ARTICLE Gareth Poley
You now have the option to unlock your front door using either a ket, a combination code, an app on your iPhone; or tell it to unlock itself using Siri whether you are at home or on the other side of the world.
I recently moved into a new home, which for me is a great opportunity to start afresh with home automation - adding all the latest gadgets available to my home.
With more and more products designed to work with Apple HomeKit™, I saw this as an opportunity to start installing products that can talk to each other and work together using Siri. First on the list was a Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt - a deadbolt for your home which does not require a key, but rather can be unlocked using a combination code, an app on your iPhone or voice commands using Siri.
Apple HomeKit compatible
Apple HomeKit allows you to securely control your home from the palm of your hand using your IOS devices while you are sitting in your living room, or while you are on the other side of the world.
Nowadays we use our phones to stay in touch, keep organised, as well as to manage our health and fitness. Now we can use our IOS devices to connect the products in our homes and make them work together too.
Using Apple HomeKit™ you can operate the lock remotely if you have an Apple TV® in the house. But as it is using a bluetooth connection rather than WiFi, the lock should be within 40 feet/12 metres of an Apple TV® for best results with remote capacity.
In control even when not at home
I had previously reviewed the Ring video doorbell which allows me to answer my door bell and see who is at my front door, even when I am not at home.
Now with the Ring video door bell and Schlage deadbolt installed, I am able to not only answer the door bell, but I am also able to unlock my front door from my iPhone.
If you look up the SchlageLocks channel on YouTube, you will find an easy to follow Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt installation video.
All the hole templates and guides that you need are provided in the box, so installation should be really straightforward.
Luckily for me, the front door in my home already had a standard deadbolt installed, so all of the holes were already in place, I estimate that it probably reduced the task of installation by about 90%. All that was left for me to do was to remove the existing deadbolt, and fix the Schlage deadbolt in its place.
Once the Schlage deadbolt was installed, I connected it to my iPhone using the Schlage app, which is very intuitive and guides you through the process of connecting your lock to your phone using bluetooth.
As I also wanted to be able to control my lock remotely, I also needed to connect the lock to Apple HomeKit™ using the unique code provided inside the package contents.
Once the code has been entered, all that is left to do is to ensure that you are logged into the same iCloud account on both your iOS device and your Apple TV.
Siri voice commands
We're now ready to go, and time to test. Siri is summoned and I speak the words, "Unlock front door"...A pause of about two or three seconds while Siri displays the message, "Let me work on that..." and then...'buzz' the door unlocks. How amazing is that!
Apple Watch compatible too!
Because you can use Siri voice commands, you are able to also use your Apple Watch to unlock the door too. No need to carry your keys with you any more when you go for a run!
Individual codes for multiple users
When you first install the Schlage deadbolt, it already has combinations pre-configured, but you can delete these and set your own.
In fact, you can set up to 30 unique codes allowing each person who needs access in the house to have their own unique code.
Special conditions for each user
For each user access code, you have the ability to set custom access times. This can be useful, for example, if you have a cleaner who comes every week on a Thursday, you could set their code up to allow them access to the house on Thursdays between 9am and 5pm only. If someone attempts to use that code any other time on Thursday or any other day of the week - access will be denied.
View access history
The Schlage deadbolt keeps a record of what time people come and go. I imagine this will be useful for parents wanting to keep an eye on what time their teens come home, or perhaps if the house was burgled and there was no sign of forced entry, you would be able to review the access logs to see which code was used to gain access to the property.
Auto lock delay
Do you ever drive away from home, and then immediately begin wondering if you locked the door? Worry no more, you are able to set the Schlage deadbolt to lock itself after a specified amount of time. I have mine set to lock itself 15 seconds after being unlocked.
You won't have to worry about not being able to get into your home if there is a power failure, as the Schlage deadbolt is battery operated and is not reliant on a live power connection. This also makes it easier and cheaper to install as you will not need to get an electrician involved. The Schlage deadbolt will alert you when the batteries are low.
Forced entry alarm
The Schlage deadbolt has built in alarm technology and if it senses that somebody is trying to break in through the front door, it will set off an alarm.
You can purchase one of these from any hardware distributor - Bunnings, Mitre 10, PlaceMakers, Carters, Sopers Macindoe and ITM.
All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.