In today’s technological era, smart devices are becoming increasingly popular in our daily lives. We can see a variety of smart devices everywhere, including smart door locks, smart robots, smart homes, and more. In this article, we will focus on smart locks, including types of smart door locks, how to choose them, smart locks tips. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of smart door locks and it might help to find your perfect match.
Smart locks are a kind of lock that offer several benefits over traditional locks, including user identification, increased physical security, remote access, and integration with other smart home devices. They are also a kind of electronic locks, but they can be connected to the internet, so they are more functional and intelligent.
Smart locks come in various types, and they can be installed on different types of doors, such as front doors, back doors, garage doors, and even interior doors. With modern technology, these locks can be designed for keyless entry, biometric authentication, remote locking, unlocking, etc. In the following article, we will provide a more detailed introduction to the different types of smart door locks from various perspectives.
Exploring the Different Smart Lock Types
Types by Place of Use
Hotel door locks
As the name suggests, hotel smart locks are locks designed specifically for use in hotels and are an indispensable part of the hotel management system. Keycard unlock is the primary way to unlock the door. What’s more, with a key card, hotel guests can grant access to hotel rooms, elevators, and other common areas. With the development of high-tech, modern hotel locks also come with added features such as smart card technology, digital key unlock, and NFC function.
Home door locks
Home smart locks are high-tech devices that offer various intelligent features in addition to traditional door locks. They come in many models and options, such as video calling, electronic doorbells, keyless entry, remote unlocking, and creating temporary access codes, among others.
Typically installed on exterior doors, home smart locks communicate with the homeowner’s smartphone or smart hub using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Z-Wave technology. They provide a more convenient and secure way to access your home without the need for a physical key.
Apartment door locks
Apartment smart locks are door locks that combine smart home systems and smart hotel solutions. Compared to hotel locks and home locks, they have stronger functionality and customizability. They can be managed by an online platform, allowing remote control by a smartphone app, and integrating with other smart home devices.
They are commonly used in residential properties, including long-term and short-term rentals, and other living environments, and can also be used for campus security. This type of lock is commonly used in digital key unlocks, password unlocks, card unlocks, fingerprint unlocks, etc.
Security door locks
Security door locks are locks designed to provide extra protection against unauthorized entry, particularly for villa security doors. They are typically more expensive, sturdy, and durable than regular intelligent locks and offer additional features such as anti-pry or anti-drill components and reinforced strike plates.
Office door locks
Office smart locks are specially designed for sliding glass doors in office buildings. They typically use fingerprint unlock or password unlock.
There are generally two types of sliding glass door locks: mortise locks and surface-mounted locks. Mortise locks are embedded within the door frame and provide greater security, while surface-mounted locks are installed on the door itself and are easier to install.
Electromagnetic door locks
Electromagnetic smart locks use electromagnetic force to operate the locking mechanism. When powered on, the lock’s electromagnet creates a magnetic field that attracts the metal bolt or latch, locking the door. The magnetic field dissipates when power is shut off, releasing the bolt or latch and allowing the door to be opened. These locks are commonly found in office glass doors and fire-proof doors.
They can be remotely controlled using electronic devices like smartphones and keypads, allowing users to manage access to different areas of a building and monitor who enters and exits. Some models include additional security features like biometric authentication, voice control, or facial recognition technology.
Garage door locks
Garage door locks are designed specifically for garage security. It is generally installed on the outside of the garage door and is designed to be operated by a key as well as a smartphone. It also allows users to remotely control and monitor the lock online, providing great convenience. You can open it before arriving, or close it after leaving.
Some garage door openers are also equipped with an automatic locking mechanism. When the garage door is closed, the automatic locking mechanism is activated, providing additional security and convenience for the homeowner.
Cabinet door locks
Cabinet door locks are used to secure items in lockers, cupboards, and other places. They come in various types, such as cam locks, cylindrical lever locks, plunger locks, combination locks, and magnetic locks, and can be chosen based on the level of security required and personal preferences.
Types by Technology
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) smart door locks use radio waves to communicate between a key fob or card and the lock. This technology is commonly used in commercial building access control systems in buildings and hotels.
Bluetooth intelligent locks use Bluetooth technology to connect to a user’s smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. These locks can be operated with a mobile app and offer touchless entry and remote control features.
Magnetic stripe locks use magnets to control the locking mechanism. This type of lock is often used in commercial settings, but can also be used in residential settings.
Wi-Fi smart locks connect to a home’s WiFi network and can be controlled remotely through a mobile app or virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Home. These locks offer features like remote locking and unlocking, monitoring, and scheduling.
Z-Wave locks use wireless technology to connect to a home automation system. This smart technology allows users to control the lock remotely, receive notifications, and integrate with other smart home devices.
Keypad smart locks use a PIN code for entry instead of a physical key. This type of lock is often used in commercial settings and can be programmed with multiple user codes.
Biometric locks can be divided into four types based on biometric technology: fingerprint, facial recognition, vein recognition, iris recognition. These biometric door locks offer a high level of security and convenience, but can be more expensive than other types of locks.
Various types of biometric door locks:
The fingerprint lock is popular due to its stable pricing and high performance. Fingerprint recognition tech includes semiconductor and optical options. Most locks use semiconductor technology, as optical can be less secure. However, damaged or faint fingerprints can be hard to recognize, especially for the elderly and young.
However, fingerprint locks can have difficulty recognizing damaged or faint fingerprints, particularly among elderly and young users.
Facial recognition smart locks use 2D or 3D technology. 3D is more secure, using triangulation to verify stored data. With tech and IoT advancements, facial recognition is becoming more common. 3D tech includes binoculars, 3D structured light, and Time of Flight options, which are less vulnerable to counterfeiting risks such as photos, videos, or masks.
Vein recognition uses the structure of veins in fingers or palms for identification. It can be divided into finger vein recognition technology and palm vein recognition technology. Finger vein recognition is more popular in smart locks due to unique and not affected by changes in skin texture. These smart locks are highly secure, with low false recognition and rejection rates. Many brands offer finger vein smart locks. Palm recognition has more stored vein info but slower recognition and higher power consumption, so it’s not widely used in smart locks.
Iris recognition tech detects unique features in the ring-shaped area of the eye between the pupil and white sclera. This area has distinct spots, threads, crowns, stripes, and crypts. The iris is the only visible and unchanging internal organ and is a reliable biometric feature. Despite being more secure than fingerprint and facial recognition, iris recognition’s high module cost, technical challenges, and specific requirements have limited its use in home smart locks.
Types by Material
Easy to process, easy to shape, mature surface treatment, and low development cost, making it a relatively cheap material. Therefore, zinc alloy is the most commonly used material in the field of smart door locks. However, due to its low strength, its impact resistance and rust resistance are not as excellent.
Generally refers to 304 stainless steel, which has high hardness, strong strength, and natural advantages in terms of anti-violence, making it a popular choice for high-security applications. However, it is difficult to process, has a relatively limited variety of styles and colors, and its price may be higher than that of other materials.
Iron is the most widely used material for door lock applications. Although its strength and surface treatment are not as good as stainless steel, it is the most economical and cost-effective. It is heavy enough, relatively easy to shape, and has moderate surface treatment and plating. But its strength is also average, and surface corrosion resistance is moderate.
Lightweight, ease of installation, easy to process and shape, and low development cost. The texture is soft and prone to deformation. But it is easy to oxidation a short lifespan, and the fire prevention function is poor.
Strong corrosion resistance, uniform texture, good density, no air holes or sand eyes, bright and uniform color, delicate texture. The manufacturing process is complex, and the development cost is high. So it’s used less in intelligent lock industry.
Plastic and glass materials
Plastic is generally used as auxiliary material, such as the password recognition part of smart locks, which is commonly referred to as acrylic material. Some brands have also used plastic materials on their product panels. However, overall, plastic is still in a position of accessory.
Glass is a relatively special material. Tempered glass panels are not easy to scratch and leave fingerprints.
However, it is rare to use plastic and glass as the main materials because glass has a high defect rate, complex processing, and high cost. The technology for ensuring the firmness of glass is not mature and is still in the market acceptance stage.
Types by Lock Body
Dividing by lock body type, intelligent locks on the market can generally be divided into rear-mounted motor intelligent locks and built-in motor intelligent locks.
① Rear-mounted motor intelligent lock
Rear-mounted motor intelligent locks generally use mechanical lock bodies, relying on square steel to drive the lock body. They can be automatically or manually unlocked after recognition. Mechanical lock body technology is relatively mature, cost-effective, and stable, so it is widely used in the intelligent lock industry, but it consumes more power, makes more noise, and is less aesthetically appealing.
② Built-in motor intelligent lock
Built-in motor intelligent locks use electronic door lock bodies and can be automatically unlocked and locked when the door is closed. The electronic door lock body technology has a higher threshold, so its stability needs to be improved, but the electronic door lock body relies on a motor to unlock, consumes less power, and has a more aesthetically appealing design.
Types by Lock Handles
Door handle structures are divided into two types: lever-style and push-pull-style. The push-pull style has automatic push-pull and semi-automatic push-pull.
The lever-style door handle is the most common type, and after registering fingerprints, the handle needs to be pressed down to unlock.
The semi-automatic push-pull handle automatically locks the door (to avoid forgetting to close the door), but unlocking requires manual effort.
The fully automatic push-pull handle is the most convenient, with automatic locking and unlocking, making it easier to carry things in and out of the door.
For convenience, the fully automatic push-pull handle is undoubtedly the best smart lock option.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Smart Door Lock
Door size and thickness
When installing an intelligent lock, the thickness of the door must be taken into consideration. Generally, a semi-automatic smart door lock requires a door thickness of 40mm or more, while a fully automatic smart lock requires a door thickness of 50mm or more.
If the door thickness is less than 40mm, the lock body cannot be accommodated, and the lock cannot be installed. For those exceeding 100mm, which require special components for installation.
Therefore, you need to confirm the door thickness with the door lock supplier when purchasing a lock. If replacing an old lock with a new one, it is also necessary to inform the manufacturer of the length and width of the old lock tongue guide plate, so the factory can match the corresponding lock body.
Different types of mortises are available on the market, and their price is different. So you need to determine the thickness and size of your door, and the security you require, and then confirm with your door lock supplier.
Lock cores are classified into three levels based on their security level, generally speaking, from high to low:
C-grade > B-grade > A-grade
In terms of unlocking time, an A-grade lock core can be opened in less than a minute, while a B-grade lock core can be opened within 5-20 minutes, and a C-grade lock core is very difficult to open within 2 hours.
Most smart locks on the market use C-grade lock cores.
The choice of unlocking method mainly depends on personal needs and budget. For households with the elderly and children, it is better to choose simple and convenient unlocking methods. Those with sufficient budgets can choose the locks with more unlocking options.
Smart lock functions and their usage scenarios
- Keycard + Mechanical key: hotels, schools, offices (inexpensive)
- Password + Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households (inexpensive)
- Fingerprint + Password + Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households
- Digital key + Fingerprint + Password + Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households (recommended)
- Smart cat’s eye + Digital key + Fingerprint + Password Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households (recommended)
- Face recognition + Recognition of intercom + Digital key + Fingerprint + Password + Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households
- Vein recognition + Face recognition + Recognition of intercom + Digial key + Password + Keycard + Mechanical key: apartments, households
The materials used in smart locks on the market are mainly stainless steel and zinc alloy.
Smart lock batteries are divided into dry batteries and lithium batteries.
Dry batteries are easy to replace and can last from six months to a year, making them suitable for simple-function, low-power smart locks.
Lithium batteries can be recharged and recycled, and it is best to choose those with a capacity of over 4000mAh for smart locks with more functions, especially those with cameras.
Additionally, it is important to check if the lock has an emergency charging port. If the lock runs out of battery, the emergency charging port can be used for charging.
An intelligent lock with the internet is best, as it allows you to check the outside situation of the door directly from your mobile devices, and it also allows for remote monitoring and remote unlocking, which is convenient and useful.
Understanding the encyclopedia of smart locks
What is the heaven and earth hook? Is it necessary to install it?
The heaven and earth hook is a lock bolt that is in addition to the main lock bolt in a lock mechanism. Its working principle is to increase the locking points and prevent the door from being pried open violently, making the door more secure.
However, the heaven and earth hook only resists the risk of opening violently and cannot defend against technical lock picking.
Furthermore, the increased lock bolt puts a much greater strain on the lock mechanism, which weakens its durability and reduces the lifespan of the lock over time.
And many fully automatic smart locks are driven by an internal motor inside the lock mechanism. If the heaven and earth hook is added, a stronger motor will be needed, which will consume more power. Therefore, if you want to install an intelligent lock, it is recommended to remove the heaven and earth hook.
What is the difference between fully automatic and semi-automatic locks?
Fully automatic locks are a kind of lock that works by motor drive, and there without any manual operating. After unlocking, the lock bolt automatically retracts through the motor, and opens the door. The appearance of a fully automatic smart lock is often sliding-style.
Semi-automatic locks require manual intervention after successful unlocking. The most common action is pressing down on a handle to retract the lock bolt, and pulling up on the handle to lock the door. The appearance of a semi-automatic smart lock is often handle-style.
Are fingerprint locks secure? Can user fingerprints be easily copied?
Currently, most smart locks on the market use anti-copy semiconductor fingerprint sensors, which are composed of tens of thousands of capacitors to form a capacitor array. The sensor can recognize dynamic live fingerprints through the skin surface, effectively identifying real and fake fingerprints and preventing duplication. There is no need to worry about fingerprint copying.
YGS smart locks all use Swedish FPC semiconductor fingerprint heads, which can penetrate the skin surface and recognize growing and worn fingerprints, effectively rejecting false fingerprints and copied fingerprints.
Vein recognition unlocking vs fingerprint recognition unlocking.
Vein recognition is a technology that identifies hand vein images. Compared to fingerprint recognition, vein recognition is less prone to wear and changes as the veins are located under the skin. Vein recognition is more stable, faster in recognition speed, and less susceptible to theft and duplication.
However, vein recognition unlocking is more expensive than fingerprint recognition unlocking, and the design requires a larger volume, which poses certain requirements for the design of smart locks.
What is the management password?
The management password is the user password with the highest authority, which can add or delete fingerprint, password, magnetic card, and other information. It can also be used for network binding and other lock operations. Ordinary user passwords do not have this authority and cannot perform these operations.
Therefore, after purchasing a smart lock, it is necessary to change or reset the initial management password to control and use the smart lock.
A new YGS lock fingerprint library is empty, and the initial management password is 123456. You should change the management information first, because before you change the information, you cannot add new fingerprints/passwords.
The specific steps are as follows:
- Press the “Settings” button or the ” * “+ ” # ” button to start the system (the “SET” button is usually located near the battery cover);
- Enter the initial management password “123456”;
- Enter the new management password, press the “#” to confirm, and then enter the new password again.
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