Technical developments have followed each other in rapid succession in recent decades. One of the latest technological developments is the "smart" applications. We have known smart from the smartphone for several years, and we are also well known with smart thermostats and smart LED lighting.
But that's not all that is "smart." The "smart lock" has also been introduced for several years. These smart locks have become immensely popular on the Dutch market in recent years. A smart lock is a smart door lock that you can open without using a physical key. That not only makes our lives a bit easier, but also a lot safer. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about smart locks.
A smart lock is not vastly different from your existing cylinder lock - the part of the lock that contains the keyhole. The difference between them lies within the operation of the lock. As soon as a smart lock receives a signal from the digital key, the lock will unlock and the door opens. Digital keys come in different forms. For example, it is possible to open your door with an app with Bluetooth on your smartphone, with an access code, with a remote control, or with a tag. Besides, with some smart locks it is also possible to open the door with your physical key. There are often several ways to open the door and enter your house. That way you never have to stand in front of a closed-door again.
To open the door via an app, with some smart locks you don't even have to be near your door. You can easily unlock the door over the internet, wherever you are. For example, you can open the door for your children, the parcel deliverer, your housekeeper, or a repair person while you are at work. A smart lock has many advantages over a normal cylinder lock. But of course there are also some disadvantages. We will discuss those as well in this article.
Why would you choose a smart lock? What advantages does a smart lock have over a regular lock? And do these advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Are you often looking for your keys? At the bottom of your bag between other items, or in one of your pockets, while standing in front of the door with bags full of groceries. Wouldn't it be great if the door opened automatically as soon as you get home? A smart lock makes it possible! With some smart locks it is even possible to open the door automatically when you come close to the door. Your phone with Bluetooth lets the smart lock know that you are nearby. This function is extremely useful but does not work well with all smart locks.
Besides the LOQED Touch Smart Lock, all smart locks are mounted on the inside of the door. This means that the smart lock can only open the door completely when you are close. This can open the door too early while you, for example, are still parking your car or bicycle. The LOQED Touch Smart Lock is the only smart lock that has "Touch to Open'' technology, where simply touching the lock is enough to open the door. Another problem with "auto-unlock" functionality are houses with multiple doors. If you enter your house via your garden or garage door, the front door will also open. The LOQED Touch Smart Lock has two sensors (in- and outdoor) build-in to prevent this.
It probably happened to all of us once. That we closed the door behind us while the keys are still on the inside. Or there is still a key on the inside of the front door so you cannot turn the key from the outside of the door. You could also simply lose your keys. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem with smart locks.
The benefit of a smart lock with PIN code functionality is that you can always enter your house, even if you lost your phone. AYou can never lose a pin code, unlike keys, remote controls, tags, etc. Some smart locks offer an integrated pin code option, with other smart locks you buy an ad on for code access.
Do you have children that are too young for a smartphone? Code access is ideal for them too. Children can easily lose physical keys, and the key under the flowerpot is no longer such a clever idea.
No more keys under the doormat
How safe is it to put a key under the doormat or flower pot for your kids, friends or family when you are still at work? With a smart lock you can easily open your door remotely, no matter where you are. Your smart lock only must be connected to the internet. Most smart locks require a "Bridge" to connect to your Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth connection.
You can also give friends a digital key or access code. Via the app, you can monitor in the log who and when opened the door. There is no need to make new physical keys, and you always have a digital overview of who has a key. Most smart locks also allow you to create keys that only work on specific days or times. For example, you can set access times for the cleaner.
Has someone lost their phone? Then you simply remove the digital key via the App. This contrasts with a physical key, where you immediately have to call a locksmith to replace all cylinders in your house. That will save a lot of money and hassle. This is especially ideal for children.
Most smart locks are very secure. Much more secure than physical locks. Cracking a smart lock is much more difficult than cracking a traditional lock. Someone can steal your smartphone, but a traditional key can also be stolen - and often you can remotely block the digital key. If a physical key has been stolen, a new cylinder must be put in the door, which entails the necessary costs and hassle. A smart lock is, therefore, more secure than a normal lock with a physical key. Most smart locks are provided with an SKG ** or SKG *** quality mark. You can read more about the meaning of the number of stars in a later chapter.
Via the app you can see who opened or closed the door. Also done remotely. This way you can see your children have returned home safely from school. It is a nice idea to know that your children have arrived home safely. Some smart locks can even send a push notification to your phone when someone enters your door.
Do you have a birthday and do you expect a lot of guests? With a smart door lock, you don't have to interrupt a conversation to walk to the door to let your guests in. You must open the door via the app and your guests can let themselves in. The LOQED Touch Smart Lock also has the "Open house" mode. Anyone can then touch one of the touch-sensitive buttons on the smart lock and the door opens immediately.
Various tests have been done in collaboration with parcel deliverers. Situation sketch: You're not at home while your parcel deliverer is at the door. He now must ring the bell at a few houses and wait and see if a neighbour is friendly enough to open the door and wants to receive your package. Now you must pick up the package from your neighbors and hope they are at home. The possibility is, you may still have to wait a long time before you can finally open your package.
A smart lock in combined with a smart doorbell makes it all just that little bit easier. Not only for you but also for the delivery person. The delivery person rings the doorbell, you can now see who is at the door via an app and open your door. And that while being at work. The postal worker puts the package in the hallway and closes the door behind him. This way, the mail deliverer finishes his round faster and you no longer must go to the neighbors to pick up the package after working hours.
It is not only an advantage for parcel deliverers but also a godsend for meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh. Or how about your service engineer who comes to repair something in your house. This way you no longer must take hours off from work and wait at home for the service engineer to come and finish the repair. We recommend combining this with a camera, so that you can keep an eye on who is coming in.
Increasing numbers of supermarkets offer to deliver your groceries straight to your kitchen. Delivery to the kitchen is not free and the more popular a time slot, the more expensive it will be. A smart door lock in combined with a smart doorbell offers the solution. Via an app you can see who is at the door, you can open the door remotely and the deliverer of the groceries puts the groceries in your kitchen. Yes, even in the freezer and refrigerator. Now pilots are already being done by Albert Heijn, for example:
"We are currently investigating the options for delivery of groceries via smart door locks. Using the latest technologies, these smart locks allow us to provide access to our customers' sheds or homes, literally allowing us to put the groceries right into the fridge. Of course only with the consent of the customer. With these smart locks we remove an important delivery barrier and we offer our customers even more service than they are used to from us. "
It also has advantages for Albert Heijn itself. Delivery times are spread out more throughout the day, drastically reducing the workload at certain times.
A smart lock is super handy and is gaining in popularity. It will not be long before a smart lock is a familiar sight on every door in the street. Still, it is good to also weigh the disadvantages, so that you can make a smart choice whether or not it is right for you. After all, a smart lock also several disadvantages. We list them for you:
A pin code, the code of your telephone, the code of… you name it. Nowadays you need a code for everything. You will mix up all those different codes and you cannot remember any of the codes. And so you are still in front of a closed door. With a smart lock, you have another code to remember, for example when your phone is empty. This can be quite difficult, especially for seniors.
Over time, the batteries of a smart door lock run out. The batteries last, depending on the brand and type, between 3 months and 1 year. This depends highly on the number of times the door is locked or unlocked. Fortunately, most smart locks indicate when the batteries need to be replaced.
If you forget to replace them or did you happen to be on vacation? Then it depends on the smart lock brand whether and how you still can open your door. This can be done via a traditional key (but do you still have it with you?), Or via a 9v battery which you can temporarily supply the lock from power via the outside of the lock. Beware of smart locks without these options: you will need another door to enter your house.
If you come home late at night and your partner is already asleep, maybe your partner will wake up if you unlock the smart lock and the bedroom is close to the lock. A smart lock makes more noise when opening or closing than an old-fashioned lock you must open with a normal key.
Parents of an adolescent son or daughter hear their child come home from a night out in the early hours, and that can be reassuring. So, every disadvantage has its advantage.
You can place your smart lock on the front door of your own home. The smart lock is expected to be a familiar street scene in just a few years.
A smart lock is also the ideal solution to the key problem for companies. That way, you no longer must worry about one employee losing their key. You never have to make added keys as the company grows and more staff is hired. And if a key is lost, the cylinder not be replaced. A digital key can be created or removed in seconds if necessary. This way you are always in control of who has access to your company.
A smart lock can be extremely useful for associations. Whether it is the football, scouting, tennis or hockey association, there are always a lot of volunteers who need a key. Passing keys on to each other is a lot of work, and you don't want dozens of keys in circulation. A smart lock solves this: with just one phone call another volunteer has a (temporary) code and one can enter the association, or you simply open the door remotely.
If you have a holiday home or a Bed & Breakfast, you often must stay at home until your guests arrive to hand over the key. If your guests get stuck in traffic on a busy Black Saturday, you sometimes must wait a long time before they finally arrive. Using f key boxes is common but they are sensitive to burglary. A smart lock can provide a solution. All you must do is send a unique code to the guests. This code expires after a set period, so your guests will no longer have access to the holiday home after their holiday. This means that the owner does not necessarily have to be on-site to hand over the key on the day of arrival.
Older people live at home much longer. They are more often dependent on home care. Older people with limited mobility can find it difficult to walk to the front door if home care is at the front door. Therefore, there is made use of key cabinets, which can be opened only by home care workers. However, these cabinets are not safe and very prone to burglary. Older people are often the victims of a robbery or burglary because they can hardly defend themselves. A smart lock then offers the solution. The key box can be removed and home care no longer needs a key. This makes the smart lock not only useful for the home care worker, but also for the resident himself. And, a lot safer.
You made up your mind, you want to buy a smart lock. To discover only then there are many models with a variety of functions on the market. This can be difficult at first sight to choose the right smart lock.
We have created a list with the most common smart locks for the European market, including the different functionalities. This way you can easily compare which smart lock best suits your situation.
Comparison of European smart locks
There are several brands of smart locks on the market. Although the principle of each brand is the same, there are quite a few differences. We have listed the most common smart locks for you.
|LOQED Touch Smart Lock||Nuki 2.0||Yale Linus||Danalock V3||Flexeria||Bold|
|Open: smartphone app||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Open: physical remote control||No||Yes (add-on)||No||No||Yes (add-on)||No|
|Opening: remotely via the internet||Yes||Yes (add-on)||Yes (add-on)||Yes (add-on)||No||Announced|
|Open: Automatically open||Yes, with Touch confirmation and inside / outside detection||Yes||Yes||Yes, without confirmation||No||No|
|Open: physical key||No||Yes, if you already have a cylinder with a hotel function.||Yes, if you already have a cylinder with a hotel function.||Yes||Yes||No|
|Open: PIN code||Yes (Integrated)||Yes (add-on)||Yes (add-on)||Yes (add-on)||Yes (add-on)||Yes (Integrated)|
|Integration with smart products||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|SKG||SKG***||N/A (Keep own cylinder)||N/A (Keep own cylinder)||N/A (Keep own cylinder)||SKG***||SKG***|
|Closing door detection||Yes, via integrated motion sensor||Yes, with magnet on the door frame||Yes, with magnet on the door frame or motion sensor||No||No||No|
|Number of digital keys||200||250||?||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Motor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (turn it yourself)|
|Battery life||9 - 12 months||Several months||6 - 9 months||1 Year||6 months||2 Year|
|(8x AA = 34 Wh). Optional charger follows.||(4x AA = 17 Wh)||(4x AA = 17 Wh)||(4x CR123A = 17 Wh)||(4x AA = 17 Wh)||(1x CR123A = 4Wh)|
|Backup when the batteries are dead||9v emergency power||Key||Key||Key||Key||None|
|Installation||Replaces interior door fittings||Is placed on the door fitting||Is placed on the door fitting||Is placed on the door fitting||Is placed on the door fitting||Replaces the cylinder|
Various brands of smart locks can be linked to the home automation already present in your home. If you want this, then it is wise to choose a smart lock that allows this.
Home automation is a collective term for smart systems that ensure that you can live as comfortably. For example, with home automation you can remotely control the temperature, lighting and the front door of your house.
Various applications often use different protocols to communicate, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, Z-wave, or Zigbee. That can make it more difficult for devices to communicate with each other, but it doesn't have to. If a device is connected to the internet, they can still communicate with each other over the internet.
A home automation system can be very extensive. If you use a home automation system at home, the heating, lighting, front door, etc. can all be controlled remotely. But that doesn't make it a smart home. We only call it a smart home if the system also thinks along with you. For example, you can have a security camera in your house from which you can view images remotely via your smartphone, we call that home automation. But if your smartphone gives you a warning message you have to look at the images to see if everything is okay, then the system thinks along with you and it is a typical example of smart home. We can conclude that a smart home is just a step more extensive and goes further in possibilities than home automation.
A platform is an overarching system with which you control your home automation. A platform makes it possible to operate the devices in your home via one app. It is wise to choose one system before your first purchase, this will prevent you from needing multiple apps to expand. With every home automation purchase, it is wise to check whether the product is compatible with the platform you have chosen. A few large tech companies have launched such a system.
Google Assistant is already in various devices such as your smartphone or tablet, but also in your smartwatch. Google Assistant is compatible with thousands of smart products from over 3,500 brands. And that number is increasing rapidly. With a Smart Home Hub, you can link the different devices and run them via one central device.
If you already have many Apple devices such as the iPhone, the iPad, or the Apple Watch, then the Homekit platform from Apple can be handy to use. When buying a new product, make sure that it can be linked with HomeKit. The product does not have to be made by Apple, but they must support the HomeKit protocol.
Amazon Alexa is a voice control system that allows you to control various smart products associated with it with your voice. The range of products compatible with the Amazon Alexa protocol is constantly expanding. More than 60,000 products are compatible with this system.
IFTTT stands for "If This Then That". With this application you can automate certain processes using simple commands. An example: when you switch on the TV, the lamps dim. This way you can connect smart devices together. The only condition is that the devices must support IFTTT. In the IFTTT app you can connect all your devices with each other. When that is done you can create an applet, which is a command that links different actions together.
Samsung's SmartThings is comparable to other affordable home automation devices. The base is a hub that is the heart of a smart home system. But why is the Samsung SmartThings still interesting? Not only because of the low price, but also that the hub speaks two languages; namely Zigbee and Z-Wave. This allows most home automation devices to communicate effortlessly with each other.
Homey connects all your smart devices in one convent place, the Homey App. With Homey you can automate certain processes using simple commands. After integrating your smart products, you can create ‘waves’ to let your devices work together. Imagine that your lights are blinking when the washing machine in the attic is ready. You can also combine the app with other services, for example with a weather service. This way the lamps can be switched on when it get's dark outside. Ideal if you are on vacation and you want to make it look inhabited at home. Homey works with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave.
Home automation products communicate with each other via a protocol. A protocol is a way a wireless signal is sent between devices. Well-known protocols are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but it can also be done via Zigbee or Z-Wave. Sometimes you need an extra bridge that allows devices to communicate with each other.
To expand your network with a new device, it should support the same protocol as the devices you already have at home. Z-wave products cannot communicate well with Zigbee products and vice versa.
Various applications make life just that little bit easier. Below we list a few examples, but the possibilities are endless:
Smart door locks offer more security and overview than conventional locks. In general, cracking a smart lock is much more difficult than breaking open a conventional lock. With a smart lock on your door you can see via an App, who opened the door and when. If necessary, you can easily revoke digital keys if a smartphone has been stolen. This makes smart locks more secure.
In case of loss or theft of a physical key, the finders have easy access to your home or the company. The result is that you must replace the cylinder as soon as possible and that is certainly not free and a lot of hassle. With a smart lock, you don’t have to replace the lock anymore. You can easily remove the digital keys via an app and unwanted guests no longer can come into the house. Fast, easy, free and much safer!
To buy a smart lock, it’s always better to choose one with a SKG quality mark. With this quality mark, you are assured that the lock has been tested for durability, strength and whether it is sufficiently burglar resistant.
SKG stands for Stichting Kwaliteit Gevelbouw. This is an independent foundation that tests locks for strength and durability. When locks are sufficiently burglary, it will receive several stars. The more stars, the better the lock is resistant to burglary.
1 star; standard burglar resistant
One star; products with one star are not considered self-burglar resistant. This means it must be used with at least one other equivalent or stronger product.
2 stars; heavy burglary resistant
If a product has two stars, it is sufficiently burglar-resistant and can be used independently. It takes an extra 3 minutes for the intruder to come in.
3 stars; very heavy burglary resistant
A product with three stars is heavily burglar-resistant and can be used independently. It takes the burglar at least 5 minutes extra to enter your house.
When a smart lock is only mounted on the inside of the door, the lock on the outside stays as secure or unsafe as it already was. Therefore you have to be aware that the smart lock can easily be opened through the letterbox. By using letterbox protection you will prevent this. This ensures that someone cannot go through the letterbox with a hand or stick to open the smart lock.
The wireless connection between the smart lock and your smartphone is always encrypted. This is exceptionally reliable, because this technique is also used by banks. Most smart locks can also be updated to the latest software version.
Installing a smart lock is simple, although some installations are easier than others. A video tutorial is often available. With most all smart locks, a screwdriver is enough: you don't have to drill holes in the door. All smart locks work on batteries, so you don't have to worry about wires. If you can assemble an Ikea cabinet, you can also mount a smart lock.
Would you rather not do it yourself? That is no problem either. Various companies and webshops offer installers who will install the lock for you.
You can mount smart locks in two ways.
Over your current cylinder lock
This smart lock is placed over your existing door lock. You stick the lock on the door with double-sided tape or clamp it over the existing cylinder if it protrudes sufficiently far. First you stick the key in your lock, then you can place the housing of the smart lock over it. However, most cylinder locks do not support a “hotel function” (sometimes also called emergency function or danger function). This means that if you have a key in the lock on the inside, another key can’t be inserted on the outside. You will then still have to buy a new cylinder with a hotel function to prevent this.
Replaces the current cylinder
Also, some smart locks do not replace your cylinder with a new one. Sometimes this cylinder is adjustable, sometimes you must order a new one in the right size.
Replaces the door furniture
Most smart locks do not replace the existing door fittings but are placed on top. The LOQED Touch Smart Lock is the only one that replaces the interior door fittings, so the lock fits tightly to the door.
Before you purchase a smart door lock, it is first important to know which type of lock your door has. Four types of locks can be distinguished. When purchasing a smart lock, be assured that it will fit on your front door.
Single point lock with Euro Profile cylinder
The Euro Profile cylinder lock is the most common lock on front doors. It is the part where the key is put in, and part of the door lock itself.
Multi-point lock / Three-point lock with Euro Profile cylinder
A three-point lock closes the door at 3 points, at the top, the bottom and the height of the door handle. There is always a Euro Profile cylinder in the three-point lock.
Senior lock with Euro Profile cylinder
This lock resembles a single point or multipoint lock, but the cylinder is above the door handle, instead of below it. Smart locks that "hang" often have insufficient space.
You often see this lock in older houses, it’s a kind of square block on the door.
There are no smart locks available for this type of lock. It is smart to replace this lock with a multi-point lock, which is a lot safer.
You are generally always insured if a burglary occurs, if a proper lock has been installed. If you use an SKG *** smart door lock, that is certainly the case.
Some smart locks have the option of linking a tag or remote control.
A tag is a medium which you can use to open a lock. It works with RFID or NFC technology. You hold a smart card or tag to the lock and the door opens. The question is how smart this is: just like a key, you can lose it. The only advantage is that you can block these tags individually, which is impossible with a normal key.
Remote control / Fob
A remote control for a smart lock works the same way as the remote control of a car. The front door pops open at the push of a button. The range is not that great, and you must be close to the door to unlock the lock with a remote control. The advantage over a tag is that you can already have the door opened remotely. The downside is that it contains another battery that needs to be replaced every now and then.
With a video doorbell you can see who is at the door. As soon as someone rings the bell, you will see the person in the picture via your smartphone, tablet or PC. You will see the person in HD quality. Thanks to infrared, you can also clearly see who is at your door when it is dark. You can also talk to him or her. Thanks to the motion detector, you will already receive a notification if someone is walking on your garden path. This makes the doorbell also a security camera.
A smart doorbell can be nicely combined with a smart lock. If a friend is unexpectedly at the door, you can already let him in by opening your front door remotely. A smart doorbell in combined with a smart lock is also a useful solution for parcel deliverers, meal deliverers or grocery deliverers.
There are several (web) shops that specialize in (smart) door locks. The advantage of such a web shop is that they can give you tailor-made advice. They also offer the best service if you encounter problems with, for example, the installation. The following (web) stores specialize in smart locks.
Slimmedeursloten.nl is a very comprehensive website where you can find everything you need to know about different types and brands of smart locks. You can also find various installation videos and tips. The wide range of assorted brands ensures that you can purchase exactly the one that suits you best.
Veiligheids-sloten has a wide range of smart locks that can be ordered via the internet. Besides, there is a showroom in Rotterdam where you can see and try all of them.
Slimmedeuroplossing is specialized in mounting, advice and the installation of smart locks, intercom systems and door automation. Safety, reliability combined with functionality are the most important conditions of this company.
Slimmedeuroplossing.nl is the knowledge center of Deurmeesters.nl, with all the information about smart door locks.
Dlocks offers solutions for both the private and business market. There is a product available for every market that meets the requirements. At Dlocks they offer you tailor-made advice and you can immediately buy the products you need in the store.
You will find an extensive range of smart locks at Slimme sloten shop. On the website you will find a wealth of information on how to determine which lock is best for you. Every situation is different and requires customization.
On the internet you can find various home automation specialists who also sell smart locks, or where you can find a lot of information about smart locks:
Safedeliveries.nl / securitydiscount.nl / mc-sloten.nl / slotencilinder.nl