Kevo Electronic Lock — Version 2
In my house; the technology requirements are higher than those of my employer. It not only has to function well, it has to look good too. So I present the first of many posts where I engineer home technology that works well and looks great doing it!
Kevo comes in 3 finishes —Venetian Bronze (shown here), Polished Brass, and Satin Nickel.
First Things First — Firmware Updates
Once I was set and powered things up, the app connected immediately.
Of course, it needed a software update. This did take some time (around 20 minutes total) and by the time it was done my batteries were 1/4 reduced! I suggest after a software update that if you want to be sure your batteries will last you may want to replace them.
Mistakes were made…
Mistake #1: Routed the cable through the wrong hole.
When first fit, the deadbolt assembly securing plate (on the right below) was not properly centered vertically on the lock hole in the door. It blocked the hole on the bottom, so I assumed that the gap on the top was where the cable was intended to route.
I could not install the interior locking assembly though as the cable was blocking it.
After some examination I realized my error, re-centered the lock and plate, and re-routed the cable through the correct hole at the bottom of the plate.
Mistake #2 — Deadbolt default config is for right hand door swing
Next, after installing all of the Kevo parts and running the self configuration, I found I could not properly operate the electronic lock. It kept erroring out on the powered door mechanism (error said it was jammed), and could only be locked manually with the key.
I called Kevo support.
I found out that since my door swing is the opposite direction as most, I needed to install the deadbolt mechanism upside down. So the UP side needs to point downward, due to my door having a left handed swing.
Once I corrected mistake #2 and rotated the outside cylinder so it was upright I was finished.
Long Term Thoughts
Does it work well? Not really.
My wife was never comfortable with the idea of pulling out her phone to get in the door and simply refused to use it.
I personally tried my best, but ended up several times with a dead phone and could not operate the door without finding the key first.
When I did have a good phone charge it still often does not connect over bluetooth when triggering lock/unlock from the door (you are supposed to touch the outside lock cylinder, then it lights the light ring blue and attempts to connect over bluetooth to your phone before locking/unlocking). I will try 2 times by touching the lock cylinder before considering it not working and then use the key or the app. 2 out of 3 times I would estimate it fails to connect this way.
When that fails I use the app on the phone instead, and this gets it connected. From the phone app to the door it is 100% working . I can check and change my lock state from the car out front or even around most of the house.
OK, but the features are cool right? Nope — Remote features are not available without another device called Kevo Plus.
The most useful function would be to lock/unlock the door remotely, ie you have left for a trip and wonder if you remembered to lock the door.
The problem is that the remote lock feature costs extra and requires another device called Kevo Plus. I don’t like the thought of sinking more money into this project so I won’t buy it.
All in all I would return it if I could. It is just not mature enough yet and doesn’t work regularly and reliably.