option of a code also makes it easier to give others access to your home while you are away. Just make sure that the codes have an expiry date and are kept private to avoid security risks.
And if you are worried about power outages or your phone’s battery dying just when you want to get inside your home, know that you will still have a key as a backup. What’s more, most of today’s digital locks have jumpstart nodes on the bottom, allowing you to connect a 9V battery to get it up and running again when the battery is low.
Once you start exploring digital lock interaction, you’ll be impressed by how creative some brands have gotten. For example, the Sesame Lock allows you to knock on your smartphone to unlock your door – no pins or codes are needed. Small features like this will also help you better determine which lock is right for you.
Next, you want to decide which communication protocol you would prefer in a digital lock. This protocol is what helps the lock communicate with your phone and any other smart devices in your home.
There are three different protocols that you can choose from:
One of the biggest benefits of Bluetooth locks is that the battery life is a little better and you won’t need an additional device for it to connect to your smartphone. Unfortunately, your range won’t be as good as with a Wi-Fi lock. You also won’t be able to control your lock from another location or provide passcodes to others. Popular Bluetooth locks include the August Smart Lock, Kwikset Kevo, and Friday Lock.
While Wi-Fi digital lock batteries don’t last as long (less than a year), you do have the option to control your locks from anywhere, provided you have a Wi-Fi connection, and your connection is on at home. Wi-Fi-powered digital locks will also integrate with third-party devices such as Google Assistant or Alexa.
Want to be able to assign codes or pins to people visiting your home while you are away? Wi-Fi locks have this capability.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock and Kwikset Kevo Plus are two examples of popular digital locks.
The final digital lock protocol is Z-Wave, which requires a Z-Wave compatible hub to connect the lock to your smartphone. Basically, this hub helps translate the Z-Wave signals that are sent between your phone and the lock. Samsung’s SmartThings is one of the more popular hubs for this specific protocol.
Z-Wave is also limited in terms of range, so the hub can’t be placed too far from the lock. On the plus side, Z-Wave is slightly more advanced than a Bluetooth lock in the sense that you can connect to some third-party devices.
Popular Z-Wave digital lock options include the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt and the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt.
Your Preferred Third-Party Apps
The final major consideration when choosing a digital lock is the apps you want to use. Are there other devices and third-party apps that you want to use to lock and unlock your front door such as a smart lock or watch, or your smart home assistant? If so, check which third-party apps your preferred digital lock brands are compatible with.
Naturally, the only other aspect you will want to factor into this equation is your budget. As you can imagine, the more advanced a digital lock is, the more expensive it will be. You should also keep in mind that you will probably need professionals such as Quickly Locksmith to install the system for you and show you how it works.
What About Your Existing Deadbolts?
It’s highly recommended that you keep your existing deadbolt in place as an extra layer of security. The good news is that many of today’s digital locks will clamp over an existing deadbolt, so there’s no need to worry about removal.
If you plan to keep your existing deadbolt, just make sure the digital lock you are considering will clamp over it.
You don’t need to keep your existing deadbolt though. Some brands such as the Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt will replace any existing locking system you have in place.
Digital locks are definitely becoming the go-to option for homeowners in Miami who want more convenience and advanced security. Making a major change to your home’s security doesn’t need to be overwhelming either, especially when you have experts such as Quickly Locksmith Miami to assist you.