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    • I'm currently on paternity leave for our second child (hooray!). Now, more so than ever, I come home and find myself standing in front of my door, with a toddler, a bag over my shoulder, an empty water bottle in my hand, and a car seat containing an infant. Now I need to fish those keys out of my pocket to unlock and open the door. When I leave the house, I have to pack all of those same items into the car, then hopefully remember to head back to the door to lock it.

      It sounds silly, but I think a smart lock would remove just a little bit of friction from coming or leaving home. With a toddler and now an infant, I'll take any bit of less friction I can get. It will also ease some anxiety when I leave in a hurry then question myself 10 minutes later about whether or not I locked the door.

      The only lock on my door is a deadbolt, so it seems that there are several solutions out there. Really the only must-have is that the deadbolt automatically locks or unlocks when I leave the house or approach the door. Bonus points if I can lock or unlock remotely via an app. Double bonus points if I can lock or unlock via Amazon Alexa.

      Does anyone have one? If so, any tips or recommendations? If not, why?

    • I have a Schlage smart lock that I love and would highly recommend, but I'm not sure it quite meets this requirement:

      Really the only must-have is that the deadbolt automatically locks or unlocks when I leave the house or approach the door.

      I think you may be disappointed with locks that support "unlock on approach" functionality, unless what you want is simple geofencing that locks and unlocks when you're within a certain radius of your house. Anything more granular than that tends to be pretty unreliable.

      Personally, I also find geofenced unlocking sketchy, since it means my door would be unlocked while I'm in the house and anyone could just barge in. I do have my Schlage lock configured (via SmartThings) to lock when everyone has left the house though, which is nice if we forget to lock it when we leave.

    • I just installled a Schalge Sense and while it doesn’t auto unlock, its Homekit integration does allow a simple “Hey Siri, unlock front door” command to achieve the same objective. You can configure it to lock automatically on a timer.

      If you have a newer AppleTV that works as a HomeKit hub, you can achieve lock/unlock from anywhere. Otherwise I believe you’ll need schlage’s wifi adapter to achieve the same thing with Alexa.

      It’s been great!

    • We’ve had a gen 1 Kēvo for perhaps 2 years and it has been wonderful except for one thing, which seems to dog its Amazon reviews.

      On the change-your-life side, unlocking from your phone or Alexa is great. The neighbors text you that a package was delivered and you can unlock the door for them. Also, you can authorize a family member to get in when you are away.

      The bad thing that bothers people on Amazon is you touch it to open, blue lights flash, and 80% of the time it successfully recognizes that you have an authorized phone near the lock and unlocks. The other 20%, for some people, it doesn’t. No one seems to know why. We are one of those people. So you have to get your phone out of your pocket and unlock via the app.

      Some reviewers say gen 2 is better about it.

      A minor thing is now our door needs some varnish cleanup:

    • Thanks for the great information! Keep it coming. For those that chose Schlage, did you look at other brands like Yale or August? I’m curious about why you chose it over the others.

    • I did look at Yale. August was still in development hell at the time though. I chose Schlage because it’s simply a better lock. When I bought mine, the Schlage was the only ANSI grade 1 smart lock I could find. I don’t know if the others have improved since then.

      I had a Kevo for a while before the Schlage and didn’t like it. I had the problem Chris mentioned where it sometimes just wouldn’t open for me, and it was a real pain in the ass when that happened.

      The Schlage isn’t touch sensitive like the Kevo, but it’s been super reliable.

    • @bstrong what did you end up going with?

      We have 3 August Smart Lock Pro. The garage door lock is setup to automatically unlock based on geolocation of our iPhones. Also have a HomeKit automation that turns on our side light (that has a Lutron Caseta switch) when the door is unlocked and then turns it off when the door is locked. As well as an automation to lock all doors at 10:30 every day.

    • You know, I ended up shying away from the idea. 🙁It felt like the product I was looking for doesn't yet exist.

      I think the latest generation August lock comes the closest. Maybe the next generation will be the one that wins me over.

      Is the geo-fencing feature reliable? That's the killer feature for me.

    • The geo-fencing is very reliable for me and that lock is a 2nd gen (the other two are 3rd gen). Every once and a while, maybe every 3 months, it doesn’t work for my wife (I work from home, so rarely use the geo-fencing). Sometimes the batteries in the lock just need to be replaced or it just doesn’t work for whatever reason. I honestly should swap that one for one of the 3rd gen and see how it goes.

      What features were you looking for that August didn’t provide?

    • What features were you looking for that August didn’t provide?

      I just re-read the specs and it looks like the August Pro + Connect Wi-Fi Bridge gives me everything I want. I suppose what made me hesitant was not knowing how well the auto-lock/unlock feature works. This is the main reason I want a smart lock. I don't think auto-lock will be a problem, but I'm not as sure about auto-unlock. If I'm out walking and my GPS is not reporting very accurately will it unlock my door? Or is it using Bluetooth LE so that I need to be much closer to the door? I'm having trouble finding this info on the August site.

      I've also read reports of auto-unlock delays, leading to the home owner just standing at their door waiting for it to unlock. Some have said it was faster to just get the keys out and unlock the door the normal way. Maybe that was an older generation model?

      By the way, thank you chiming in on this! The idea of a smart lock fell off my radar after I got a bit discouraged and now I'm getting excited about it again!

    • The 3rd gen automatically chooses the best connection type in the app, based on your proximity to the lock (Bluetooth or WiFi).

      Auto-lock/unlock then triggers based on the geo-fence and the best available connection type. I’m sure your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth strength will determine how reliable this works. When you first setup the lock and Connect, it tells you if the signal is strong enough. You can also check the signal strength for both any time in the app.

      I mainly chose August because you can still use a key regardless, but also because it works with HomeKit.