What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

With the development of science and technology, private space safety is a significant point for us. And with the increasing popularity of smart homes, smart locks have also become the first step to protect our private space.

I am sure you have encountered the following problems:

  • Forgetting to bring the key,
  • The key is broken in the lock cylinder,
  • The door is locked in a hurry,
  • The elderly and children at home are more likely to lose the key.

But now everything can be solved by the smart door lock.

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Therefore, the latest smart security door locks have two advantages that people cannot refuse: safety and convenience.

Today, this article will talk about smart door locks and let you know how to choose the right smart locks for yourself.

Table of Contents:

What Is A Smart Lock?

What are smart locks? Simply put, smart door locks are different from traditional locks in terms of user identification, security, and management.

The unlocking method of the traditional lock must be a key, but the smart door lock's unlocking method is different. The door can be opened with a password, fingerprint, RFID card, or even Bluetooth, safe and convenient.

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Are Smart Door Locks Worth it?

There are two advantages of a smart lock system that cannot be denied: safety and convenience.

With a smart lock system, all the troubles related to "door locks" can be solved:

  • Forgot to bring the key,
  • The key is broken in the lock cylinder,
  • Can't release the lock,
  • Rushes home from work to clean and open the door for roommates, relatives, and friends.
  • Especially families with elderly and children are not afraid of losing keys or forgetting to lock the door.

In terms of safety, many people have concerns: Are there any mechanical locks safe? As long as it is a regular product, smart door locks are a dimensionality reduction blow than a mechanical lock.

How Do Smart Locks Work?

A smart lock is a door lock that does not require a mechanical key, allowing you to open the door without a physical key. You can open the door with the password, Bluetooth, RFID card, fingerprint, mobile phone app, etc. You can also use the mobile app to control the smart door lock remotely.

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Simultaneously, the smart main door lock can also be connected to your home WIFI, and then remotely send a password or mobile phone command to help visitors who visit your home open the door.

Reasons for Buying Smart Locks:

To be honest, although the smart door lock market has been hot in recent years, it is mainly due to the occupation of the capital market. Consumers are not as optimistic as they think about the active purchase of smart locks.

From the perspective of purchase reasons, it can be divided into the following categories:

(1) Standard decoration of fine decoration: real estate projects are the market with the fastest increase in the smart door lock market and the enormous volume.

As fine decoration becomes standard, more and more home accessories spring up, like smart homes and smart locks. Smart security, etc., among which smart entry locks are also essential supporting facilities in the bidding for centralized procurement of significant real estate.

(2) Need to buy: This part of the purchasers is real because of need, and they purchase smart entry locks for a convenient life, such as forgetting to bring the key, too lazy to get the key, the elderly forgot to bring the key, and throwing trash out of the door are locked.

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(3) Impulse to consume: This part of consumers’ purchase of smart entry door locks is entirely due to the manufacturer’s marketing and marketing strategies, such as operators’ packages give smart locks, buy insurance to get smart entry door locks, buy smart main door locks to get cat’s eyes, etc.

Advertising and marketing are also enough to attract attention. Consumers Consumer behavior occurs under visual impulse.

(4) The strength does not allow low-key type: intelligent residences, high-end villas, if they are still traditional iron locks, how uncoordinated and unbalanced.

(5) Trendy type: technology enthusiasts always pursue new things. As an entry-level product for smart homes, natural smart home door locks cannot be missed.

What Are The Types of Smart Locks?

Smart locks can be classified according to different situations. There are mainly the following four categories. A picture that I have compiled is straightforward and easy to understand:

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1. Smart Lock Types by Place of Use

1). Smart door lock for hotel: Hotel smart lock is mainly used in hotels, and its functions are relatively single. Generally, RFID key card hotel smart lock is the only option.

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2) Smart lock for apartment buildings door: Apartment smart lock generally used in rental houses, apartments, Airbnb rooms, and apartment hotels. The functions are more targeted, including passwords, swiping cards, Bluetooth, temporary passwords, and networking.

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3) Smart locks for home door: Home smart lock is the smart lock used in our standard home. This kind of lock is more common, and there are many ways to unlock it.

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4) Smart lock for security door: Smart security door lock is a smart lock specially designed for villa security doors. The most apparent difference from household locks is the appearance. At the same time, its stability will be higher, the material will be better, and of course, the price will be higher.

5) Smart lock for office door: Office smart lock is specially designed for glass doors in office, mainly used in shopping malls and office areas.

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6) Smart lock for cabinet doors: cabinet smart lock is specially used in various storage cabinets, drawers, cupboards, and other places.

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2. Smart Lock Types by Material

1) Smart zinc alloy lock: Zinc alloy is the most widely used material for smart electronic door locks on the market. It has the advantages of hard texture, strong corrosion-resistance, and easy processing, and easy forming.

2) Smart stainless steel lock: Stainless steel generally refers to 304 stainless steel. The smart door lock made of this material is perfect in hardness and durability and can prevent the smart electronic door lock from being damaged by violence to a certain extent.

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3) Reinforced plastic material smart lock: smart door locks are relatively rare because they are not durable. They are mainly used in some functional locks to avoid signal shielding caused by metal materials.

4) Smart aluminum alloy door lock: The quality of aluminum alloy in all aspects is fair, but the usage is not high, and few merchants are making this material.

5) Smart copper door locks: copper usually refers to brass. Brass has high hardness and good durability, but the manufacturing process is complicated, so there are not many smart electronic door locks on the market that use copper as the shell.

3. Smart Lock Types by Locking Method

1) Fully automatic smart lock: As long as the finger is lightly pressed, the door will automatically open, and after the door is closed, it will automatically lock, which is very convenient and fast.

2) Semi-automatic smart lock: After unlocking, the door can be opened by pushing down the handle or pushing and pulling the handle, which can be said to be a widespread type.

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4. Smart Lock types by unlocking method

1) Fingerprint smart door lock: fingerprint smart door lock is unlocked by verifying the fingerprint, generally divided into optical fingerprint head and semiconductor fingerprint head.

  • Optical fingerprint head: optical recognition is adopted, which is not affected by static electricity, humidity, etc., but the safety is relatively low;
  • Semiconductor fingerprint head: Like our mobile phone fingerprints, it is not affected by temperature and has better security, but it is easily affected by humidity and fingerprint wear.

2) Password keypad smart lock: Even if the password is used to unlock the lock, available smart locks have this function.

3) Face recognition smart lock: open the lock by recognizing the face.

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  • Advantages: safer and more convenient, because everyone is unique.
  • Disadvantages: The recognition and distance will affect the door opening, and the camera will consume more power.

4) Bluetooth smart lock: unlock the phone by connecting the phone's Bluetooth to the door lock.

  • Advantages: It is safer to unlock the phone because the phone itself will also have a password lock or fingerprint lock.
  • Disadvantages: Bluetooth will consume more power. If it is long-distance, it cannot be connected and unlocked.

5) Mobile app smart lock: you can open the lock remotely when connected to the network, but there are hidden dangers in security because it will be unlocked as soon as you touch the app.

6) RFID smart lock: If it has a single function, the security is not high. Generally used in hotels.

How Do Smart Locks Get Power?

Treat by the situation. What kind of power supply method you use depends on what type of power supply the smart lock you choose.

Normally, smart door locks are powered by batteries. The smart door lock battery is divided into 2 types, dry battery and lithium battery.

1. Dry Battery

The dry battery for the smart lock is divided into:

  • A single group of 4 AA batteries for power supply
  • Dual Group of 4 AA batteries power supply (8 batteries, four batteries in one group, power supply in turn).
  • A single group of 8 AA batteries powered.

A Single group 4 AA batteries

This kind of smart key door lock battery power supply method is the most common; the power supply is stable, and the later power supply cost is almost negligible.

A Single group 4 AA batteries - What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

Under normal circumstances, the smart key door lock battery life of 4 AA batteries is up to 6-12 months.

However, the industry's quality is different, and each motherboard's energy consumption is different, generally less than half a year, all belong to the product design is unreasonable or unqualified.

Dual Group 4 AA batteries

This kind of smart lock battery power supply has a hidden danger of leakage!

The original intention of using this kind of power supply is to make up for the lack of power supply in a single group of 4 sections. It is still a supplementary means that the product energy consumption is too high and cannot be optimized.

Dual Group 4 AA batteries - What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

The design principle is this: when the first group of power is low, the system automatically starts the second group of power supply.

The smart lock battery life of Dual Group 4 AA batteries is up to 12-20 months.

The problem is that you did not remove the low-power battery in time (because you don't know when it is exhausted), and then leakage will occur! Leakage can corrode the appearance or corrode the circuit board, causing product failure!

A Single Group of 8 AA Batteries

This kind of smart lock battery power supply is not common. It is mainly used for large torque power supply solutions. It mostly solves the lack of power supply for fully automatic locks. No major brand I know has such a power supply solution. It is mainly small brands that replace lithium batteries in certain areas. But more comments.

A single group of 8 AA batteries - What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

2. Lithium Battery

Use lithium batteries (1 or 2) to supply the smart locks.

Another part of the fully automatic smart lock products uses a relatively old form of an external high-power motor to drive the lock body, so the power consumption is relatively large. If you use dry batteries, eight batteries will not last for five months, so they use large capacity Lithium battery or polymer battery, the capacity is above 3000mAh;

This smart lock battery power supply method is mainly used in fully automatic smart locks that have only started to become popular in the last two or three years. Refer to mobile phone battery for stability and durability.

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The explosion of lithium batteries is not a patent for mobile phones, and smart locks are also available (there is almost no safety hazard with dry batteries); watch the video.
Don't be surprised: the smart key door lock lithium battery exploded.

After being applied to the product, the high-power motor will be overloaded, which will shorten the motor's life, further affecting this type of smart lock's overall life.

Conclusion: It is still the best single-group power supply method with four dry batteries. There is no one, universal, stable, easy to buy, and low cost.

3. Suggestions for smart lock battery

From the perspective of science and safety, it is recommended to choose smart locks powered by dry batteries for the following reasons:

(1) Dry batteries are mature and stable, with high brand recognition, and users can configure good quality dry batteries by themselves; lithium batteries are another matter. The lithium batteries' cost of several thousand mAh is not low, so manufacturers equip the lithium batteries. The quality and reliability is a question mark, not to mention the user's self-discrimination. Low-quality lithium batteries may blister, smoke, or catch fire.

(2) If it is a semi-automatic lock, there is no need to install a lithium battery; dry batteries are sufficient (unless the smart door lock design is defective and the power consumption is high).

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(3) If it is a fully automatic lock, choose the second-generation fully-automatic smart house lock, which has low sound, low power consumption, light, and convenience; it is not recommended to select the first-generation fully-automatic smart house lock, the disadvantage is that the sound is loud, the action is slow, and the power consumption is high.

4. What should I do if the smart lock battery drain?

The smart lock design considers that the power supply is out of power and is equipped with emergency unlocking methods.

(1) If the smart lock battery drain, it can support emergency power supply unlocking or mechanical key unlocking.

For example, you can use the mobile power bank to re-power the smart lock through this USB port, and then you can open the door, and individual smart room locks support the method of mechanical password disk;

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(2) If the electronic part cannot be opened due to failure, mechanical key unlocking is supported, and some smart main door locks support mechanical code disc mode.

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(3) Besides, smart locks have a low battery reminder function. When the battery is low, the user will be prompted by voice or sound and light to replace the battery. From the reminder, it can be guaranteed to unlock at least 50 times.

Smart lock price:

The various smart locks on the market also mean that there are different related smart lock costs. The smart lock cost is roughly divided into the smart lock itself and the installation cost.

The smart lock price by different types.

The price of the same type of smart lock is also different. Let's take a look at the costs of different smart lock types.

There are many different types of smart locks on the market. Each type of function is other, and some may require specific connections or accessories to work correctly. Each function provides you with the convenience and security you need, but the functions are different:

1. Smart Keypad Password Door Lock Price

This category's choices include key locks with alternate keyboards or keyboards integrated into the phone for remote input. There are also affordable units with only a small keyboard and no wifi function.

The price of a keypad password door lock is about $60-$150.

2. Smart RFID Door Lock Price

Smart RFID locks are opened using an RFID chip. The RFID smart door locks are usually used in hotels and apartments.

The average price is about $40-$60.

3. Smart Wifi Lock Price

These smart door locks have the function of connecting to wifi, allowing you to remotely change the access code or check if someone enters your home.

The average cost of a wifi smart door lock is about $80-$130.

4. Bluetooth Smart Lock Price

The Bluetooth door lock has many of the same functions as the wifi lock, allowing you to set a password and remotely unlock the door, as well as set up an automatic lock and unlock.

The price of a Bluetooth smart lock is about $40-$80.

5. Smart Fingerprint Door Lock Price

These smart locks use the touch screen to recognize your fingerprint to gain access. There are usually backup methods, including keyboard, RFID, and smartphone access.

The cost of fingerprint smart locks is about $90-$150.

How to Choose Smart locks?

How to choose a suitable smart lock for your family, office, apartment, and hotel? Choosing a suitable smart lock will bring you a safer environment and a more convenient user experience.

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This section will give some suggestions for choosing smart locks, but first, we should know the following common misunderstandings in choosing smart locks.

But first, let's take a look at the common misunderstandings in choosing smart locks:

1. The more smart lock functions, the better the smart lock

The general unlocking methods for smart house locks include fingerprints, passwords, RFID cards, and mechanical keys from unlocking methods. Of course, there are also combinations of other unlocking methods mentioned above.

However, a door lock is not as many functions as possible and too much. It is complicated, and there are many hidden dangers, such as easy failure and unstable performance.

Some businesses will add many functions to the door lock to allow consumers to buy their smart entry door locks to think that they have purchased a super cost-effective product.

Therefore, smart house locks' choice is not based on the number of functions but performance, especially security.

2. The more affordable the smart lock, the better smart lock

There are many smart security door lock brands on the market now, and the price range is extensive. Some people may think that they look the same, it must be cheap, but many cheap smart key door locks have no guarantee.

But the material inside is much worse. If there is a problem and the after-sales cannot keep up, the risk may be significant.

For us, a smart security door lock is not a fast-moving consumer lock. Its service life is generally ten, twenty, or even more years. Therefore, when buying a smart key door lock, you should choose to protect the brand in all aspects better.

Generally, mainstream brands are preferred: high visibility, High recognition, long time involved in door locks or smart products.

3. Too much attention to smart door lock appearance

Although the door lock is outside the door, it can have a specific decorative effect, but you will lose everything if you ignore the safety for the good-looking appearance.

In the serious homogeneity of smart key door locks, there may be smart lock manufacturers that make up for the lack of quality and work hard on the appearance.

Still, as users, we can choose the door lock to look at the appearance, but it depends more on the quality.

Smart lock suggestions for choosing

A good and suitable smart key door lock is mainly compared and purchased from the following points:

1. Smart Lock Cylinder

A C-grade stainless steel smart lock cylinder is better.

The smart security door lock cylinder is the soul of a lock, and its importance is self-evident. The current standard lock cylinder can be divided into three levels: A, B, and C. The A-level has the lowest safety performance in terms of anti-drilling, anti-prying, and anti-technical opening. The C-level is the highest, with strong anti-breaking ability.

The smart lock cylinder comes with an anti-drilling sheet, which is the best in all aspects. Secondly, the fingerprint lock purchased must have a spare mechanical key to prevent particular circumstances.

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The C-level lock cylinder adopts a double row, computer, compound curve groove, and the unlocking time can reach 270 minutes by general technology! It can be said that it is the lock core with the highest safety factor at present.

Inferior lock cylinder: some stainless steel + iron, the cost is several times different from that of the high-quality lock cylinder.

A lock core mixed with copper iron and steel - What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

A lock core mixed with copper, iron, and steel

Qualified lock cylinder: The safety function is passed, the stability and the feeling of use are not good enough, such as immediate power consumption, loud sound, and easy to break.

High-quality lock cylinder: sufficient safety factor, right materials, stable structure and not easy to break, excellent related performance.

If the original anti-theft door is not such a big lock, there is no need to change it deliberately. The reason is similar to that of the heaven and earth hook; it has initially been an Overlord lock, so you must confirm whether it can be used and how expensive it is before buying.

2. Smart Lock Material

The material of smart house locks has been introduced in the above classification. For example, although copper has strong comprehensive performance, it is the most expensive because of the complicated manufacturing process; stainless steel has good hardness and durability, but its style and color are relatively simple;

The alloy material is easy to process and shape, so there are many high usability styles, generally zinc alloy.

Therefore, stainless steel or zinc alloy materials are generally selected, and most of these two types are produced on the market.

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3. Fingerprint head

Semiconductor recognition fingerprint head is better.

That is, the identification technology in fingerprint locks includes optical fingerprint heads and semiconductor fingerprint heads. Generally speaking, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, it is recommended to choose semiconductor fingerprint heads better than optical fingerprint heads in recognition speed and recognition rate. The semiconductor fingerprint head is not affected by temperature.

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Optical fingerprint heads are generally used for company clock.

Optical recognition fingerprint head: The type commonly used by units to punch cards can only record fingerprints' surface patterns. It has a high error rate and is easy to be fooled by fake fingerprints. It is low cost and has been gradually eliminated.

Semiconductor identification records fingerprints through temperature, pressure, electric field, etc., with high safety factors. It is the mainstream in recent years, just like unlocking with mobile phone fingerprints.

The Swedish FPC is one of the most high-end chips of this type, which are in use by Kadisse and Siemens; Samsung's chips are produced and sold by other companies.

4. Smart Lock Battery

There are two types of batteries for smart room locks: dry batteries and lithium batteries.

  • Although lithium batteries are relatively high-end, if the quality is not good, there is a risk of explosion and leakage;
  • Although dry batteries are ordinary, there are no safety risks. Under normal circumstances, past battery life for half a year is OK.

So dry batteries are better.

  • Dry battery: easy to buy, no safety risk, generally no problem with battery life for more than half a year.
  • Lithium battery: It needs to be charged, which is inconvenient; if the quality is not good, there is a risk of explosion and leakage.

5. Unlocking method

According to the first shopping misunderstanding mentioned above: the more functions, the better; generally, there are about four unlocking functions.

There are many ways to unlock; the most basic and mainstream are three kinds: fingerprint, password, RFID card, and a key.

Unlocking method fingerprint password RFID card and a key. - What Is A Smart Lock and How Do Smart Locks Work?

Don't be greedy; first, make sure that the necessary skills are good, and consider other fancy functions.

The key is extra, and the bottom supports and the keyhole is usually arranged at the bottom of the cover.

6. Budget smart lock

Don't buy fully automatic smart lock models if your budget is low

  • Semi-automatic: After closing the door, you need to twist the handle to reverse the lock.
  • Fully automatic: put the door on the mechanical lock.

From a practical point of view, fully automatic is better, so don’t worry if you forgot to lock it.

However, the automatic lock body has technical barriers. The best silent electronically-controlled automated technology is not famous yet, and the cost is high; lithium battery-driven and mechanical, not stable enough, not quite enough, but low cost.

Simply put, a good automatic is very expensive, and a low-priced automatic is very poor.

7. Whether smart home door lock has a virtual password

Virtual password technology means that you can add any number of digits before and after the correct password. As long as there are consecutive, valid passwords in the entered numbers, the door can be opened, effectively preventing the leaking password.

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Compared with the fixed password, the virtual password has higher security performance, and the length can be increased at will, and the password can be changed every time you enter it.

8. Adapt the thickness of the door

Before purchasing a smart house lock, you must first understand whether your door is suitable for installation. If you can install it, what is the door's thickness and choose the thickness of the right door.

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Generally, the thickness of the wooden door needs to be greater than 4 cm. If it is an iron door, there must be a gap greater than 3 cm between the iron door.

9. The service must be good! !!

The smart house lock is a service-heavy product, and the mobile phone can survive a day without it.

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According to industry data in 2019, offline sales of smart home door locks accounted for more than 80%. One big reason is service. If you have any problems, you can find a dealer, which is more efficient than Taobao customer service.

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