During a recent upgrade of doors and windows, I needed to determine new locks for our front and basement doors. Immediately I began to research options that were HomeKit compatible, would be visually appealing, and something of significant quality.
From a lock perspective, I have always found there are two names in the business with reputations that are stellar – Weiser and Schlage. The old Weiser locks that were coming out during the upgrades did not do well for us with heavy corrosion and discolouration within their first year of usage so looking buy a new set again from them was less than appealing. Schlage had a visually appealing lock set that supported HomeKit called the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt so I placed an order with my favourite online retailer and the locks along with matching door handles showed up a couple of days later.
The Schlage Sense also has access features that I found quite attractive. The ability to utilize my phone to unlock or lock the door is handy but sometimes the old fashioned ability to use a key can be handy. Combine this with the touchscreen keypad and you now have three different options to use the lock. The app and the keypad support up to 50 users allowing an entire family to each use the lock which keeps a history that can be useful to look back at sometimes.
The installation of the handles and hardware was very straight forward and the installation of the actual smart lock was fairly straight forward – only a minor issue with the cable that connects front and back not being long enough. As I learned, there is more cable coiled inside the lock that you have to release in order to be long enough and there was nothing in the instructions. All good once I figured that out!
With the lock and handles now physically installed (and batteries installed), it was time to see how “smart” this door system really was. I grabbed the app online and started things up from my iPhone. The app is pretty straight forward but basically add the device and tweak any configuration settings such as location and preferences. The lock has some beeping indicators that are configurable which I kind of liked but my family did not like – the option that each time the door is opened two short beeps would be heard for example.
One thing about the app and it’s interaction with the door lock(s) – it can be very slow to respond at times. Even from the Apple Home application the locks can sometimes take 10-15 seconds to respond to an unlock or lock command being sent to them. Every so often since installation I have found the locks will timeout occasionally but if you re-try the same action then it becomes responsive. Despite these slight annoyances and delays, the locks do work quite well and I have tried them into a few automation scenes already (ie. if smoke detector is triggered the doors unlock automatically).
Overal, I am quite happy with these locks and would recommend them for anyone looking for a quality lock and HomeKit integration who doesn’t mind it not being quite perfect yet. If you are looking for other automation such as ZWave they also make lock versions compatible with that standard as well.
Paul Stewart lives near Peterborough, Ontario in Canada. This blog is about all things not work related including home automation, home renovations and anything else that comes along that I feel like writing about!