Battery Life for smart Doorlocks


#1

Continuing the discussion from Hub 2.0 with new install:

I get very good battery life with my wireless door locks, a year to 14 months for 4 AAs.

The main thing affecting battery life on a door lock is how often it has to wake up.

So the first thing is to look at your network traffic and see if you have set up polls or refreshes that might not really be needed. Ideally polling should be limited to no more than 5% of network traffic. Nothing kills batteries faster than frequent polling.

Next is just how often the lock is actually used. Ours gets used about 20 times a day. But in some households it could be over 200. It just varies.

Third, of course, is the quality of the batteries themselves.

Fourth, locks with anti bump or anti theft built in may wake up a lot more often to evaluate vibration, even trucks going by, even if ultimately the lock decided it’s not an alarm-worthy event.

So there’s definitely a lot of variation. Wired locks are an option, but typically require replacing both door and frame.

An alternative is an automatic door opener which has the wired side on the wall and a mechanical actuator to open the door. Open Sesame makes one. But these are very visible from the inside, not everyone likes the look or the cost. They do preserve the look from the street, though.


(Scubaaadan) #2

well if your setup only takes 2 AA batteries, then it is already twice as nice as the kwickset 910s that I have (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UHQHMO/). Which model do you have?

I didn’t configure anything special for polling frequency and I’m not sure how to I would.
Maybe that is a part of it, but as it was I didn’t think it polled/refreshed often enough… If anyone used the lock manually then the ST app was out of sync with the real state of the lock. We’d have to manually click refresh in the app anytime we wanted to believe the status in ST. It didn’t seem to update very often without manual refresh.


#3

Sorry, my bad, it’s 4 A’s, not 2. But they do last a little over a year. Mine are Yale.

You might need to look at the log for your hub to see if you’re running polling events, I don’t know if they show up in the mobile app activity log for the lock or not. But you said you took the batteries out, right?

Do you remember which SmartApps you’ve installed?

Viewing the Activity Log for an Individual Device

Oh, I know this next bit won’t apply to you since you took your locks off the network, but for those playing along at home, you can check the activity log for any one device as follows. Data is only kept for 7 days, and I don’t know if polling events show up here or not.

  1. open the mobile app to the dashboard and go to the Things page.

  2. tap on the little gear icon for the device you want to check. This will open the details page for that device.

  1. tap the Activity tile to see the log of recent device events.


#4

I was expecting to burn through batteries also from what I’ve read before installing ours. So far, my battery level still indicates 98%. This schlage Camelot was installed around Christmas.


(Geko) #5

In my case (also Schlage Camelot), battery level was misleading. It went from 96% to zero in 24 hours and the door lock died without giving me a chance to replace batteries.


(Michael) #6

I have a Schlage lock that I installed almost 9 months ago and my battery is currently 79%. I have been very pleased and highly recommend.


#7

Unfortunate, I’m sure that was annoying! Could be a bad battery sensor in the lock or a bad battery. (I’m assuming it was a conventional alkaline battery, not a rechargeable. Rechargeables are notorious for sudden drops.)

We last replaced batteries the week of Halloween, four and a half months ago, and they’re currently showing 83%, which is about on par with the previous year for us.


(Greg) #8

My Camelot is at 96% after 9 months


#9

From an engineering standpoint, that would concern me a little bit that the battery sensor might not be reading correctly. (96% is likely top range, the equivalent of 100%.) or it’s not being sent correctly.

If it’s a door that gets used at least 3 or 4 times a day, you might want to test further.

First, walk over to the lock and get a battery report directly if it has that feature. If the report is different than the SmartThings report by 10% or more, talk to support@smartthings.com .

If the lock also reports 96 - 100% and you have a separate battery tester, I would consider taking out the batteries and testing them to see if it’s a true reading. If it is, great! If not, that should be a warranty issue.


(Greg) #10

Thanks. I do keep an eye on it and have seen the % change. The lock is used about 2x a day, typically from the inside, so I think that helps.


#11

Definitely! Some back door locks, for example, only get opened (manually) to let a dog out and use very little battery power as long as they’re not being polled. In fact reporting on battery life may be the most battery intensive thing they do. :wink:


(DLee) #12

As an experiment, I have lithium AA batteries in two of my four Kwikset 914 locks. The locks on lithium make an industrial sounding powerful lock/unlock noise compared to alkaline battery powered locks. They seem to last forever. Lithium seems like a good choice if your lock gets cold. Also helps push through tight higher friction locks that tend to use more power with each lock/unlock command.

Battery level still reports as 88% on one, 100% on the other after 4 or 5 months so I’m going to assume the reporting with lithiums on Kwikset locks is not accurate. .


#13

Interesting! I’ve heard anecdotal reports that lithium batteries give inaccurate charge readings, but I’m not sure why that would be so.

I like Duracell quantums (alkaline) on a cost basis:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/10/batteries-that-last-when-you-need-them/index.htm


(DLee) #14

I’ve been following those battery charts for years. Don’t forget to add the $100 per hour cost (your personal time cost) of the labor of changing alkaline batteries with an alan wrench and sometimes in the bitter cold. :slight_smile: If it was about cost instead of convenience we would not be using expensive automated locks in the first place.

That said, out of curiosity I’m testing two locks with lithium and two without lithium. The death curve for lithium probably starts slow and is probably rapid when it hits end of life. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I enjoy the extra confidence in my manly powerful lock closings keeping my family safe.


(Geko) #15

I’m sure the lock is not reporting the battery level correctly. I’ve replaced the batteries two month ago (yes, I use alkaline batteries) and it still reports 99% (as of yesterday). Now, my lock is used a lot - 6 to 10 times a day, sometimes more. I measured battery voltage today and got 1.49 volts on all for batteries, which is around 75% at best.


#16

Does sound like a bad lock sensor then. :scream:

I’m using the Yale, which seems pretty accurate at least down to 30%, which is when I replace them. (I move the batteries over to the TV remotes, so I do get full use out of them, I just leave a higher margin on door locks.)


(Geko) #17

Now, the question is whether I got a defective lock or is it a common issue across the entire brand (Schlage Camelot deadbolt)? I would be interested to know if other Camelot users have similar issue.

I’d be very suspicious of this reading, even considering light use. Can you measure your battery voltage?


(Dave N) #18

One thing to note here from the start of this thread is that commercial locks like the ones we use at work on card readers power the release mechanism in the door frame and not the rotating lock mechanism. If Kwikset (and others) were to come out with a Z-wave lock that acted like the commercial locks we would be laughing - 12 VDC (or 24 VDC on longer runs) following the alarm wiring (typically) and your done!
I have had the same batteries in my kitchen door for 6 months and they are at 60% (Kwikset). This lock in manually operated except for the Good Night which locks it if we forgot. The front door is probably on it’s 4th set of batteries in 10+ months as it unlocks when we get home and relocks in 15 minutes. I manually operate it but my wife never does.


(Eric Anderson) #19

My Yale yrd-240 locks do not display battery level? How do I fix?


#20

I’m having the same issue, does not display battery level . Anyone know what the deal is?