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- Whether you regularly host guests, don’t want to carry around keys, or you just want to let trusted people into your home, smart locks are a helpful tool.
- For nearly a century, Schlage has manufactured consumer and commercial locks in the United States.
- I liked the Schlage Connect because of its forced entry alarm, auto-lock feature, and the ability to store up to 30 user codes.
- The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt costs just about as much as other smart deadbolts (currently $US163 on Amazon), is rated to last through one million open/close cycles, and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
Over the years, my wife and I have rented out rooms in our home to strangers using services like Airbnb. One of the hassles is coordinating the handoff of the keys. There are a number of solutions to this problem, but until recently, we didn’t try any of them. Then, we got smart: a smart lock to be precise.
As we were renovating our home, we knew we wanted the guest room entrance to have a keyless entry. Schlage – founded in 1920 and one of the top names in the industry – was generous enough to send us their Schlage Connect to test out for free. Below is our experience with it.
My first experiences with the Schlage Connect Deadbolt
I don’t have any experience installing deadbolts so I was pretty intimidated by the task. It was only out of necessity – we had guests coming to stay in a few days – that I finally mustered up the courage to take on this task.
Thanks to the outdated design of our turn-of-the-century home, I first had to adjust the depth and size of the mortise – the hole where the deadbolt goes into the frame. I didn’t know the first thing about mortising. I didn’t even know what mortising was. Fortunately, I had a friend who showed me how to do it. With a chisel and a hammer, she helped me chip away at the hole. I also learned how to create an indent and drill holes for installing the door plate through which the bolt would slide.
It was a fun learning process, but it added a fair amount of time to the installation process. Another hiccup I had was failing to uncoil the internal power cord correctly when putting the assembly together. I had to disassemble the setup and redo a couple steps to make the cord reach. When all was said and done, it took me a little over an hour to install the deadbolt. Still, I was impressed with how easy the lock was to install. And, if you have a newer home, you won’t likely have to do any of the mortising I had to do, which will drastically cut down on the installation time.
How the Schlage Connect Deadbolt performed
The lock comes with a unique programming code and user codes. I recommend changing these immediately just to be safe and to get comfortable with the lock. I set the user code to be the last four digits of our guests’ phone number to make it easy for everyone to remember. And, after they left, it was simple to just delete the code.
You can store up to 30 user codes between 4 and 8 digits in length. It’s useful to give different people different codes so you can track the comings and goings of these individuals. You may not want to try this with family members, but it’s useful for certain situations. For instance, if someone is supposed to feed your dog while you’re on vacation, you can give them a code and track whether they followed through.
One of my favourite features was the auto-lock. With this, the deadbolt will automatically lock after 30 seconds. This is helpful because our kids and their friends hang out in the guest room when it’s not in use, and they tend to forget to lock doors. The Connect doesn’t come with auto-lock automatically enabled, but it’s easy enough to set.
Another great feature is the alarm. You can set an alarm to sound whenever the door opens or closes, the lock is tampered with, or when significant force is applied to the door. I only set the 90-decibel alarm to go off when someone was trying to force their way in. In testing, it didn’t take too much force for me to set the alarm off. Fortunately, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the lock.
We didn’t have any performance issues with the Schlage Connect, and due to the ANSI Grade 1 rating of the lock, it should last for many years to come. Grade 1 is the highest rating a lock can have. In order to get this rating, the lock must be able to handle a million open/close cycles and withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds.
Some concerns about the deadbolt
Unfortunately, I was not able to test out the Schlage Connect’s Z-wave connectivity. My smart home hub, which also serves as my router, only supports devices with the Zigbee protocol. Fortunately, just this month, Schlage launched a Zigbee-certified version of the Connect that also works with the Amazon Key app. It costs $US199 right now. Or, you can pair it with the Amazon Cloud cam for $US269. Aside from working with Zigbee protocol hubs and the app, the lock appears to have a lot of the same functionality as the generation I tested.
With a Z-Wave smart home hub, you can lock and unlock the door remotely. You can also program user codes using your smartphone rather than directly on the lock. If this sort of functionality is important to you, make sure you have a Z-Wave hub.
If you have regular houseguests, then a smart lock is a must.
If for some reason our Schlage Connect were to disappear today, I would buy a new one – probably the new Zigbee version to work with my smart home hub. It’s such a useful security tool thanks to the three alarm modes, auto-locking, and easy to program codes. Plus, you don’t need the help of a professional to install it. Just make sure you have a handywoman nearby if you need to do any mortising.