When creating a smart home, one of the decisions to be made is to place a smart lock . But how do they work? Are they really safe? What advantage do they offer over other solutions? This and much more is what we are going to tell you in this article.
How an electronic lock works
The idea of an intelligent lock is that you do not depend on one of the most archaic objects that you usually carry in your pocket after the coins: the keys. These locks have wireless connections so you can open the door from your mobile phone, remotely or even with the help of a remote control.
Basically inside they hide a motorized system that is responsible for rotating the cylinder or cylinder, so that the latch will be released at the time we order it. Magic will call some, but the truth is that there is not much science in this type of products. However, there are several aspects that you should take into account when installing a smart lock at home, so let’s review them so that you are clear.
How to choose the right smart lock for your door
The first thing you should know is that there are many smart locks on the market, however, not all of them are compatible with all doors. The problem lies in the American models, and that is that they use another type of standard for the door latch. Instead of using a single cylinder to drive the slip and additional latches, in the United States and other countries the locks usually separate both elements separately, which usually leaves a handle outside.
This type of locks are usually identified by having the latch at the top, while the slip and the opening handle are at the bottom as shown in the image above. Taking into account the number of models arriving from the United States and other markets, you should take this aspect into account so as not to receive a model that you cannot use at your door.
We can also find locks cataloged by the type of installation, since there are versions embedded in the door that replace the original cylinder of your lock, or other overlapping models that do what they do is add an extra bolt, so we will need an external handle to to be able to operate the door latch from outside.
Opening mechanisms in a smart lock
When interacting with the lock we can do it in different ways:
- Mobile application : It is the most common method. You link the lock with your mobile phone and you can open and close it whenever you feel like it. Depending on the model you can do it by Bluetooth or by Wifi, and that will condition the distance at which you can control it.
- NFC key: A proximity contact key will open the door. It can look like a credit card and even a traditional key. It is the closest thing to the natural method of opening with a key, and requires a physical presence in front of the door.
- Fingerprint reader : An additional accessory or an integrated fingerprint reader on the other side of the door (outside), would allow a fingerprint scan to determine if that person has access or not. Some models of the market offer it as an accessory.
- Voice command : If the lock is compatible with smart assistants, we can operate it with a simple voice command. This, as we will see later, reduces the safety of the mechanism for obvious reasons.
Advantages of having a smart lock
In addition to the obvious reason of being able to open and close the door in a more comfortable and easy way, these types of products hide a series of really interesting advantages.
- It is not necessary to have a physical key.
- Offer access to family or acquaintances remotely by sending an invitation.
- Many models allow you to use numeric keypads to control access.
- You can order the latch to be thrown as soon as the door is closed.
- You can use voice assistants to open the door.
Disadvantages of using an electric lock
Leaving aside the comforts of using a smart lock, there are some problems or peculiarities that you should consider before using this type of smart accessories:
- You will depend on an internal battery. When the battery runs out, you will have to recharge it to continue using the lock wirelessly (quiet, it will continue to work manually).
- However secure the systems are, the possibility of a security breach is there. Although the chances of someone hacking your lock to break into your house violating a traditional lock could be practically the same.
- They are much more expensive than traditional locks.
- You won’t be able to hide the key under the doormat like in the movies.
In a next article we will review some of the most prominent smart lock models on the market, with their advantages and disadvantages of each.