A smart lock is a security device that has the ability to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to control the locking and unlocking of the doors – or windows – of your home remotely through your mobile phone.
Below, we will explain more important details about this type of locks, whose use you can complement with a doorbell with a camera if you want even more security. You’ll learn how they work, what they can do, how to install them in your connected home, and what you should consider before purchasing one.
How smart locks work
The smart lock performs the same function as a normal lock, that is, locking doors and windows with one or more anchors. However, this is controlled electronically through the Internet using an application that you can install on your mobile. The app will be the command center to give closing or opening orders as the case may be.
Likewise, the smart lock does not work with a deadbolt and a key, instead you must use a digital key that you will have to enter through the mobile app. Now, the password can be a series of numbers and characters or a special command that is sent from the smartphone.
Furthermore, because the lock is an electronic mechanism, its power source is a battery. This comes installed in a hidden compartment inside the device.
The type of battery will depend on the lock manufacturer, but they usually use lithium batteries or AA batteries. When the lock is running out of autonomy, you will receive an alert on your mobile phone to make the change before the power runs out.
Smart lock applications
In addition to remotely locking and unlocking a door, these locks offer several common functions that will give you more convenience and security. These are the ones that most smart locks on the market usually incorporate:
– Custom codes: The keys can be adapted to each member of the household so that each member has a different PIN.
– Unlimited access: You will be able to monitor and manipulate the door from anywhere in the world. The system will allow you to change passwords whenever you want, know who is using the lock and the frequency with which they enter and leave the house.
– Night lighting: The keypads that incorporate the locks are backlit so you can see the digits easily in the dark.
– Armored body: They have the ability to withstand violent blows and struggles to prevent the entry of criminals.
– Smart key: You will not have to worry about any physical key, with smart locks you can reprogram keys whenever you see fit to optimize the security of your home.
How to install a smart lock
The installation process may vary depending on the brand of lock, however, there are similarities between all manufacturers. The first step is to remove the old lock and prepare the space so that the new security system can be attached. Then, the parts required by the device are installed, such as electrical wiring.
Once the lock installation and the correct arrangement of the cables are complete, you must locate the battery compartment to insert the batteries (in case it does not have an integrated lithium battery). When you turn on the device, it will indicate through the app the steps to start calibrating and configuring the access codes and other functions.
Now, although you can try it yourself, it is most recommended that the installation of the smart lock be carried out by a professional so that the device is perfectly fixed to the door and the wiring is distributed in the best way to guarantee trouble-free operation. failures.
What you should keep in mind when buying a smart lock
To determine the quality of the lock, look at its ANSI (American National Standards Institute) rating. This organization is in charge of rating smart locks according to their armor, duration of the latches and resistance to hackers. It is recommended that you purchase a grade one lock (highest level for very secure locks) or grade 2 (reliable device for residential use).
Then evaluate the command support, that is, if it offers other access mechanisms such as NFC cards, cylindrical keys, etc., for emergencies in which the mobile phone is not available. On the other hand, take a look at the connectivity, in addition to Wi-Fi, the connection via Bluetooth will be very helpful, since it is efficient and saves more battery.
Remote access is another point that you cannot overlook, if this is limited and you spend a lot of time away from home, you could lose access to the lock. For cases like this, the best is a lock with unlimited remote management that is not conditioned by a specific period of time.
Finally, the autonomy must be solid, a good lock has an average life of one year to six months, less time can become a problem. Also, check that the device has a low charge alert system so that you can change the batteries before the deadbolt runs out of power and blocks the door.