Smart locks for the knob, not the deadbolt?

I’ve been on the fence about smart locks since they first came out, but seem to be getting more standardplace.

Are there any recommended products that replace the doorknob and not the deadbolt? I’d prefer to keep my old deadbolt as that’s plan B to secure the house. :slight_smile:

There are only a couple of options for that scenario, and we will need to know what country you are in, but before we go into all that, most of the current devices either just turn your existing deadbolt knob from the inside or replace it with a deadbolt of probably equal security. This is definitely true of the ones from the major lock companies like Yale and Schlage. They’ve just added a motor to move the bolt.

This deadbolt will continue to work manually even if power and internet are out or the motor itself breaks.

So you should have your “plan B” regardless of whether you go with a smart lock or not. :sunglasses:. And the deadbolt options are easiest to install.

You can also get ones that still have a manual key as an option if you prefer that.

I was on the fence for a while too. But I finally pulled the trigger. I’m glad I did. But I kept my old hardware because we might move. I will reinstall the old hardware and take the smart lock with me to my next house.

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Thanks. I’m in the US.

I meant plan B as I can lock the deadbolt manually then it doesn’t matter who I’ve given a code to. Maybe I’m just being funny. I don’t like the idea of leaving the doorknob unlocked and relying just on the deadbolt.

My first thought is: if that’s the case you’re not a candidate for a smart lock at all.

Second thought: Can’t you use the doorknob as backup for a smart deadbolt and get the same effect.

Regardless, if you lock both the knob and deadbolt and only one of them is unlockable via a code/app/whatever, you’ll still only be able to get in using a key…

FWIW, every house I’ve owned has had front door locksets with only the deadbolt being lockable.

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I think this varies a lot by neighborhood. What you described was true in my last neighborhood, but the one we live in now, both the knob and the deadbolt have keys and people use them. :sunglasses:

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As @HalD said, I think it’s a little more common to make the deadbolt smart and then use the lockable door knob as the privacy option. Just because of the devices that are available.

But there are some that are available to replace a knob, not a deadbolt. Or you can go with an electric strike.

Most of the smart locks that are not deadbolts are ugly, intended for warehouses or garage doors. Very industrial looking. And have push buttons rather than a touchpad. (Push buttons can be used by people wearing gloves). Schlage has several of these.

https://www.schlage.com/en/home/products/products-smart-locks/keypad-lock/keypad-lock-listing.html

Yale recently came out with a more modern looking version in their Assure line. You can get that one with push buttons or with a touchpad.

image

For any of these to work with smartthings you need to get the Z wave model. (First rule of home automation: the model number matters.)

You also need to measure to make sure there is room below your existing deadbolt.

For discussion of the electric strike option, see the following:

How i made my doors unlock... ON THE CHEAP (under $50) (electric strike)

@rboy is an expert on locks, and may know of something else. :sunglasses:

Just remember that if you go the route of making the door knob smart but leaving the deadbolt dumb, then you have to leave your deadbolt unlocked anytime you want someone else to be able to get in using the smart lever. To me, that feels less secure than a smart deadbolt and a dumb lever, but choice is good. :sunglasses:

There are also some smart locks that do have a privacy option that allows you to temporarily prevent anyone from opening the lock from the outside using the smart features. I know Yale has this on their “real living“ models, I’m not sure if it’s on the assure models or not.

Thanks. Good info.

I typically only lock the deadbolt when we go to bed and things like that.

Only we have keys for it. Some friends and family have keys for the door knob

I think some of it is from past experience with motorized deadbolts sometimes the bolt doesn’t engage the whole way into the frame. (Ie if the door is slightly out of whack).

I kinda like that Yale assure lever… good point on needing extra room.

Guess we’ll see what kind of deals pop up in the next few days. Even if it’s the deadbolt type and the price is right. It’ll just take some getting used to.

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Not trying to be too critical of your situation, so please take don’t take this post personally.

It strikes me that you’re sacrificing a lot of security for convenience, and unnecessarily so.

For starters, having dumb locks with 2 different keys is just inherently inconvenient. Even having dumb locks with the same key is a PITA.

Replacing your dumb locks with a smart deadbolt (and lockless handle) CAN give you the best of both worlds. You can program codes with all sorts of rules.

Just a few examples of things you can do:

Usercode modes:

  • Schedule based - Housekeeper’s code only works on Tuesdays between noon-4pm
  • Temporary codes - Housesitter’s code will only work from tomorrow through Sunday when you come home from your trip.
  • One time use - Buddy needs to borrow a hammer, so you give him a code to the garage man door that only works once.
  • Mode based - Codes can be enabled/disabled based on mode - Create a privacy mode (triggered by a routine) and it can disable the codes of anyone who doesn’t have critical access.

Extended convenience:

  • Lock codes trigger custom routines. You come home after dark, and the doorlock turns on interior lights.
  • Arm/Disarm your security system or SHM
  • Autolocking options - Set your door lock to lock after x amount of time when unlocked, so your house is always secure.
  • Trigger custom actions - Create a user code that doesn’t unlock the door, but opens your garage door
  • Notifications if lock jams or is tampered with

Etc. This is a pretty broad overview, but gives a good idea of how you can overcome your issue with a smart deadbolt, as well as gaining a TON of other useful convenience.

For about $200-250 you can buy a smart deadbolt, no-lock handleset, hide-a-key/lockbox for a physical key (just in case - I have one physically mounted on my garage man door just in case I ever get locked out), and a door/window sensor, and unlock an absurd amount of automation options, as well as resolving every issue you mentioned in this thread.

By contrast, most of the Smart Handlesets I’ve seen are at least that expensive just for the handleset, and leave you with obstacles to overcome (like carrying a key for the deadbolt).

My personal recommendation is the Schlage Connect deadbolt. It’ll be on sale for $150 on Black Friday (not a doorbuster AFAIK, so the price should be good all week). I’ve bought about 6 of them and never had an issue with any of them, and you can find them significantly cheaper than HD"s price (I’ve bought a few refurbished or used for $80-110 - again, no issues ever).

Mine have been so bulletproof that I’ve created a new issue for myself - I’ve lost the physical key to 2 of them and at some point need to figure out how to re-key them so I have physical access just in case there’s ever an issue with the smart functionality.

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Can you explain this? Security doors are usually this setup. Do you understand the point of having two locks on the same door? Inherently inconvenient to fasten a seatbelt too, but …

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@JDRoberts, can you advise one, which works with double lock Euro cylinders?

Like this one. It is used in my case, like a deadbolt, but it has double lock and keyhole on each side. No latch.

@GSzabados
For Euro profile locks like the one you illustrated the general approach is to have a key left on the inside and then attach a smart lock mechanism which turns the key to lock and unlock the lock.

You need to get a Euro cylinder which allows emergency override as normally if a key is left on the inside then it is not possible to use a key on the outside.

There are various makers of Euro profile smart locks but the one I like best is by Nuki.


Note: You can also get some Euro cylinders with knobs on the inside and for Nuki you can get various adapters to work with these. However being an Austrian company they only list makes of Euro cylinder from their country so you may have to guess which adapter to use.

They don’t themselves make a Smartthings integration but there is a 3rd party one here.

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Who else? Or does Yale have Euro profile version?

@GSzabados
Yale do have a Euro profile lock but it has issues.


It seems to be quite a different design to their other locks and hence does not support the same modules. As a result I do not believe it is possible to link to Smartthings.

There is


This requires and comes with their own special Euro cylinder and has less flexible integration options but can be used with Smartthings e.g. via Z-Wave.

After these there are a number of other lesser known brands and I don’t know how well they might work with Smartthings.



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No offense taken, I definitely understand all your convenience points.
That’s why I want to go with smart locks. Mostly for if I need to let a friend in, house sitter, etc.

My sticking point with the deadbolt is that I’ve seen the bolt not fully engage more than once. The locked doorknob is easy enough to know if it’s engaged. Just push/pull on the door after you close it.

My basement door for example, to lock the deadbolt when it’s humid or very warm out you need to push on the door while locking it. (Old door, wood swells, etc). I know that’s not the fault of the lock, I need to replace the door eventually or enlarge the strike opening for the bolt. I trust myself to make sure it’s locked, but can I trust a visitor when I’m out of town on vacation?

There’s a difference between inconvenience that brings a notable benefit and inconvenience that brings a perceived benefit.

There are lots of good reasons to have two locks on a door. A secured area that requires two people with different keys to access (such as a safe deposit box) is a good reason to deal with the inconvenience. Similarly, a situation like a retail store with a security lock only the GM has keys to makes sense for securing the building when it’s supposed to be fully closed.

However, in this case, it’s all about convenience. OP has given people access to his house, but he wants an override to be able to keep them out when it’s convenient for him.

The way he’s currently doing things is inherently less secure, because he’s not actually using his deadbolt most of the time. That makes kicking in his door a whole lot easier, which is (for the sake of this argument), the way an actual security risk is going to enter his house. Anyone OP has given a key to has already been deemed not to be a security risk.

In this case, the scenario OP described can be overcome without the inconvenience by using a smart deadbolt. Further, the smart lock gives him MORE security, because a deadbolt is significantly more secure than a handleset lock alone, which is the way OP said he primarily locks his door.

I totally see this point. It’s valid, but I still think a smart deadbolt is going to be a better option for a couple reasons:

First off, if you don’t trust that a visitor is going to make sure the deadbolt locks correctly, is there any reason to think they’re going to jiggle the handleset to make sure that lock engaged correctly? A lazy/uninformed visitor isn’t any more likely to do one than the other.

Secondly, the deadbolt (at least the Schlage one I mentioned, but I’d assume the others too) will screech at your visitor if the bolt doesn’t engage correctly. Even if they shut the door, hit the lock button and walk away, they’ll still be within earshot when it fails and the noise should cause them to investigate.

Finally, with a smart deadbolt, you can get a notification if the lock does jam, so at least you’ll know and be able to call your visitor to fix it or send someone else to correct the problem. With a handleset lock, even a smart one, you’ll have no idea if the door didn’t get latched correctly. You can also set it up to notify other people, so if you’re out of communication completely, the notification can go to your housesitter without requiring any interaction from you.

This is the ticket, and it’d be easy to do at the time you replace the deadbolt. If you’re going to change a doorknob (especially on that same door) in either scenario, why not correct the problem instead of accepting a less secure solution and leaving an easily resolved problem lingering?

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Well you’ve really helped put my mind at ease with the deadbolt option. (Warning screech, alerts, etc).

Is the ST integration pretty tight? What kind of real world battery life do you see with the schlage units you like and use? I assume they can work offline as well during a power/internet outage?

Maybe some of my concern comes from the early pin-pad (non-smart) deadbolts like we had at work. They were un-reliable. Sometimes you had to lock/unlock them multiple times just to get them to full lock/unlock. Especially with cold/weak batteries.

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My schlage locks areactually still on Wink (3 in 2 houses, as well as several rehab houses I’ve done).

The native ST integration sucks AFAIK, but there are a bunch of device handler options that make it better. The two most popular are RBoy’s apps (cost about $40 but includes all of his device handlers, not just smartlocks. He also has a few relating to thermostats, fans, cameras, etc), or one called lock manager (free). The cost of Rboy’s app and the fact that I still have a few devices on Wink is why I haven’t moved yet, but I’m finishing upgrading the couple switches (Lutron) that I still have on Wink and getting rid of it this weekend.

I installed a schlage on a friend’s house using ST and Lock Manager, and it’s decent, but I prefer the Wink integration, which is why I hadn’t changed yet. Lock manager gives you most of what I mentioned in the post, but there may be a few things I mentioned that it doesn’t. I also couldn’t get a few things to work in Lock Manager (like setting a custom auto-relock time), but the options are there. I’m assuming I just didn’t play with it long enough, and it’s my friend’s house, so I’ve never looked into it further. He likes the 30 second auto-lock timer that’s built into the lock, but I prefer a 5 minute wait so that I can bring in groceries, etc without fighting the lock.

I referred to Rboy’s documentation for a lot of the stuff I mentioned in this post, and honestly, it’s convinced me to buy it. Here’s hoping he has a black friday/cyber monday sale to save a couple bucks, haha.

As for battery life, it’s pretty good. Mine tend to last 9 months to a year and give plenty of notice when they’re going dead. You apparently shouldn’t use rechargeable batteries with the Schlage, so I just keep a stock of AA’s from Costco on hand.

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