Smart phones, smart thermostats, smart alarm systems, smart smoke detectors… these days, everything is seemingly becoming “intelligent”!
The door and window industry also plays an active role in this technological progress with the installation of smart door locks.
Smart locks, electronic locks, Bluetooth locks, Wi-Fi locks, electric locks, intelligent handles… What exactly are we talking about?
What is a Smart Lock?
A smart door lock, also called connected lock, is an electronic lock that can be locked and unlocked using a wireless signal sent from a remote control accessory such as a smart phone or an electronic key fob.
Different communication protocols can be chosen according to your needs, for example, Bluetooth or Z-Wave for a short-range connection or Wi-Fi for a long-distance connection.
Installed on your door, the smart lock device includes a battery-powered electric motor which, upon receiving a signal, operates a lever and engages the deadbolt. Rest assured, using a traditional physical key always remains a possibility and several locks also include a numeric keypad or a fingerprint reader. Some even integrates a voice control function (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant).
Thanks to their mobile application, most smart locks allow you to, among other things, remotely monitor entries and exits (with push notifications), distribute virtual “e-keys” to guests, and remotely lock/unlock the door.
Here is a list of popular smart lock brands and models: Baldwin Evolved, Schlage (Encode, Sense, and Connect), Kwikset KEVO, August (Pro, Bluetooth, and 3rd Gen), Yale, and Gate Labs.
Is This Domotics?
Home automation, or domotics, refers to all of the techniques aiming to integrate and centralize all automated building functions pertaining to safety, energy, communication, etc. in a home or a business.
Essentially, domotics allow you to possibly control everything in your home or other (lighting, heating, locks, blinds and curtains, appliances,… etc.) using a smart phone, computer or interface (e.g. tablet).
Installing one smart lock by itself does not constitute domotics, yet it could represent a component of it when integrated to a centralized management system, integration being the key concept here.
Yes, smart doorbells also exist!
Fitted with a wireless camera, smart doorbells allow you to see clearly and in real time the action taking place before your entry door. Some also include a directional audio function, enabling you to even communicate verbally with your guests using your smart phone.
A Few Other Considerations
Find out about the battery life of your smart door lock, which may vary anywhere between 2 and 12 months depending on your communication protocol and level of use.
Finally, when purchasing a new entry door, if you are considering the installation of a smart door lock, it is best to opt for a specialized door manufacturer offering factory installation. This way, the installation will assuredly be done by professionals and as such carry fewer risks.
For more information on smart door locks, communicate with Portatec, a premium door and window manufacturer specialized in custom entry doors since 1984.