Schlage smart lock and alexa
I’ve waited years to add a smart lock. The primary reason, we had a funky lock setup without a separate deadbolt. As a result, we had to drill for a deadbolt and that left a hole in the door from the previous setup. We couldn’t use that hole because it didn’t leave enough space for the deadbolt size with the smart lock. The only option, a bronze metal plate to cover it.
In full transparency, we went from a 30-year-old, fancy designed lock, to what I would consider a less contemporary, not fancy looking lock. However, I will continue to search for a pitcher handle that is larger and looks nicer, to cover the outside, and remove the plate.
Now let’s talk technology. Here is what I wanted:
- Integration with my Universal Devices Home automation hub
- Ability to use Alexa to lock and unlock the door
- Must have a keypad and a regular key for entry
- Tamper alarms on the device, so if someone kicks the door in, an alarm sounds
- Automatically lock the down between 12am and 7am
- Ability for advanced functionality, I.E. if I leave home and the door is unlocked, lock the door (this is achieved with IFTTT and the ISY portal)
I already owned the home automation hubs and technology, so it would natively work on my existing home automation network. I did pay a local locksmith to do the install, as I was not comfortable drilling the hole in my door. That cost was $200 and it took him about 1.5 hours to get it all installed.
But Alexa won’t unlock doors
Correct. By default, Alexa will only lock the doors. When I initially set it up, it would refuse to lock the door via voice commands. I imagine this is for security, someone outside the home couldn’t yell for her to unlock the door.
For security, I believe it’s critical when you set up the lock program in universal devices have the voice command include a unique number. In my demo video, I am not.
How did I get around this? I set up a simple program on Universal Devices to unlock the door if the door is locked. From that, I went into the ISY web portal, which hooks to Alexa. Next, I set up that program with the spoken voice “Lock front door xxxx” where XXX is the unique security pin for added safety.
The drawback with using a program in Alexa is you must say, “Alexa, turn on unlock front door xxx” instead of saying, “Alexa, unlock front door”.
If you try to use the device command to unlock the front door, Alexa will yell back at you that she cannot unlock smart locks. Using the program as I describe here, paired with the voice command, gets around this.
Here is my video showing the lock in action and some commentary around what I did:
You can find the Schlage Smart Lock here on Amazon! Happy home automating! “Alexa, lock front door”.