When it comes to the new generation of ‘smart’ devices that are now available for our homes, you may not have thought that door locks would need an upgrade. After all, we’ve been locking our doors using conventional locks with no issues for hundreds of years. However, thanks to advancements in technology, a smart lock can add a new dimension to a lock’s convenience and security.
What is a Smart Lock
A smart lock allows homeowners to ditch their keys and instead lock and unlock doors with a simple finger tap or voice command. They are WI-FI and Bluetooth enabled intelligent devices designed to provide a greater level of control, and flexibility over your home security.
Smart Lock Features
Smart locks come with an array of clever and customisable features. These allow you to set up your devices in a way that suits your lifestyle.
Below we’ve highlighted some of the common smart lock features;
Control Via Your Phone
The majority of smart locks have an app that allows you to control your lock through your mobile device. Your app will provide details of people entering and exiting your property and alert you to any unwanted activity.
Your smart lock can link to your home WI-FI network, which allows it to provide detailed information on the comings and goings from your property.
This data can be especially useful for parents who want to ensure children have arrived home safely. Being WI-FI enabled also means you can unlock the door remotely if you have a guest turn up when you’re not at home.
There’s no need to fumble around trying to find your keys when you have a smart lock. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, your door lock will automatically unlock as you approach your door.
The majority of smart locks are protected by an internal alarm that will sound if the lock detects someone attempting to tamper with it.
You will also receive an alert to your phone advising you of the unwanted activity. The police can also be automatically notified of the issue.
If you’re concerned that you may forget to lock your front door when you don’t have keys jingling around to remind you, then fear not. Auto-locking features mean that your smart lock will automatically lock if you (and your mobile device) exceed a specified distance from your home.
It’s also possible to set up your smart lock, so it automatically locks after a certain duration of time.
Grant Access to Others
Your phone app will allow you to create permanent, temporary and restricted virtual keys. Family members can be set up with an individual permanent key. Whereas guests, cleaners or tradespeople can be granted temporary or restricted access.
Restricted or limited access keys can be set up to only grant access on certain days of the week or for certain times of the day.
Smart Home Intergration
Your new smart lock can integrate with other smart home devices such as your doorbell or lights. For example, if a friend pops over while your out, you can confirm who it is with your smart doorbell. You can then let them in to wait for you to arrive home with your smart lock and even switch the lights on for them.
When it comes to home security people are understandably wary about putting their faith in technology. Switching from a traditional, tried and tested, standard lock to a smart lock can feel like a big jump, and so we’ve attempted to answer some of the common concerns.
What Happens in a Power Cut
The most common issue raised is how does the smart lock function if the power goes out or if your WI-FI is down.
Smart locks are powered by an independent battery and aren’t reliant on mains power. This battery does need to be replaced from time to time, and your smartphone app will alert you when this is required.
If your WI-FI is down, then you can still open the lock through the virtual key on your mobile device. Your mobile uses a Bluetooth connection rather than WI-FI. Therefore, you’ll always be able to enter and exit your home.
What if my Phone Has no Power
Most smart locks have a traditional lock and key feature. Should you lose your phone, or the battery dies, then you’ll be able to revert to the conventional way of unlocking your door.
Can Criminals Hack a Smart Lock
To keep all your smart home devices, as well as laptops, phones and computers, safe from criminals, you need to follow best practices for WI-FI security.
Access to your WI-FI network needs to be password protected. This password should be complex and kept a secret. If you’re unsure how to secure your WI-FI network, you can follow this guide.
Do You Need a Smart Lock?
Smart locks offer a much higher level of flexibility than conventional locks without compromising on security. With prices starting from around £200 they won’t break the bank. For many people, they can be an incredibly useful addition to their homes.
If you’re planning on upgrading to a solid core composite door, then the addition of smart lock can further enhance your home security.