What is a smart lock for a home?

Smart door locks are deadbolt front door locks that can be operated in a number of ways - either with a smartphone, a fingerprint reader, passcodes and combinations, or with voice command to Alexa or google phone to activate smart door locks.

Everyone has probably at some point locked themselves out of their home after misplacing their keys, and possibly had to crawl in a window if you don’t have a key hidden. Smart door locks and simple combination front door locks that can be operated from a smart phone or even just with a passcode means you never have to worry about losing your keys – though you do now need to at least remember the combo : )

Smart door lock with combination passcode
Door lock with combination passcode - not really a smart lock, but it's still smarter than forgetting your key!

Are smart door locks safe?

Smart homes and home automation are becoming common terms and are a growing trend in green home construction for reasons of safety, energy-efficiency and convenience, but the capability of opening doors remotely does raise legitimate concerns for homeowners. Smart locks are as solid and safe as standard deadbolt locks, the difference is only in how they open.

Can smart door locks be hacked?

Yes, smart door locks with remote control capabilities can be hacked, but in general, security experts don’t consider them much more dangerous for home break-ins for a few reasons - an intruder won’t know by looking at your door if it is a Bluetooth enabled smart lock, nor would that likely be viewed as the easiest way to get your door open. So hacking smart locks isn’t currently considered to put you at a greater risk of home invasion. Nor are combination door locks, it is unlikely an intruder would stand at your door trying to guess your passcode to open it, so the actual risks are not as great as the perceived risks. 

Do smart locks need power?

Yes, smart door locks have electronic features that need power to run. They are not hard-wired to your home (that would be tricky the way a door opens and closes), smart locks have batteries that power the LED lights on passcode keypads, wireless chips, and of course the motor that engages and disengages the deadbolt lock. 

Bluetooth smart door locks

Bluetooth enabled smart door locks are the most common smart locks on the market because they are fairly cheap, easy to install, and after downloading an app onto your phone you are ready to go. 
Bluetooth smart locks operate on a low-power frequency and only connect to your phone occasionally, so they are the most energy-efficient when considering battery life. Bluetooth smart lock batteries may not need to changed for up to 2 years. 

How long do smart lock batteries last? 

Bluetooth or Z-Wave will usually last between 1-2 years before needing a battery change, but locks that connect to your home WiFi will probably need to be replaced ever 1-3 months. 

Smart door locks with a camera

Some smart locks have integrated video cameras that record a clip whenever the door has been unlocked, it can also offer you visual identification of who is at the door. 
There are a variety of features that smart locks with cameras offer, below is a list of they types of features you should know about before you make your choice so you can find one that best suits your needs. 

Some locks have cameras only, some come with audio features so you can communicate with someone at the door

  • Monthy video storage for a fee
  • Infrared night vision cameras
  • Motion activation (this saves batteries by only activating when someone is present)
  • Wide angle fish-eye lenses for seeing visitors as well as parcels on a door mat.

The best smart locks of 2020

Arlo August Smart Lock Pro  + Connect

The wifi-enabled Arlo August Smart Lock Pro works with Alexa for voice control and only requires a standard Philips screwdriver for installation. You can control, monitor, lock or unlock your front door anywhere you are right from your smartphone.

Arlo August Smart Lock Pro Alexa
Find the Arlo August Smart Lock Pro online here which works with Alexa


August Home Smart Lock - Keyless Home Entry (Dark Gray)

Like the Smart Lock Pro, the August Home Smart Lock also works with Alexa for voice control (hub required and not included of course)
This offers secure, keyless entry for your smart home. You can Lock and unlock your door, control keyless access and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your phone. Attaches to existing deadbolts using existing keys. 
It locks automatically when you leave and unlocks when you arrive. DIY smart lock installation is done with a screwdriver in about 10 minutes.

August Smart Lock with Alexa Voice Control
Compare August Home Smart Lock with Alexa Voice Control online here


Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Keypad (Satin Nickel)

The Yale Assure Lock works with Alexa for voice control (Wink or SmartThings hub required, Alexa device and hub not included) This fits on standard doors replaces existing deadbolts and is installed with just a screwdriver.
With a controller you can create up to 250 unique passcodes that can be shared with friends and family, and 25 without a controller. It unlocks with a 4-8 digit passcode, has backlit touchscreen keypad and can be controlled from a smart phone.  

Voted 1 Smart Door Lock brand for 2017 by CEPro

​  Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Keypad  ​
Compare Yale Assure Lock online here

August Smart Lock + Connect, Satin Nickel

The Satin nickel August Smart Lock has voice control with google phones  or Alexa. It offer total control to Lock or unlock your door, grant keyless access, track who comes and goes from the August Smart Door Lock App. 
It attaches easily to existing deadbolts so you can keep using existing keys. Includes August connect Wi-Fi bridge which connects your lock to the cloud, so you can get full voice and remote access functionality right out of the box.

August Satin Nickel Smart Lock
Compare August Smart Lock Satin Nickel online here


Schlage Sense Smart lock deadbolt (satin nickel)

By downloading the Schlage Home app, the Schlage Smart lock deadbolt works with Android smartphones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, the Apple Homekit via Apple TV, HomePod or iPad7
It offers a user activity log and sends instant notification to your smartphone when the door is unlocked.
Hands-free voice control also requires the Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter and Alexa or Google Assistant device, none of which are included. 

Schlage Sense Smart lock deadbolt
Find and compare prices for the Schlage Sense Smart lock deadbolt online here


Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Conversion Kit (satin nickel)

Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Conversion Kit upgrades your existing deadbolt into a smart lock that you can control using your Smartphone.
The Kevo Convert features an optional auto lock that will lock your door 30 seconds after unlocking 
Easily installation in minutes with a screwdriver, your current lock's exterior hardware stays the same.
Use your phone to lock/unlock your Kevo Convert within Bluetooth range, or utilize a Kevo Plus hub to remotely lock or unlock your door from anywhere (available through the Kevo app)
Kevo convert is compatible with Weiser, Kwikset, Baldwin Prestige, Baldwin Reserve, Baldwin Estate, and Schlage standard deadbolts.

Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Conversion Kit
Find & Compare the Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Conversion Kit online here

Team with a smart doorbell with camera

For the ultimate front door control, team your smart door lock with a smart doorbell with camera and siren. I've got this one teamed up with my Alexa home hub, so I can check who's calling and open the door remotely with complete ease.

Arlo smart doorbell with siren teams perfectly with Alexa compatible smart locks
Compare smart doorbells with cameras here - the perfect companion to smart door locks

Now you know more about touchelss smart home door locks, keyless entry and home monitoring. Read more here about smart home automation, programmable thermostats and energy efficiency

Find more about green home construction in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages - also, learn more about the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.