As I have alluded to in posts past, I really like my Schlage smart locks that I have used on doors past. I like them so much, that on this new smart house of mine, I have put them on all home exiting doors. There is something very satisfying in hitting one button and locking down all the doors in your home at once.
Previously, the Schlage locks that I have used have all been the Schlage Connect version. These connect with smart hubs such as Wink and Nexia—anything Z-Wave protocol-compliant. I have now decided to try out the newest version that Schlage is offering with the Sense Smart Deadbolt.
The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt seems to be designed toward more Apple compatibility, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
The Sense Deadbolt installs in the exact same way as the others in the Schlage lineup. It’s still extremely simple with no additional holes to drill. If you already have a deadbolt in place on the door you wish to install it on, then you are looking at a total of about 10 minutes of work to swap locks. Once the lock is in place and the batteries are installed, it is as easy as downloading an app to get it finished.
Once the app is downloaded from the App Store, it immediately walks you through the setup. One step I was glad to see missing was setting up an account. The lock securely works through the app with a unique code that is included in the instructions. No login and password needed! The app detects the lock through Bluetooth and they “talk” to each other after the code is scanned. Mine needed a firmware update, and then it was play time.
I was glad to see that Schlage continued with their best selling point for these smart locks in my opinion—each user can have their own unlock code. This is great for families. Each of my children have their own code and when they unlock the door, I get a notification. It really eases my mind when they come home from school and I see that message pop-up on my phone that “Jacob has unlocked the front door.”
A new feature that I have noticed with the Sense lock is that you can limit access by time of day. I image this would come in handy if you had a housekeeper or a friend who had a code and you only wanted them to be able to enter the premises, say from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.? I know we have issued temporary codes to neighbors to stop by and check on pets while we were out-of-town before, but those are good until removed from the rotation.
The big difference with the Sense is the compatibility with Apple Homekit. This would be the whole home connection that would replace the Wink or Nexia hub. It even can connect to the internet through an Apple TV unit—so I image I will want to try that out next. Be on the lookout for future updates with that. This will be the next big thing out there, since these companies are working to give homeowners that voice activated smart home. In fact, during setup I was instructed to let Siri know what the door would be known as, so I could let her know locking actions through voice commands.
The bottom line is that if you are interested in installing a smart door lock, you really cannot go wrong with the Schlage Sense or the Connect products. They work and they work well. Furthermore, if they don’t work well, Schlage takes care of the problem. Last year during a week of particularly bad storms, one of my units got too much water in the front screen and shorted. It would still work, but the light would not light up. One call to their help line and a replacement unit was on its way. That kind of customer service is what makes customers for life.