Smart Lock Setup With Smart Hub
Smart Locks are becoming increasingly popular as part of smart home setups. And, why not? Many of these offer several useful capabilities on top of a traditional lock, such as open/close remotely, keypad support, programmable keys, and so on. In this post, we will cover an overview of a typical smart lock, key capabilities, the popular Schlage Camelot deadbolt installation and how to integrate it with the SmartThings hub.
Smart Lock Overview
Did you ever run into a situation when you had friends and family arrive home but no one was there to welcome? Or you are stuck in traffic and kids arrived home? Wish you could open the door for them remotely. That is precisely one of the key scenarios where a smart lock could be really useful.
Note: In this post, the terms lock and deadbolt are used interchangeably.
- Keypad support: Several smart locks now offer keypads to enter the unlock key and to program keys.
- Programmable keys: A smart lock allows setting up multiple keys. For example, depending on your needs you can set up a key for each family member and for anyone who regularly visits home. The advantage of a key per user is you can track which key was used to unlock. Not everyone may need a key for every single user. But, you would at least want different keys for family members versus other people coming into the home regularly. In any case, it is good to know that such a capability is available if need be.
- Restricting key timings: This capability makes it possible to keep a given key active only on specific days and times. For example, you can make keys for maid and caretakers to be active only during specific times.
- Open/close lock remotely: This capability is precisely what it says. You do not need to be on your home network to lock/unlock the door remotely.
- Open/lock with a key like a regular key. This is useful for regular access or in case the lock battery dies.
Following are some optional capabilities.
- Auto-lock door after a certain time: This is useful when a kid or someone closed the door but forgot to lock it.
- Auto unlocks the door when a Bluetooth paired device is nearby: This capability typically uses a Bluetooth-based technology to detect when the device is close to the door and automatically unlocks the door for you. Where could this be useful? If you are carrying groceries and cannot unlock the door, this could come in handy.
Like many things at home, using these capabilities will be based on personal preferences. So, it’s not that just because you have a smart lock that is capable of doing these, you have to use these. Evaluate what fits your needs and then configure the setup based on what you find useful.
Note: At times, the smart lock vendor may require buying an additional accessory to get some of these capabilities.
Introducing the Schlage Camelot Deadbolt
Schlage is one of the most popular brands in the deadbolts and smart locks space. I like the following things about the Schlage smart lock.
- It offers most of the required capabilities covered in the earlier section.
- Schlage offers a variety of models and finishes to match your home.
- The installation is relatively straightforward and in many cases can replace the existing deadbolt.
- The lock feels quite sturdy.
- It has decent battery life. My experience is the batteries last for just over a year.
- It can be easily integrated with a smart hub.
Schlage Camelot Deadbolt Installation
Follow the vendor instruction and consider the following key installation steps.
- Remove the previous lock, if any.
- Once you have installed the keypad and the metallic support plate, the installation should look like the one shown below.
- Before you complete the assembly on the backside, make sure to grab the programming code and the pre-programmed user keys.
- Align tab with the notch to ensure the assembly is properly placed.
- Tighten the “Alarm Assembly” screw.
- Tighten the “Set” screw.
- This is how the installation would look at this point.
- Install the batteries.
- Put the battery cover.
- The fully assembled installation would look like this.
Integrating Smart Lock With The Smart Hub
We will use the SmartThings Hub. But, the procedure should be very similar for the other smart hubs. Lets first talk about the setup.
- Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor: We need this sensor to demonstrate an important capability — auto-lock if the door has been closed for 1 minute. You may be wondering what’s that about? To complicate the matter further, Schlage deadbolt itself offers an auto-lock feature, which can auto-lock automatically after 30 seconds. Well, the purpose of the multipurpose sensor is to add more intelligence to the solution. Instead of blindly attempting an auto-lock, which could happen even if the door was not properly closed, a better approach would be to ensure if the door is closed and the lock is unlocked then lock it automatically. The multipurpose sensor will help in detecting whether the door is open/closed.
- Samsung SmartThings Hub: This hub will help us manage the lock remotely as well as perform the auto-lock when the door is closed for 1 minute.
Following are the steps to integrate the lock with the SmartThings hub.
- Ensure the device is in pairing mode.
- Go to the Things section of the SmartThings app and select Add a Thing.
- SmartThings will now search for new devices. Be patient! This may take some time. If the device still does not show up select choose Add Device Manually and follow the steps.
Once the lock has been discovered, give it a logical name, such as “Main Door”. This is helpful when you set up notifications and get messages like — Main Door is locked.
Now you should be able to lock/unlock using the SmartThings app.
Set up Auto Lock With Multipurpose Sensor and SmartThings Hub
Now we can add more intelligence to the solution by adding auto-lock only when the door is closed for 1 minute. To do this, we will leverage the SmartThings SmartApp capability.
- Launch the SmartThings app.
- Go to Automation->SmartApps and select Add a SmartApp.
- From Safety & Security choose the Enhanced Auto Lock Door SmartApp. Specify the lock, sensor, and timings to use and give it a logical name, such as “Auto Lock Main Door”.
Note: You can also configure auto unlock via the same SmartApp.
Now you have a better auto-locking solution in place.
Have a safe and smart home!