Who's Using A Smart Lock At Home?

I heard a presentation by UniKey's CEO saying they had low 7 figures door in operation. So that implies a few million smart locks just from them / their partners.

So - who's using a smart lock at home and what type? And if so, how do you like it? Works well? Works poorly?

UPDATE: Smartphone Controlled UniKey / Kevo Lock Tested


I have installed a few. I think they are a huge selling point being able to give out and change codes and not have to give out keys. 

 

On a related note, I have a question for those that have used them - Have you ever programmed one to disarm the alarm system through Alarm.com when unlocked? I have done this for one customer and they have had 2 false alarms due to it not sending the disarm signal. It has a good signal.

I have an August smart lock. I might have gone another route but I'm in an apartment so I can't change the deadbolt.

It works okay. Super easy installation. The thing is enormous though and looks a bit silly on my door.

The app has a location-based auto-unlock which is great when it works. It's unreliable for me though due to how long it takes to park and walk to apartment.

The timed auto-lock feature is nice as I don't ever worry if I locked the door.

I'm a little annoyed that I can't develop my own integration with it except through whatever is presented to IFTTT.com or through Alexa and maybe Google Home. For example, I would love to be able to turn entry way lights on automatically when the door unlocks, and be able to do it without internet access.

I like that it's Bluetooth, but it would be nice if wifi could be enabled as an option without buying another $70 gateway.

We're looking to buy a place later this year, so I'm definitely interested in more professional and extensible options.

Schlage deadbolt with Smartthings hub. Love it. Almost been a year and still haven't had to swap batteries. I got it when we started using a housecleaner so they could have their own code to get. I didn't have to worry about keys to my house floating around.

Same here- I love mine!  Got a set so my kids could easily come and go, as well as my house/pet sitters.  Over a year and a half now- still no battery swaps!

Kwickset.  Love it, had it for about a year and a half.  One set of batteries.  Talks to my 2GIG panel. 

Oooops.....got home to see it was a Yale and not Kwickset.  I still love it.  

I have a couple Schlage Zwave deadbolts. They have anti-bump pins, a strong motor to force the deadbolt into the frame, I like the auto lock feature, and I didn't really want to cut a strike into my door frame. I think Zwave commands from the app are slow however. I thought I would build out a bigger Zwave network or connect it to my DMP panel, but just haven't come up with a reason to yet.

Yale that talks to my Tuxedo and Vista. Works great, 2nd set of batteries in 4 years. 

I have a Yale Z-wave working with my Honeywell Tuxedo. I needed a beaming Z-wave module to make the lock listen for a Z-wave command. I used a beaming lamp module for this. Unfortunately, the lamp module developed a problem resulting in battery consumption at my door lock. Went through lots of batteries in the door lock before I found the problem. Removed the lamp module from the mesh network and, since, I haven't had to replace lock batteries. Z-wave can be problematic,  but I like the Yale lock.

I've had two Kwiksets that are noisy and chew through batteries - a completely sub-par experience.  Shame on me for buying a second one, I thought it would have been improved.  But I do think their current generation is better.  Next time I'll do the Yale, have seen this at clients' homes and they work very well.

I had initially bought a Kwickset Kevo, setup was clunk and the app was subpar. It was quickly returned for a Schlage Sense was quickly setup 10 min. It has a Home Kit integration which runs along nicely with other home kit products 

Eric, Will it notify you when a code is entered and which user is entering? and will it disarm an alarm? I have a couple of bed and breakfast rentals, that I'm looking to install this at. 

Yale z-wave touch pad via Abode alarm system. Works great. Just waiting for full admin via Abode in future software update. I can do geo fence with phone (IFTTT) or remote unlock from app.

Mechanically lock has been perfect so far.

Update:

Moved and now have a Schlage Z-wave keypad with the same Abode head end. Actually a bit easier user interface.

Kwikset and Baldwin locks with lots of our Control4 customers homes.

 

We don't program any unlock features for security reasons, but the convenience of a keypad unlock and lights, audio/video on/off based on use are great for our customers.

I have a key on my key chain, as do my wife and my children.  They're all pretty smart, and they lock and unlock the doors quite well.

 

In all seriousness, I can't justify the cost. 

Unless you have a need to grant temporary access to cleaners or contractors, there's no real justifying smart locks IMO. I got one because I wanted to feed my inner geek. Nothing more. Well, that and my wife is sometimes not so good with keys and it's nice for me to be able to unlock the door for her from my desk at work.

I often have to remember that I'm not selling with my wallet.  That is what I'd probably recommend to you.

I have a couple of customers who wanted several of them because they LOVE the idea of not carrying keys for the doors.

How do they start their cars?

I'm hoping my 14 year old isn't doing that. 

Their butlers.  :)

...when they go on walks and runs they don't have to carry keys with them and they love that.

Of course they also love having a code for their maids so they can have event notifications and scheduled lockouts.

have a kwikset 910 series paired with my vera plus home automation hub. Works great.

We carry a couple of schlages too, just by looking at the build of the product, it appears schlage is built with more metal pieces and looks heavier duty.

Havent messed with a yale.

I have installed Yale, Schlage, and Kwikset.   I would have to rank them:

1 Kwikset

2 Schalge

3 Yale

Yale is the coolest with the capacitive screen, but the least reliable.

Schlage seems built the strongest.  I think it is the only one rated for commercial use?

Kwikset seems the cheapest but has been the most reliable!

This is after 3 years of using them all.  I have not installed a ton of any of them, so my findings my not be completely reliable.  All of them can be finicky to learn in.  I just started using Homeseer, they recommend having another Z-wave device within 10 feet of the door lock.  I asked them which one they recommended.  They said they were all about the same in reliability and customer satisfaction.

 

 

Using a Schlage BE469 controlled with a ISY994 with Z-Wave module. Batteries last about a year. Can control the lock from anywhere through ISY portal. I get push notifications about who opened the lock or whenever it is locked/unlocked. It has been installed for a few years and has been very reliable.

I've been using Kwikset at home for a couple of years. And I'm really amazed at the battery life some people are getting. Mine last about 6-8 months, tops. One door is worse than the other because something is keeping the bolt from engaging easily, so it has to work harder. 

I will say, though, that aside from the issues with that one lock, I thoroughly enjoy having my locks automated. The back door unlocks when I get home (geofencing used to be less accurate, no problems now), it locks after a couple of minutes if I forget, it locks at night when I go to bed, and locks when I leave the house. 

I can give out codes to others and know who is there and when. That's made getting things done around the house a lot easier. 

My main complaint is that I wish there were more styles, because the Kwikset/Schlage/Yale models are not the prettiest, though they are more reliable. Or more of the August-type models that only replace the back of the bolt. It would be nice to just add this functionality to any deadbolt, but Lockitron tried that (and failed miserably). 

Baldwin

Are these being used with like a home automation system?  I'm looking at putting everything I can on something like a home automation system.  Blinds, thermostat, locks etc., any recommendations, tips/advice is appreciated.

I use SmartThings. I have about 100 devices across three systems. It's not without issues, but it integrates most anything I really need and it's been stable for me. I have lights (switches, dimmers, bulbs), various appliances via plug in modules, Z-Wave locks, smoke/CO detectors, window/door contacts, thermostats, motion/occupancy sensors, and Sonos speakers. They also have started integrating some cameras, but I don't have anything compatible yet.

SmartThings also has a really strong developer community working on apps and drivers all the time. Someone recently completed a Blink driver, for example.

I also tried Wink, but it was awful. Really unstable and inflexible. It had some interesting features which could've made it "better", like an integrated Kidde radio for interconnected smokes, but it just didn't work half the time. And some of their "integrations" are laughable. Like the Ring "integration" which literally just launches the Ring app.

I have no experience with the more expensive platforms, like Vera or Homeseer. They start at 2x the price of a SmartThings/Wink hub, from what I recall, and integrate a lot of things I don't care about. But they seem to have their superfans, as well. I just didn't see any reason to spend the extra cash.

We're a Control4 dealer.  ...matter of fact security cameras are a small slice of our revenue (and growing though).  I just joined this to have better industry knowledge.

So fire away with any home automation questions.

I've been using the Yale touch screen dead bolt with a Honeywell Tuxedo and Vista 20. Z-Wave lock and thermostat.

The Yale lock is a tank. I've only replaced the batteries 3 times in 3 years with fairly regular use and never an issue. You can get better all in one alarm/automation solutions as mine's a bit dated but you can't go wrong with the Yale locks. 

Oh I see, that one works with bluetooth.  how does it integrate into the alarm system?

I have a Yale for 2 years tied to a 2GIG panel using Z-Wave.  I only use the panel to check battery status but it does lock/unlock it. 

Which of these smart locks are smart enough to unlock the door even if the internet connection is down?

Unlock it how? Via app? Via event? Or locally? The ones I use have keypads and I wouldn't rely on anything without it.

Like the August lock, for instance.  The way I remember it, if the Internet is down, you can't unlock your door without the physical key.

For me, I wouldn't consider anything that doesn't have rudimentary local capabilities, but it seems like many don't care and so that's the way the industry is going because it's cheaper.

That wouldn't be smart.  That would be the opposite.

"Want to break into this house by walking in the front door?  Jam the internet."

 

That wouldn't be smart. That would be the opposite.

"Want to break into this house by walking in the front door? Jam the internet."

Ha! 

But I didn't say

"Unlock the door if the Internet is down" rather I said

"Unlock the door even if the Internet is down"

 

Lock set manufacturers are finding interesting ways of mitigating the network reliability issue, especially in the consumer space.

For example Kevo does not ever directly connect to the internet or to a wifi network.  Instead, it uses BLE to talk with the user's phone, which is then connected to 'the cloud' via GSM/4GLTE cell or wifi.

In order to work 'normally', the lock only needs the local BLE device to tell it to.

The mechanical lock is 'backup to the backup' in that product.  Other products follow similar designs.

For example Kevo does not ever directly connect to the internet or to a wifi network. Instead, it uses BLE to talk with the user's phone, which is then connected to 'the cloud' via GSM/4GLTE cell or wifi.

That's interesting.  

Though without the lock having independent access to the cloud, what can you do if you phone is lost or stolen to keep someone out of your house, without actually going there?

I live in an apartment with an AiPhone intercom system and access control so I don't need this. Will look into when I have a house however.

 Since we have a garage, the main point of entry for us is through the garage.  However, we keep the door locked so I would like to put  a Bluetooth lock on this particular door.  If we have guests or caretaker when we're gone, then I would most likely have the garage door operator set up on bluetooth as well.  What I am seeking is a home control system that would also operate other things like the blinds, lights (currently using Phillips Hue which is great) and thermostat as well.

I have 3 of the Yale Z Wave deadbolts connected to SmartThings. Absolutely rock solid. Have changed the batteries one time in the last 2 years. My only gripe is that I wish I could program them remotely rather than having to input codes on each lock individually, but otherwise they are fantastic

Well I'm here to make your day, then. Check out the Lock Manager app; it allows you to do that and then some. I use his old version (called "User Lock Manager") at home for two doors, and it's been extremely reliable.

You can program codes remotely, actually name users, enable/disable, set one time use, get notifications when locked/unlocked (with user detail), etc. And most locks actually are capable of storing way more users than they let you program from the keypad. I have 5 on my locks which only allow two to be entered locally.

Really solid how-to guide here.

Oh you really did make my day! Thank you sir!