Smart home technology is everywhere these days, from dramatic lifesaving tales to hilarious caught-on-camera moments. And while smart door locks might not produce viral social media content like doorbell cameras do, they can dramatically improve your comfort, convenience, and peace of mind.
Imagine never worrying about a lost key ever again, not having to pester your teens about locking up when they leave the house, or no longer worrying about who’s home to let the house cleaners in.
Smart locks like the CPI Security Smart Door Lock can help with all this and more. Below, you’ll find answers to the question “how does a smart lock work?” along with insights into smart lock benefits and integration into a smart home security system.
What is a smart lock?
A traditional door lock operates with a mechanical assembly and a physical metal key. A smart door lock, on the other hand, uses keyless technology that connects to your home’s wireless communications network. Smart locks usually include a numeric keypad or digital touchpad that allows someone to open the door by using an access code.
How does a smart lock work?
The reason it’s called a “smart” lock is that it can connect to other technology – like your home Wi-Fi network, your smartphone or tablet, and even other devices in or around your home, like smart lights or smart thermostats. Here’s how it works:
First, smart locks typically require a power supply like a battery, just like the rest of your connected technology. These are often simple AA batteries, and your smart lock will indicate when they need to be replaced – swapping them out is quick and easy.
Next, your smart lock needs a way to connect to the app on your phone, to the rest of your smart security system (if you have one), or both. Smart locks include electronic components that let them communicate with your home internet via a technology like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Z-Wave.
Finally, smart locks actually do need keys just like any other locks. But the key is a digital code instead of a piece of metal carved at the hardware store or locksmith. That digital code is protected by encryption, so your home stays secure.
What are the benefits of a smart lock?
The immediate benefits are obvious – it’s more convenient to tap a quick code than fumble with keys or search in your bag at the door, especially if your hands are full or it’s raining outside. But smart locks have a lot more to offer:
- Remote insights – through the app, you can check that your home’s doors are locked from wherever you are. As household routines continue to evolve, you’ll be reassured that everything’s secure.
- Proactive alerts – your app will let you know when someone uses an access code. Get a notification when your kids arrive home after school, so you can check in on chores and homework.
- Mobile access – let someone in remotely, then lock up again when they’re gone. If your neighbor accidentally receives a piece of mail meant for you, you can unlock the door remotely and have them set it inside, where it’ll be safe from porch thieves.
- Eliminate keys – no more forgetting, losing, hiding, lending, duplicating, or replacing. Assign each member of the household their own unique custom code. If someone forgets theirs, it’s as easy as deleting and assigning a new one. And if you need to give temporary access, you can unlock from the app or create a new code just for them.
Watch the video below to learn how to give someone a unique code for your CPI Security System.
Of course, this is just what smart locks can do on their own. Read on to see how they make life safer and easier as part of a smart home security system.
Integrating smart locks in a smart home security system
Some people prefer to keep it simple and get the benefits of a simple smart lock without investing in a smart home security system. But as part of a smart home security system, smart locks can be a powerful lifestyle tool.
For example, smart locks can trigger other important actions, like disarming the burglar alarm, turning on interior lights, and turning up the thermostat. Smart home security apps make it easy to set custom “rules” that automate these daily routines, saving you time and energy.
A smart lock can also be part of a group of predetermined settings that you activate with a single button in your app. When you leave for work in the morning, all you have to do is tap your “away” mode, and everything will automatically be secured till you return home in the evening. CPI Security refers to this setting as a “scene.” Watch the video below to learn how you can create a scene.
When paired with a doorbell camera, smart locks transform into your personal majordomo. Whether you’re hiding upstairs in your pajamas or thousands of miles away, you can see who’s at the door, speak with them directly, and let them in. Or not. Weekly grocery delivery? Fantastic. Watch the driver as they open the door you’ve unlocked, set your packages inside, and head off to the next stop. But if it’s a solicitor, you can politely ask them not to return, and keep your smart lock smartly locked.
Common questions about smart locks
How are smart locks powered? Rest assured that your smart lock is designed to run on standard household batteries. It will beep or otherwise alert you as the batteries get low, so you’ll have plenty of advance notice. But if for some reason it loses power completely, you’ll simply need to reset it from inside the home. And most smart locks still allow the use of a manual key if needed.
Do smart locks work with existing doors? If the door uses standard mechanical deadbolt technology, it’ll most likely work just fine with a smart lock. Keep in mind that if your house has settled or the door frame has warped, you’ll need to make sure the bolt still aligns with the strike plate before installation.
Who installs smart locks in your home? If you’re just installing the lock itself, you might be able to do it on your own. But as part of a smart home security system, it’s best to leave smart lock installation to the pros – and it’s typically included when you purchase your system.
If you’re ready for the safety and convenience of a smart home security system with smart locks, get started today.