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Electronic deadbolts can make your life much easier by eliminating the need for physical keys. Besides increasing security, electronic deadbolts help you save both your time and money.
Yes, you’ve read correctly – they can help you save some money. Thanks to keyless features, you no longer need to get a new key made each time your kid loses or damages one.
At the same time, many people opt for electronic deadbolts because they’re simply tired of the look or somewhat limited functionality of mechanical deadbolts. That’s fair enough, as there are pros and cons to both types of deadbolts.
That said, this article is all about electronic models.
Choosing the right electronic deadbolt lock for your home can be tricky and confusing. It requires much more than simply picking out the best deal from the shelf.
Electronic deadbolt locks nowadays offer all sorts of interesting features, which makes finding the right fit even more confusing.
To make it easier for you, we’ve come up with this guide where we discuss all you need to know about electronic deadbolts and how they can help you turn your home into a modern fortress.
Here we talk about the various types of electronic deadbolts, characteristics of a quality electronic deadbolt, pricing information, and more.
Here is exactly what we are going to cover today:
- Different types of electronic deadbolts
- Characteristics of a Quality Electronic Deadbolt
Let’s start by mentioning different types of electronic deadbolts available.
Different types of electronic deadbolts
There are several different types of electronic deadbolts available on the market; therefore, you will need to learn the different deadbolt options available to you and how they work before you can decide which type is best for your needs and your particular situation.
Here are some of the most common types of electronic deadbolts:
Keypad and Combination deadbolts
A keypad electronic deadbolt is one that requires users to enter a pin code to unlock the door.
This type of deadbolt runs off of a battery that’s built into the mechanism somewhere, usually on the inside of the door, near the thumb turn.
These locks are incredibly easy to install and they allow users to set up different pin codes for different people.
These locks usually have a touchscreen, however, there are models that also have physical buttons you have to press for in order to unlock the door.
Some models also come with basic set of smart features such as Bluetooth connectivity or NFC readers. They however lack the ability of connecting to the internet.
Keyless and Wireless deadbolts
Keyless and wireless deadbolts are some of the most popular models. These locks allow you to connect to link them to your wi-fi connection and control them from anywhere in the world via your smartphone.
Thanks to the wireless connectivity features these deadbolts are also known as smart deadbolts.
Many of these locks also offer Bluetooth capability, which can automatically unlock your door once you approach it within a certain distance.
Next, we talk about biometric deadbolts.
Biometric deadbolts are a popular, up-and-coming door lock option perfect for those who seek to take their home security to the next level.
Biometric deadbolts let you unlock your door by having your fingerprint or your eye scanned. Biometric locks provide excellent security as fingerprints are all unique and incredibly difficult to forge.
These locks work by scanning a fingerprint and converting it into a numerical template, which tells the system to unlock the door if the scanned fingerprint matches the one stored in the lock’s memory.
To learn more about biometric security systems and their advantages please read our Guide to Biometric Security Systems.
Unfortunately, biometric deadbolts are completely dependent on connectivity and electricity. If the lock can’t connect to the server or it runs low on batteries, it might not scan your fingerprint properly.
Thus, we advise you looking for a model with a backup option like a keypad or mechanical lock feature so you can still enter your home if your fingerprint cannot be scanned.
Now when you know what types of electronic deadbolts are available to choose from, we can discuss what characteristics you should look for when buying one.
Moving onto characteristics of a quality electronic deadbolt.
Characteristics of a Quality Electronic Deadbolt
We’ll start with integrations…
Many people want their door locks to be able to integrate with Alexa, Google Home, Wink, or SmartThings, so they can unlock them remotely and check who is home. Unfortunately, only smart electronic deadbolts have this feature.
These locks also let you integrate them with your home security systems such as surveillance systems, cameras, alarms and more.
Some smart locks such as Schlage Connect Camelot Touch Screen Deadbolt even have a built in alarm which can alert you of all of your door operations and possible threats.
Next, we talk about low battery indicators.
Low battery indicator
All electronic deadbolts work on batteries which eventually run out of juice.
So, no matter what type of electronic deadbolt you choose, go with one that has a low-battery indicator which can alert you that battery is running low on juice and needs to be replaced.
This is very important feature, because it will help you avoid being locked out due to a dead battery.
Of course, if your lock has a keyway, you will be able to use your key to unlock the door and enter your home.
As your lock will likely be outside, it will be susceptible to weather extremes and vandalism.
High-quality locks are designed to be waterproof, coldproof and heat resistant. Some manufacturers even offer guarantee against damage caused by vandalism.
You shouldn’t hesitate spending a bit more on a lock made by a trusted manufacturer such as Schlage or Medeco.
These manufacturers are well-famous for designing durable locks that stand well against both weather elements and potential burglars.
Speaking about durability, we have to mention ANSI grading system…
All door locks are scored through the ANSI Grading System which is a numeric representation of how easily burglars can move past this type of protection.
All exterior residential locks have ANSI grades between 1 and 3.
On the ANSI scale, grade 1 offers the highest level of security and is often described as commercial grade.
Locks with this grade must withstand 800,000 cycles, six door strikes and a 360-pound weight test. These locks are also known as heavy duty locks.
Grade 2 locks are not as strong as Grade 1, but they still offer more protection than common home locks.
Grade 3 locks meet the basic residential requirements. These locks are not as secure as Grade 2 locks and aren’t recommended for use on your main entry point. They should be used on secondary entry points instead.
We always recommend choosing a Grade 1 or 2 lock for extra layer of security.
Drill resistance deals with how easy it is for a burglar to disable your lock cylinder using a normal drill and hardened drill bits to drill through it.
Drilling is one of major reason you should never use a standard, non-lockable thumb-turn deadbolt. Burglars can simply drill through the door, create a small hole and then use a stiff wire to unlock your deadbolt.
Luckily, lock manufacturers have come up with a solution to this burning issue. The solution lies in high-quality deadbolts made of hardened materials which make drilling significantly harder.
We hope this article gives you a good idea about what electronic deadbolt locks are all about, and in so doing, assist you to choose the right lock that works for you.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!