Are you wondering if you need a smart lock for your property but confused about the profusion of different models on the market? It is little wonder, as trying to understand the diverse terminology used by manufacturers and the amazing range of features available, is quite a challenge.
Here's what need to know to make an informed decision and completely demystify the world of smart locks.
Understand What is Meant by Smart Locks
Basically, a smart lock is a typical mechanical one with some integrated electronics to make it more intelligent. The locking mechanisms are the same as conventional locks. They may be:
- A Latch type—which is a spring loaded bolt within the door knob
- A Deadbolt type—which can only be opened by rotating a key and is usually located above the door knob
- A Mortise type—which is a combination of the Latch and the Deadbolt in the one unit and is naturally the most secure.
Additional electronic features turn these mechanical locks into digital ones and depending on the retailer or manufacturer, may be called Digital, Electronic or Smart.
Learn What Types of Non-Mechanical Locks are Available
Essentially, the one common feature of smart locks is that they do not operate with a key. Consequently, they are also termed "Keyless Electronic or Digital Locks". Strictly speaking however, they do have keys to use in emergencies and for back-up purposes.
Stand Alone Locks
This type of lock is not connected to the internet or global mobile system and is virtually just like a mechanical lock without a key. It can be operated by entering a pin code on a keypad or touch screen, or using an access card. Highly sophisticated models are also available which operate using biometrics and fingerprint sensors.
These are similar in all respects to the stand alone models but are connected to the outside world through the internet, GSM (Global Systems for Mobile), Bluetooth or a home automation hub or router. In actual fact, these are the type that should correctly be referred to as smart locks.
Learn About the Features of Smart Locks
There are some features which are more desirable according to your individual needs, however, some attributes are almost indispensible. For example:
- additional security features—such as maintaining a stored log of all user entries, tamper alarms and pin code lockouts
- separate battery power—in the event of a mains power outage the lock will remain operational
- ability to easily edit users of the system—to grant temporary access, add or remove users and change their level of privileges
- a high level of connectivity with other smart products in your home—besides your phone your smart lock should be capable of communicating with alarm systems or CCTV home systems
- an auto lock—a peace of mind function which allows for an automatic lock after a certain pre-set time interval; once set, you know its status and no further checking is required
Smart locks are becoming very popular and are being installed in rapidly growing numbers because of some of their compelling benefits. Most importantly they offer:
Most of all, people enjoy being set free from keys. Depending on keys when managing the home, car, office or holiday home in a fast paced daily routine, is just an additional hassle that can finally be eliminated.
No longer are geographical boundaries a problem. You can access your property from almost anywhere, even when out of the country.
To have the knowledge about who is entering or has entered your property in real time provides an extra level of assurance.
When making the final selection of your smart lock system, there is one final and very important consideration. You need to choose your locksmith wisely and determine the level and type of support they offer. Check that it is readily available and a superior warranty is in place. For more information, contact companies like Cambridge Locksmiths.