How to choose a keyless door entry system for your smart home

Keys are still currently the most commonly manufactured metal object in the world, however, are they suitable for the world of the future and will we ever see the end of the key as we know it?  The’ve been around for over two thousand years but is it time for you to consider what our technological era has to offer? With many modern cars now offering keyless entry as standard what other applications can this fantastic feature be applied to and how good are they?

In this article I will attempt to answer these questions and talk about a few of the pros and cons of the most common products on the market.  If you’re looking into keyless entry for your home but don’t know which product is best for you, you may find the answer in this article.

Having recently returned from a holiday to Center Parcs I loved the ease of access to their lodges and lockers via the keyless wrist bands and it got me thinking about my own home and what other technology was out there.  Could I use my mobile to unlock and lock my house doors, how easy was it to use and what challenges did it present should you lose your mobile or the battery was flat?

Important things to check before committing to a product:

  1. The first thing to note with all these systems is they all run off batteries.  I’ve yet to find a system which can be hard wired into your house electrics.  So it’s worth thinking about backup options should the battery run out and also keeping stock to prevent ever getting to that stage.
  2. Ensure the smart lock fits your type of front door.  There are 3 main types: wooden, uPVC and composite.
  3. Check the manufactures instructions before purchase.  The lock may not fit certain types of locking mechanisms such as multi point locks.  Or at least you might need a professional locksmith to have them fitted which can be costly.
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To kick things off I looked at the lowest price unit.

ZK Teco DL30B – RRP £110

Fits – Wooden and uPVC doors

Powered by 4 x AA batteries

Pros – No keyhole preventing pick lockers. Easy installation with no wires.  Create one time passcodes for friends and visitors. View entry logs.  Four ways to unlock including key, RFID tags, smart phone and passcode on keypad.

Cons – Very little information online about this product and company. Cannot be sure exactly which doors this can be fitted to.  Does not fit multi point door systems. Must be used on door that can have a hole drilled.

Z-Wave Vision Deadbolt Door Lock with Handle – £210

Fits – Wooden and uPVC doors with single dead point only

Powered by 4 x AA batteries

Works with key, keypad code, smart phone, computer or linked to Z-Wave security system control panel. The ZM1702 can be installed as a stand-alone door lock however it is best used as part of a Z-Wave network installation. Take a look at the Z-Wave Vera controller.

Pros – Allows remote activation from a computer of smart phone.  Fits all conventional doors without modification.

Cons – Ugly, not particularly aesthetically pleasing.

Yale Conexis L1] smart lock – £270

Fits – Wooden, uPVC and composite doors.  Take a look at the compatibility checklist.

Powered by 4 x AA batteries with an indicator to let you know when replacements are required.  These are covered by smaller backup battery should they run out. (9B)

Pros – The best looking of all the units. No keyhole which will prevent burglars being able to pick the lock. Installation is easy, only requiring a screwdriver.

Cons – Can be unlocked electronically only (make sure you change the batteries on time!)

Operation – The door can be unlocked from the outside using the RFID key fob, keycards, tags or the bluetooth linked to the app on your mobile phone. (Android or Apple only) To lock the door from the inside simply lift the door handle.  To unlock the door from the inside you just need to push the button and twist 180 degrees.

Codelocks CL5510SS Electronic Digital Lock – £359

Works with smart phone app, cards, key code entry or physical key.

Fits – timber door 35 – 60mm thickness

Pros – This unit can work on a proximity censor that opens the door automatically when you are within 10 meters. Provide 4 different methods of entry.

Cons – Most expensive on the market and not particularly good looking.

In summary, personally I prefer the Yale Conexis unit as its slim looking, fits my uPVC door and ticks all the boxes in terms of easy entry and security.  It’ll also future proof me for home automation and linking to my security system.  Just remember that if you’re looking for your own door entry upgrade ensure you check the installation requirements before committing to a purchase.

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