I’m putting on my techie hat. Can you see it? It’s a baseball cap with a joke about binary code. Not really, but consider this a warning that this post is about to get extremely technical — with loads of boring screenshots of apps. For real.
We recently partnered with Schlage to try out the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt, which was VERY EXCITING because we love the idea of ditching housekeys in favour of custom lock codes.
Since we have two children who are not really old enough to carry housekeys, it’s been amazing to see them come and go — safely — using their own lock codes.
(They love it so much, in fact, that they walk outside, shut the door, lock it, step back, and wait for their sibling to get “their turn” unlocking, shutting, and locking the door. It’s pretty cute.)
As I mentioned in my original post, you don’t NEED to use any kind of app for the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt. Nope, you can operate it 100% using the keypad on the front of it — even add lock codes, delete lock codes, etc.
To set up a custom lock code WITHOUT using an app, just tap in your six-digit programming code (located on a sticker on the back of your device, as well as on the back of your manual), press 1 and then enter the desired code twice to add it. So far, we have four personalized codes in there (one for each member of the family) but we can have up to 30.
You can also set up a special three-step alarm feature where the door beeps every time it’s opened or closed, or even sets off an alarm if the door appears to be tampered with (i.e. someone enters the wrong code over and over in an attempt to guess the code and break in).
So why, you ask, would anyone bother getting an app if their Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt can be fully operated without one?
Once I found out that my Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt had the ability to be controlled FROM MY PHONE as well as from my beloved Alexa (Echo Dots) all over the house? I SIMPLY HAD TO HAVE THOSE FEATURES.
In order to do the really fancy stuff, like command that your door be locked using only your voice, you need a “hub” to act as the middleman.
I chose the Samsung SmartThings Hub* and ordered one on Amazon.
When it arrived, I pounced on the box and did the set-up immediately. It was NOT as straightforward as I’d hoped (you’ll see why in a minute), so I feel the need to be extremely boring here and explain it step by step.
This will be annoying for people who don’t actually have a hub like this, but incredibly helpful for people who maybe landed here because they were Googling frustrated statements like “Samsung SmartThings not working with lock!!!” (That was me.)
(I didn’t use the network cable mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to move the fireplace thingy to access ours.)
(There are two different ones, which I’ll explain later. Just trust me for now and get this one.)
OK, that wasn’t too bad, was it?
Now I’m going to show you how to get your new hub to “talk” to your door lock so your phone can lock the door and unlock the door from wherever you are.
Now your deadbolt is paired with your hub, so you can use the SmartThings (Samsung) app anytime to check to see the current status of your door (whether it’s locked or unlocked), and tap it to lock it or unlock it.
So now you’re all set! You can lock and unlock your door manually, using your lock code, or using your phone with a simple tap.
Oh … you want to be able to command Alexa to lock the door, right? Of course you do! (I certainly did.) Ready for more instructions?
I find it hilarious to make her say funny things before or after she locks it, like “Your home is now in lockdown mode” or “The property has been secured.”
NOTE: Alexa is not yet able to unlock doors, for safety reasons. (Can you imagine a burglar yelling through a window to unlock the door, and her doing it??? Or a toddler, for that matter.)
Now there’s one final step — one last TECHIE TRICK — you can do with your Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt.
It’s to use an app to create new lock codes, rename lock codes, delete lock codes, create a temporary code and text it to someone, and review a full list of all active lock codes.
Ready for it?
I cannot explain why, but the other one simply doesn’t allow you to do these things. It must be the classic app. Yet if you try to skip the newer app and just use the Classic app, you can’t seem to add your lock. Ask me how I know. (Lots and lots of frustration with my hub as I tried to make this feature work.)
This is basically a “mini-app” within the larger app.
(Do NOT hit “Remove” because I did — it seemed like the automatic place to click! Poor app design, really.)
You can lock the door, unlock the door, etc.
It’s easy to add new lock codes (even text them directly to the person!) or manage the lock codes within your family.
Since I’d originally created our lock codes right on the door itself, I deleted them all (they were unnamed, since you can’t program names into the door) and re-added them with our proper names.
By going into the “History” section, I can now see a log of who locked the door and when.
While it certainly wasn’t neccessary to go to these extra steps with our Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt, I’m really glad I figured it all out.
I think it’s fun to be able to yell “Alexa, please lock the front door!”
I think it’s fun to be able to tap something in my phone, from anywhere, and lock or unlock the front door.
I think it’s fun when the door automatically locks at a certain point in the day, along with Alexa spouting a witty little message about the security of our home.
Our new smart deadbolt is pretty awesome without all these techie tricks, but I must say, those tricks have made it even more enjoyable to use — at least in this tech-loving household. 😉