The majority of smart locks operate on either multiple AA alkaline batteries or a rechargeable lithium-ion cell. Whatever type of battery your smart door lock uses, you’ll still get an alert on your app when battery power gets low. Moreover, the housing mounted on the inside of your door will often include an LED that will flash red when the battery needs to be replaced or recharged. How long do these batteries normally last? Well, it all depends on the digital door lock and its functions. Many companies rate their battery life in terms of the number of “cycles” — that is, the total number of physical locks and unlocks — and power usually lasts anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the type of lock and the functions it performs.
Digital door locks, particularly retrofit models, let you assign “keys” for visitors who you’re happy to let into your home in your absence: visitors like out-of-town friends or family members, service workers or delivery people, or neighbours watering the plants, taking in the mail or feeding the cat while you’re away. You may have come across this particular practice if you’ve ever stayed in an Airbnb property. Entry ‘keys’ are sent via a text or email code through the smart door lock app, and these keys give your visitor wireless entry capabilities for a prescribed period of time or a prescribed number of entries. Replacement digital locks with keypads allow you to simply assign temporary passwords, timed for single use or for a specific number of hours or days. Most digital door locks also track who comes and goes, and digital locks with Wi-Fi can send an alert to your phone when someone comes or goes, so even when you’re still at work you’ll be able to find out whether the kids have returned home from their schools.
Digital door locks are complicated pieces of kit, housing not just the traditional metal pins, tumblers, gears and other standard lock mechanics, but also sensitive electronics. Thus, they need to be able to withstand extremes in weather conditions to function properly. Complete replacement digital door locks will indicate what temperatures the door lock is designed to withstand and often have an IP water/dust-proof rating. However, not all digital locks are born equal: not all can withstand adverse weather conditions over a prolonged period. If you want to ensure that your digital lock is up to the job, no matter what the weather throws at it, then only buy from a reputable lock manufacturer with a long and proven track record of testing for such conditions.
Security is always a concern like our Raizo slogan “Security is our priority”, especially when you constantly hear and read about hacking attacks. That concern is no different for Wi-Fi security. Most digital door lock manufactures will publish the technical specification of their locks and tell you just how secure their W-Fi security is, but it should be remembered that there is no ‘best’ wireless security scheme or standard for smart door locks. The best digital lock you can hope to discover is just how high a priority the smart door lock manufacturer places on the issue. The only way you’ll discover that, unfortunately, is through extensive research. What can be said with some sort of conviction, however, is that the best digital door lock – that is the most hack-proof – are keypad-enabled models that don’t use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as their primary entry method.
Most digital door locks can be integrated into an existing smart home environment — using Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT (If This Then That), Z-Wave, ZigBee, Samsung SmartThings — so it’s easy enough to incorporate the locking of doors, turning on lights and adjusting temperature controls into your smart routine. However, as things currently stand, very few digital door locks are compatible with all smart home technologies.