Smart Locks are the ultimate gateway gift to give somebody that’s interested in starting a smart home or looking to add something new. They’ve evolved over the years and added some very customer-friendly options. When I reviewed my first smart lock about 4-5 years ago, it was only compatible with an iPhone (though, to be fair, it was during the days that the Android Bluetooth capability nut was still being cracked), and it required me to change my front door key with it. Then inner deadbolt replacements became all the rage, allowing you to turn your existing key set into a smart lock.
Now, you’ve got all sorts of options. Some smart locks can automatically unlock as you approach the door by proximity. Some can network with other smart home products. And there are now even bump proof locks that leave your front door completely keyless. This blog will explore some of the options available to you to help you find the right lock to gift this holiday season.
Why are smart locks a good holiday smart home pick?
There are a few reasons why Smart Locks are a solid gift choice for the home automation enthusiast (or novice). Smart locks are extremely easy to install, requiring almost no technical know-how and no technical skills. In about 15-20 minutes, you can turn your traditional deadbolt into a smart one. They don’t require any handyman skills at all. Trust me. I’m not to be trusted around power tools and my record for installing an August lock from start to finish is about 6 minutes.
This easiness of installation is a huge benefit honestly. A smart lock isn’t a huge project or undertaking where you have to install things into walls or worry about wiring. Smart locks are battery powered and typically run off Bluetooth connections (or, in some cases, Wi-Fi, with the right hookups for remote access) and don’t require much upkeep besides the odd firmware update and change of batteries. Depending on the smart lock you gift, your recipient may have different customization options, including dishing out virtual keys to guests or cleaners/dog walkers, or even creating a whole front door ecosystem with security cameras. All you have to do now is choose a smart lock.
Choosing a Smart Lock to Gift This Holiday Season
When choosing the smart lock you want to gift this year, you should really consider who you’re buying the smart lock for and what this gift may lead to. If your recipient is likely to just use the smart lock as-is and nothing else, you have a lot of choices. If you believe that this gift will lead to other things down the road (like doorbell cameras or other smart home products they might want to connect), then you should consider doing a bit of research into predicting what their next steps may be.
You should also think about some of the problems you wish to solve for your recipient. If, for example, they’re worried about their locks being picked or bumped, you could always look at something like the Nest x Yale Lock. The Nest x Yale combines the powerful home automation networking capabilities of Nest with the industry leading lock strength of Yale. The smart lock unit itself is completely keyless and functions through your smart device or a keypad. This means that the lock is completely bump proof and cannot be picked.
There might also be that immediate need to get keys into the hands of any guests coming to stay with you over the holidays. Traditionally, this meant that you needed to run down to the local hardware store and cut a bunch of hard keys and worry about collecting them as people left. With the right smart lock (like the Yale Assure), you can dish out virtual guest keys to each person to allow them to come and go as they please, and then set expiration dates on them. No more fuss, no need to cut keys, and definitely no need to collect them back.
If there aren’t really any problems that you have to solve with this smart lock, then it’s back to thinking how to fulfill those overall needs. Here are a few suggestions of smart locks you can choose from.
Automate with The August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock is the one that I currently have on my front door (I upgraded from the now defunct Ok-I-Dokeys), and I consider it to be the easiest installation of them all.
The August Lock is so well connected, featuring its own line of additional products it works with (like a keypad, a Wi-Fi bridge—which is included in the Wi-Fi package I linked, and a doorbell camera), as well as partnering with just about every other home automation networking system you can think of.
The box for the latest generation of the Wi-Fi lock has so many networking connections that the icons take up parts of 3 sides of the box. The most important of these might be the fact that August Works with Nest, which gives you access to numerous additional compatibility options.
And if you have the Wi-Fi bridge and add the doorbell cam, you can use that to scan your guests at the door and then unlock to let them in if you need to.
August even has a partner delivery option for goods and services, but that’s currently only available in the US. Still, it may find its way to Canada in due time.
If you’d like to learn more about the August ecosystem, please check this review that I did of multiple products earlier in the year.
Automate with Yale Locks
If you’ve seen my previous reviews of Yale Assure locks, they’re one of the newer entrants into the Canadian smart lock market, but it’s been a long time coming. Yale has been an industry leader in lock technology for over 100 years and are trusted by banks to keep their money safe. With that type of confidence, why wouldn’t you want to look at Yale to protect your front door?
Yale was the first smart lock manufacturer I’d seen that offered keyless bump proof locks, and to date I haven’t seen anybody else offer these. Yale also offers keyed entries (combined with a touchpad) and a lot of different additional key capabilities that make it easy for you to distribute guest access to your home.
Yale has also formed a recent partnership with August (more information from my preview blog on that is available here) which allows you to enjoy all of the capabilities associated with those services while providing you with the different functions that only Yale has.
The “Connected by August” feature is a definite game changer for the modern smart lock, and it definitely positions Yale’s unique take on the smart lock in a much more competitive light.
Of course, there are other options available, but these are among the most popular locks there are, as well as being the ones that have the most networking power. There is a full range of smart locks waiting for you to browse on the Best Buy Canada website, and many of these you can pick up right now at your local Best Buy store.
Hopefully you’ve found the lock that you’d like to gift this holiday season. There aren’t many more shopping days to go!