What are smart locks? Advantages & Disadvantages

Technical developments have followed each other in rapid succession over the recent years. One of the latest technological developments are “smart” devices. We have become familiar to the term ”smart” from the smartphones for several years, and most people have also heard of smart thermostats and smart LED lighting.

But that’s not all that is “smart.” Several years ago, the “Smart Lock” was also introduced. These smart locks have become increasingly popular 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 more about smart locks, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. What is a smart lock?
  2. The benefits of a smart lock
  3. Disadvantages of a smart lock

1. What is a smart lock?

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.

2. The benefits of a smart lock

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?

2.1 Automatic opening 

Do you know the feeling of rummaging though your bag, looking for your house keys, while you are already standing in front of the door, trying not to drop your grocery bags? Wouldn’t it be great if the door unlocked automatically when 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.

2.2 Never be locked out again thanks to various opening methods

It probably happened to all of us once. That we closed the door behind us while the keys are still on the kitchen counter or dinning room table. Or there is a key in the lock from the inside of the front door, so you cannot turn the key from the outside. Or maybe you simply have the habit of losing your keys. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem with smart locks.
Code access

The benefit of a smart lock with PIN code functionality is that you can always enter your house, even if you lost your phone. Unlike keys, remote controls, tags, you can never lose a PIN code. 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 an original hiding spot.

2.3 Safer

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. The only thing you need is for your smart lock to be connected to the internet. Most smart locks require a “Bridge” to do this.
You can also give friends a digital key or an 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 to be able to come into your home.
Block keys
Did 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 and with that all keys as well. That will save a lot of money and hassle. This is especially ideal for children who tend to lose keys more quickly.
Physical security

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 – however, 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.

2.4 Check whether your children are at home

Via the app you can see remotely who opened or closed the door. This way you can see that your children returned home safely from school. Some smart locks can even send a push notification to your phone when someone enters your door.

2.5 You don’t have to keep walking to the front door

Do you have a party planned and are expecting 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 have to do is open the door via the app and your guests can let themselves in. The LOQED Touch Smart Lock also has the “Open house” mode. AIn this mode anyone can open the door with one touch of the touch-sensitive buttons on the smart lock.

2.6 Useful for the parcel deliverer

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 neighbor is friendly enough to open the door and accept your package for you. Now you have to pick up the package from your neighbors and hope they are at home. Chances are, it will take a couple tries before you can pick up the package and finally open it.

A smart lock in combination with a smart doorbell makes everything just a 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 have to 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 is coming to repair something in your home. This way you no longer must take time off from work and wait at home for the service engineer finish the repair. We de recommend combining a smart lock with a camera, so that you can keep an eye on who is coming in.

2.7 Home delivery of your groceries

More and more 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 combination with a smart doorbell offers an effective 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.

3. Disadvantages of a smart lock

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 an educated decision on whether or not it is right for you. After all, a smart lock also has several disadvantages. 

3.1 Remember code

A pin code, the code of your telephone, the code of… you name it. Nowadays, you need a code for everything. You can mix up all those different codes, and you can’t remember any of them. And so you may still stand in front of a closed door with a smart lock, you have to remember yet another code, for example if your phone is out of battery or inside the house.

3.2 Batteries are running low

Over time, the batteries of a smart door lock will run out. The batteries last, depending on the brand and type, between 3 months to 1 year. This depends mainly 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, with which you can temporarily supply the lock with power. Beware of smart locks without these options: you will need another door to enter your house.

3.3 Closing and unlocking makes more noise

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 door. A smart lock makes more noise when opening or closing than an old-fashioned lock, with which you must open the door with a normal key.
On the other side, 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.