Home Automation: Start at the Front Door

Aug. 2, 2018
What happens on the door better not stay on the door; security, safety and home automation opportunities are present throughout the home

Home automation is bringing hot new technologies and products to the important residential market. For locksmiths, there are new opportunities to provide traditional locksmithing services along with the newer home automation-related products and services. Many residential products will also fit the light commercial and multiple housing markets as well.

The security marketing landscape has obviously transitioned as has every other market. Products are being made available to customers by a growing number of suppliers in home centers and online and by a growing number of service providers such as alarm dealers and residential contractors.

So new technologies and specialty niche markets are a couple of ways the locksmith can continue to operate their businesses profitably and positively serve their communities.

For so many of these products technologies and techniques, the story begins at the door, where the products are installed, and where security begins. What happens on the door better not stay on the door, since security, safety and automation opportunities are present throughout a premises.


You probably have seen ads on TV for home security systems which include in their presentation that the product is powered by Alarm.com.

Alarm.com is a software platform that enables a variety of monitoring and control features using reliable proprietary 2-way communications between the data points located in residential and commercial premises and the Alarm.com monitoring center, and secure 2- way communications with subscribers’ mobile devices from which the client and dealer can monitor, control and manage.

Other platforms The Locksmith Ledger has presented in the past offer on-premises network communications but connect to the cloud through the premises Internet connection using a bridge and the subscriber’s router. This is not considered a proprietary or highly reliable link recommended for security or life safety purposes.

Readers who have a background in security systems will recognize the considerations for off-site reporting, and the necessity for a highly reliable reporting protocol and may be open to using a third party as you would use a contract monitoring service.

So where a high level of reliability is an issue, you might want to consider a platform such as the one offered by Alarm.com.

Alarm.com has come a long way in a short time thanks to a lot of marketing by the home automation industry and a big involvement by Amazon with their acquisition of Video Doorbell Ring, and introduction of their ALEXA and other home automation related products.

ALARM.COM’s platform is designed for both Home & and now Business too, and their products and services include:

  • Interactive Security
  • Video Monitoring
  • Access
  • Energy Management
  • Automation
  • Wellness

Alarm.com connects a broad array of smart devices, making them easily controlled through their intuitive mobile app.

Alarm.com services are exclusively sold, set up and supported by a nationwide network of authorized Service Providers. There website also offers DIY options.

Start with Keyless Entry

Keyless entry and smartphone-controlled locking are a perfect starting point for locksmiths and homeowners interested in home automation technology.

Powering the lock with a platform such as Alarm.com will unleash new horizons of monitoring and control options as well as an extended family of automated devices.

Linked to the other smart devices in your home, automated and controlled through a smart security platform such as Alarm.com the network of data points are able to trigger alerts and actions empowering smart locks give deliver more versatility and value every day.

Here are a few ways that smart locks can be used to provide these features:

1. Verify a visitor, then unlock remotely

2. Control locks with Scenes.

Scenes are useful commands, with labels such as Home, Away, and Sleep, that you or your installer design to activate several different actions at the same time. Scenes can control and automate access control.

3. Get automatic reminders for extra security.

In the USA, 500,000 burglaries a year are made easier by homeowners who neglect or forget to lock their doors and windows. One in three burglaries do not involve forcible entry. 

Program the system to remind the homeowner to remember to arm his system and possibly spare him from becoming the victim of a burglary or home invasion.

4.Give user codes for access and awareness. 

If the smart lock has a numerical keypad, your family and trusted visitors can be issues an authorized user code.

A smart lock upgrade can be done initially and then additional devices (such as an alarm system) can be added and integrated at a later time; or a home with a security system can be enhanced with the addition of a new smart lock.


Allegion was an early entrant into the residential electronic door control market, and offers a broad portfolio of products tailored to the home automation market. The Locksmith Ledger asked Allegion’s Director of Market Development Mark Jenner about their products.

What products do you offer in this category?

Schlage® Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt, Schlage Connected Keypad Lever

What training or skills are required to sell install home automation?

With smart devices and platforms becoming more popular, it’s important to offer homeowners options so they can find the right fit for their lifestyle and what they currently have at home. For example, the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt and Connected Keypad Lever both work with Z-Wave technology, one of the most popular smart home and alarm system radio frequency protocols on the market.

These locks can be integrated with an existing home automation or security system and gain anywhere access with their smartphone using that provider’s app, as well as a host of other features depending on the platform.

If dealers have a basic familiarity with Z-Wave supported systems. (Samsung SmartThings, Nexia Smart Home and WINK are just a few of the most popular consumer brands), they are already prepared.

In contrast, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt doesn’t require an existing smart home system and comes with its own app so customers can use it with their smartphone immediately after install. It also works with Apple HomeKit, which appeals to customers who already own a variety of iOS devices. Paired with a Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter, users gain Android compatibility in addition to iOS, remote access and voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

It’s really all about understanding customers’ needs and preferences, and whether they already have other devices they’d like to link with the lock.

What RMR opportunities are there for the security professional?

These products can integrate with security and home automation systems, which present RMR opportunities for dealers. This could include the traditional RMR from providing professional monitoring services for a security system or providing diagnostic and programming services of the smart home devices. There are many opportunities for professional dealers and installers to provide value added services to homeowners that are installation home automation and security systems.

What remote control and monitoring features do your products offer?

The Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt can be controlled remotely when paired with a Z-Wave smart home or alarm system, and app control and features are dependent on the platform provider. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt can be controlled remotely either by pairing with a Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter, or by pairing with an Apple TV® or HomePod™ to use as part of an iOS-only smart home. The Schlage Sense app (works with the Schlage Sense lock only) offers easy access sharing with trusted friends and family, access code scheduling and push notifications.

More Information: www.allegion.us and www.schlage.com


An all-in-one app that connects your smart devices through Z-Wave technology, Nexia Home streamlines the way homeowners manage their day and their devices.

Nexia operates on Z-Wave technology, one of the most widely adopted smart home platforms that allows Nexia to work with some of the world’s most trusted brands, including GE, Honeywell, and Schlage – just to name a few. That means you’re free to build your smart home with the brands you know and love.

Nexia is built on an open architecture platform, which means it works with products from a number of different manufacturers.

More Information: www.nexiahome.com

Yale Assure

The country’s top 100 installers of home technology products named Yale the number one smart door lock for the second year in a row, according to a survey by the industry’s leading trade publication CEPro.

They named Yale their preferred smart lock brand, as they did last year, the first year the survey asked about smart locks.

Yale Locks & Hardware has expanded its Assure Lock® line to offer compatibility with every major smart home platform, voice control via Alexa and Siri, and deadbolts in both keyed and key free versions.

The Yale Assure Lock line allows homeowners to choose a lock that suits their specific needs, whether it’s a standalone PIN-controlled lock so they can avoid the hassle of using keys, or a smart lock fully integrated into a smart home system so the lock can be controlled and monitored from anywhere. And Yale’s system of network modules makes it easy to upgrade from a standalone lock to a connected lock.

Yale’s modular design removes anxieties about making futureproof investment and commitment in equipment because Assure Locks work with every major technology platform and allow homeowners to start with a keypad lock and upgrade it later to a smart lock.

The Assure Lock line features Yale’s unique modular system that simplifies integration with a home automation or alarm system. Each Assure Lock deadbolt can be purchased as a standalone PIN-controlled lock or with a Yale Network Module installed for smart home integration. Yale offers Network Modules for Z-Wave, Zigbee or HomeKit™ systems. The module simply plugs into the interior half of the deadbolt, and can be added or swapped at any time by the homeowner.

The Yale iM1 Network Module gives the Assure Lock (YRD246 and YRD256) Apple HomeKit compatibility, allowing homeowners to lock and unlock their home using the Apple Home app or Siri on an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. With the Yale Secure app, users can also easily check battery status, manage up to 25 PIN codes, see current lock status, customize lock settings, name a lock and add a new lock. Locking and unlocking automatically and away from home requires an Apple TV (4th generation) or iPad (iOS 10.3 or later) set up as a home hub.

Siri voice support adds an entirely new level of convenience for homeowners by allowing them to check a door’s current lock status or lock/unlock with a simple voice command. For example, “Hey Siri, is my front door locked?” and “Hey Siri, lock my front door.”

Apple HomeKit also provides homeowners with the ability to create “scenes” to generate a sequence of actions based on a certain command or event. For example, “Hey Siri, I’m going to bed,” might cause the front door to lock, the thermostat to turn down and the kitchen lights to turn off.

Two Assure Locks can be HomeKit-enabled with installation of the iM1 Network Module – the Assure Lock SL (YRD256) and the Assure Lock Key Free Touchscreen (YRD246).

Assure Locks with Z-Wave or Zigbee are compatible with Amazon Alexa when used in conjunction with a smart home hub. Homeowners who opt for a Samsung SmartThings hub or Wink hub can choose either a Z-Wave or Zigbee lock for Alexa compatibility. Amazon Echo Plus owners need add only a Zigbee Assure Lock since the Echo Plus is itself a hub.

The Alexa lock skill allows Yale Z-Wave or Zigbee users with a compatible hub to lock their door and check current lock status. Voice commands such as, “Alexa, lock my front door” or “Alexa, is my back door locked?” will trigger automatic responses and/or actions from Amazon Alexa.

The Assure Lock line is comprised of the following locks:

Assure Lock SL (YRD256) – Keyless deadbolt that brings a new slim, contemporary design aesthetic to the line; a keyless lock with an edge-to-edge touchscreen set in a sleek and slender metal bezel; can be HomeKit-enabled with installation of the iM1 Network Module;

Assure Lock with Bluetooth (YRD416/426/446) – Bluetooth built-in; conventional keys are replaced with digital keys accessed through the Yale Assure app for Android and iOS devices; available as a keyless deadbolt (YRD446), touchscreen deadbolt with keyway (YRD426) or pushbutton deadbolt with keyway (YRD416);

Assure Lock Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt (YRD246) – Keyless deadbolt that can be HomeKit-enabled with installation of the iM1 Network Module;

Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt (YRD226) – Offers both a touchscreen keypad and a keyway;

Assure Lock Push Button Deadbolt (YRD216) – Offers both a push button keypad and a keyway.

More Information: www.yalecommercial.com

Oracode by dormakaba

dormakaba, a leader in the global market for access and security solutions, offers Oracode 480i keyless entry lock and Smart Controller for the vacation rental home market. These 480i electronic locks can be mounted on existing doors using only a Philips screwdriver without drilling additional holes. For added flexibility, property managers may assign time-sensitive access codes to each lock from a web browser or mobile device for complete control. To ensure security, Oracode locks track and maintain access codes, programming, and entry audit trails.

The Oracode Smart Controller takes property management to the next level with smart home automation. The Smart Controller enables Oracode i-Series locks to remotely manage Smart Home devices such as thermostats, lights, and pool and spa controls from a single wireless controller.

Oracode’s online web application integrates with BeHome247 energy management system for ultimate energy savings and unit control. When the property is unoccupied, the Oracode Smart Controller enables property managers to adjust and monitor connected devices, like thermostats, remotely. This provides the ability to reduce energy consumption, detect alerts, improve security, and maximize unit profitability.

Available in ocean front satin chrome and oil-rubbed bronze finishes, the lock offers a small, sleek design to fit in nearly all properties.

More Info: www.dormakaba.us