In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle, Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results, and Colton Pratt, project manager, walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons.
Smart locks are the perfect addition to any home, but with several great options, how can you tell which is the best one for you? In the video above, we’ll talk you through the following:
These can connect via Z-Wave, ZigBee or Bluetooth. The 916 series connects with Amazon Alexa via Samsung SmartThings, or similar smart home hubs, allowing the system to check the status, lock and unlock the door, and receive notifications.
The Premis line works the same way for homeowners who use Apple HomeKit and also can be unlocked with the app via Bluetooth. Kwikset’s newest smart lock, the Kevo, features touch-to-open and can integrate with other smart home devices, such as your video doorbell, with the Kevo Plus add on. And now you can make any lock a smart lock with Kevo Convert. It uses your existing hardware on the exterior of door and easily replaces the interior hardware in just minutes.
- Kwikset pros. These include a smart key to match existing keys (and they have a convert version, which uses your existing lock); it’s available in ZigBee and Z-Wave; and it seemed to jam less than the Schlage when the door wasn’t quite shut all the way.
- Kwikset cons. It’s a little bit louder than the Schlage; no wifi version; and needs a hub to control remotely or with Alexa
Schlage smart locks
- Schlage Encode. This uses WiFi to communicate with your home’s router and can be controlled with either the Schlage Home App or Key by Amazon. This allows homeowners to check the status of the lock and remotely grant access to friends and family. It does not require a hub and uses 4 AA batteries, making it a great option for anyone just getting started with home automation.The lock integrates directly with your ring doorbell and can be locked with Alexa. To unlock it by voice requires a pin for added security. Battery life is estimated to be around 6 months due to WiFi connection.
- Schlage Sense. Here is another option that uses Bluetooth instead of WiFi, though there is an option for a WiFi adapter. This lock is very similar to the Kwikset Kevo line of locks and is also compatible with Apple HomeKit.
- Schlage Connect. It comes in two varieties, Z-Wave Plus or ZigBee, depending on which hub you’re currently using, and is comparable to the Kwikset Smartcode 916 line of locks but was noticeably quieter. The key differences between the Z-Wave & ZigBee versions are that the ZigBee lock is compatible with Amazon Key and Echo Plus but the Z-Wave lock works with Google Assistant, Wink, Ring Alarm and other Z-Wave only hubs.
- The Encode and Connect both last 1 year+ using the included 4 AA batteries.
- Both locks we tested come in a variety of color options and styles to match your existing hardware. Installation was easy and took around 7 minutes including removing previous lock, connecting to network and setting up the app. These locks include a standard key as well as a programmable touchpad to open.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.
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