For a relatively small investment, a smart-home lock system can improve life at home by eliminating one of its greatest littles annoyances—misplacing front door keys. How elaborate the set-up becomes depends on you—some simply want a smart-home security program with a user-friendly front door, while techier types can connect and control all aspects of home maintenance.
To get a feel for new generation smart locks, I tried two products from Schlage, which has been in the lock business for more than 100 years. They introduced Encode Smart Wi-Fi deadbolt in 2019. It allowed users to create multiple unique codes, set up recurring access for tradespeople, dog-sitters, support workers, cleaners etc. Codes can be deleted or changed endlessly, which makes it a good choice for family visits or short-term rental security.
The Encode Plus—out early 2023 here – does all that and more as Apple HomeKit functionality is added to the design. The New York Times tech-testing Wirecutter are fans, saying it’s one of the easiest smart locks to install and use. I certainly found that to be true with both sets, and I can see endless ways in which they’d make my life easier – including not have to scramble for keys and glasses.
Also good to know:
- Built-in WiFi simplifies set-up and ensures a secure connection for remote control.
- This brand has its own app, and operates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- It can be unlocked by holding an iPhone or Apple Watch nearby.
- With a home key in Apple Wallet, there’s no need to unlock the phone.
- Users can voice command with Siri.
Smart substance and style
Camelot is based on traditional soft curves, while Century has cleaner, more contemporary lines. Both come in matte black and satin nickel. Either option is particularly effective, I think, in matte black, especially when the finish is repeated throughout the home in lighting, accessories, and hardware.
At the front door, black hardware makes an impact when its paired with graphic white and black floor tiles. Slim-lined silver hardware is a crisp compliment to black doors.
Use gold and bronze metal finishes with creamy, buttery whites to add warmth and polish.
Black accents add depth to a room with black and plum-toned furniture and textiles. In an all-white room, they add interest and punctuation, especially when paired with black window trim. Soften them with touches of natural wood.
Schlage gets extra points with me for also offering lots of style and finish options in accessories, including door handles, knockers, hinges, house numbers, as well as some very cute decorative glass knobs and handles that I have a soft spot for. That makes it so much easier to create consistency-a hallmark of great design-across the home.
If you’re bold type, or you’re not ready for a complete overhaul of fixtures and hardware, don’t be afraid to mix metals—combinations of bronze, brass, copper, stainless, blackened steel, gold tones, and matte black are also set to emerge in 2023.
NOTE TO READERS: This is a sponsored post, but this article was neither reviewed or approved prior to publication. I partner with Schlage because I believe they make great products at affordable prices, and they understand the decorative value of well-designed door hardware.