by Robert Fox
In this review we're going to give you our take on the Schlage LINK Wireless Keypad Add-On Deadbolt, which is a Schlage deadbolt in the Camelot style which has the capability to be incorporated into your smart home security system.
Simply put, this Schlage LINK Wireless deadbolt provides increased security via Z-Wave-enabled remote access, and also adds convenience and protection to your family via the standard ANSI Grade 2 Schlage hardware people have come to trust.
Because this deadbolt is meant to be incorporated into your smart home via Z-Wave, this means that this Schlage LINK deadbolt can be just part of an overall plan to add security and convenience to your home, by way of a smart hub that uses this protocol. Because of the flexibility of Z-Wave-enabled systems, with the help of a hub, you can add hundreds of different products, from sensors, to automated lights, to cameras, alarms, and much more!
So, you can choose to add this deadbolt to a larger and more expansive system, or use it as a stand alone unit. Its your choice. Now we will dive in to explore more of the features of this Schlage LINK deadbolt.
But first, here's a quick video that provides an overview of the Schlage LINK Wireless Keypad Add-On Deadbolt:
Schlage, if you don't know, has been around since 1920 in San Diego, making locks. Founded by Walter Schlage, this company has been in the lock manufacturing business for almost a century. In terms of quality, Schlage has always been a leader, and you will find many of their locks on this website, as they are still at the top of the home security business after all these years. Their locks are extremely popular with home security aficionados, and so we always expect a lot from this company.
At this point, we must emphasize what we mentioned briefly in the beginning, which is that in order for you to tie in this Schlage LINK deadbolt with your smart home, you need a smart hub to access those features.
If you know anything about smart homes, you will know that any device that works off your smart phone does generally need to have a hub which it can "talk" to, in order to relay instructions to and from the hub. In this case, Schlage recommends its Schlage Bridge, which is essentially made to be paired with this Z-Wave capable deadbolt. From there, you download the app, and then from there the sky is the limit. Add as many devices as you like!
There is a bit of confusion as the Schlage Bridge is also known as the Nexia bridge, which is available to buy here on Amazon. It does of course cost extra, and is not included with the lock, which brings us to our next point…
If there's one thing people tend to hate, its getting the "upsell". Meaning, do you want this? Then you also need this as well to make it work. This is the case with the Schlage LINK deadbolt, insofar as adding smart capabilities to the lock. Basically, if you want to control your lock as part of a smart home system that works by remote, you do need to pay for the Nexia Bridge (or a different Z-Wave compatible bridge or hub), and, in addition to buying this particular bridge, you need to pay for a monthly fee of around $10 to keep the network going. This, for many casual users of this lock, will be a deal breaker. But hear us out, as there are two sides to this story…
If you buy this lock and do not opt for the LINK part of things, you are still left with a great lock. Of course, there are other good commercial grade Schlage locks you might want to look at that don't offer smart capabilities, and don't charge you for the option of having them as this one does.
On the other side of the coin, many people go about equipping their smart home like this - rather than buy a smart product first (in this case, the Schlage LINK) which necessitates the user buying the hub or bridge to make it work, instead more people are buying the bridge first, accepting that it comes with a fee (or not), and then goes about selecting a variety of cool home automation products to kickstart their smart home, and build from there.
From this perspective, it does make sense that if you have a Z-Wave enabled bridge like the Nexia (Schlage) Bridge, one product you might like to have in your arsenal of smart gear is a lock like this Schlage LINK.
It all depends on your strategy for equipping your smart home. If your plan is to make a "smart" home, then you will eventually need a hub or bridge anyway. It will then be a matter of which one.
Otherwise, if you just want a quality lock and don't care about the connectivity with the rest of your smart devices, then there's really no need to choose this particular Schlage model as this lock is made to be connected to the rest of your smart home.
At this point, you may be wondering if there is an alternative to the Nexia Bridge, which uses Z-Wave, but has NO fees. New hubs and bridges used to control smart devices are coming along all the time, but one which we'll mention here which is the Vera line of home automation hubs. This is the VeraLite, and there is also the Vera Edge. Vera does sell more than just hubs, but for the purpose of this article, we just wanted to mention two hubs that don't involve fees, as Vera declares on their website straight away.
On its own, the Schlage LINK lock itself is still a very solid piece of hardware which features keyless entry via its backlit touch pad. As we mentioned earlier, it is a certified ANSI Grade 2 lock, which means that its a difficult lock to get past for any criminal, unless they come prepared with a veritable armament, which isn't likely.
This lock is electronic by nature, meaning that it runs off of batteries, although unlike most battery operated devices, these batteries should last you a year or two before you have to change them, depending on how frequently you use the lock.
One feature which makes this lock unique from similar models is its electronic clutch. One customer who purchased the lock named R. Laidman explains it thusly:
With or without the being connected to a smart Z-Wave hub, this particular Schlage deadbolt lock still has many great features:
There really is something for everyone with this lock. It is secure, and it has the ability to be part of a larger system. You can go with the Nexia bridge and pay a fee, or you can find a Z-Wave hub that doesn't have fees if you wish. In terms of installation and functionality, the Schlage LINK is easy to install and use. We hereby give this lock a solid 4 STARS!
About Robert Fox
Rob Fox is a former hydro worker, who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. His hobbies include cribbage, golf, locksmithing, and cooking.