The Ultimate Guide To Smart Locks [2019]
February 25th 2019

The Ultimate Guide To Smart Locks [2019]

As everything in our lives gets smarter and more connected, our options for home security are growing at an exponential rate.

In 2019, there are hundreds of different options for smart cameras, sensors, and more recently, smart door locks. These locks offer some level of connectivity with a smartphone or wearable technology that allows you to unlock your door without a traditional key.

With so many options on the market and new technology becoming available every day, how do you know which one you should get?

Burano Doors has put together a complete guide to everything you need to know about smart locks and how they can integrate into your lives. Read on to find out more!

Smart lock using smart phone to unlock

What is a Smart Lock?

First, let’s define what exactly a smart lock is.

A smart lock is any form of locking device that replaces your traditional deadbolt on entry doors into your home and has some level of connectivity with smart devices. Typically these smart locks will connect to your smartphone or smart watch, via a range of different methods such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This allows you to unlock your door without fishing your key out of your pocket or bag, freeing up your hands to carry shopping bags or other things which can be a hassle to put down.

Some smart locks also allow you to remotely unlock your door from anywhere you have an internet connection. This can be especially helpful for receiving deliveries, letting loved ones into your home when you are not there, or letting the dog walker in to pick up your fur baby. There is even smart assistance integration with programs like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, allowing you to lock and unlock your front door with your voice.

Ultimately, smart locks are about increasing convenience and peace of mind when it comes to knowing the lock status of your door.

Which unlocking protocol should I use?

Now that you know what a smart lock is, it’s time to decide which unlocking protocol will work best for you.

An unlocking protocol is the type of connectivity technology the lock uses to lock and unlock. There are three main types of protocol that can be used to unlock your new smart lock. These are:

Bluetooth

The ubiquitous wireless data transfer standard many of us are familiar with was one of the first protocols to be used in smart locks. Bluetooth works within a relatively small radius, which requires you to be physically near your lock to unlock it. While that makes sense for a lot of people, anyone wanting remote unlock capabilities will need to look at other protocols. Bluetooth is one of the lowest energy intensive protocols, meaning fewer battery changes for your smart lock, which is another consideration.

Z-Wave

A new protocol developed specifically for home automation, Z-Wave offers the low energy usage of Bluetooth with the heightened connectivity of Wi-Fi. This means fewer battery changes while still being able to control your smart lock from anywhere with an internet connection. However, Z-Wave devices require a dedicated Z-Wave hub that translates the Z-Wave signal into one that your internet router can understand. This can be annoying as it is another clunky piece of hardware you need to store in your home. Z-Wave range is also fairly limited, topping out at 120 feet. This can be extended with other Z-Wave devices up to four times for a max range of 600 feet. This means the hub needs to be relatively close to your smart lock, which may not work with some home layouts.

Wi-Fi

Everyone’s favourite connection protocol, Wi-Fi, makes an appearance in smart lock technology as well. Many modern smart locks can connect directly to your home internet connection wirelessly, often through a smartphone app. Once it is connected, you can control your lock from anywhere you have an internet connection and remotely lock and unlock it. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi is also the most power hungry of the connection protocols, so will require the most frequent battery changes.

Man touching smart lock in Toronto

How do you want to interact with your lock?

Another thing you will want to consider if how you want to interact with your new smart lock.

There are many smart locks that look much like a traditional deadbolt, with the only difference being you can open them with your smartphone. They will also open with a traditional key if they run out of batteries, or you have a guest that does not have access to the wireless unlocking feature. There are also smart locks that do away with the traditional key entry all together and replace it with a digital keypad, allowing you to unlock your door with a numerical code instead of a key. There are even smart locks that do away with any kind of lock appearance at all and are opened exclusively by smartphone.

Pick an option that works best for your home and level of comfort with smart technology to ensure you love your smart lock for years to come.

How do I install a Smart Lock?

Installing smart locks can range from incredibly simple to exceedingly complex.

Some smart locks simply snap onto your current deadbolt, allowing for a quick and painless installation that many homeowners could handle themselves. Other, more integrated or advanced smart locks, might require a complete removal and replacement of your deadbolt, which can take hours and special tools to complete. Keep an eye out for what level of installation complexity your chosen smart lock will come with so you can organise assistance if necessary.

Is my Smart Lock compatible with my door?

The good news for anyone looking to upgrade to a smart lock is that they are compatible with every door style and type on the market.

Any door that currently has a deadbolt in it can have a smart lock installed, from Shaker style to Craftsman. This allows you to add smarts to any door in your home without needing to organise a completely new door. Of course, if you’re updating your locks and your doors are starting to look a little dated, it might be time to add some new style with a brand new door. Burano Doors offers an extensive range of custom made entry doors to suit any style or decor. We make all of our doors in our Ontario manufacturing facility to the strictest Canadian standards. Our installation experts make it their top priority to arrive on time and complete the work quickly and professionally. If you are looking to refresh your doors along with your smart lock, contact Burano Doors today.

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