Z-Wave Deadbolt Shootout and Product Review
If there is one thing we love about our Z-Wave home automation network, it’s carrying no keys and having the ability for the house to lock itself at bedtime. Z-Wave door locks are a wonderful addition to your home automation network!
We got started with the first Z-Wave deadbolt on the market, the Schlage LiNK, added a Kwikset deadbolt soon afterward, and finally we added a Yale Real Living touchscreen deadbolt not too long after that. We’ve been using these locks daily and over this time have developed a good sense of what we like and don’t like in a Z-Wave lock.
Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt
The Schlage lock was the first Z-Wave lock to hit the market and Schlage has continued to offer Z-Wave in it’s high end residential product line. You can use the lock with any Z-Wave controller and pairing it is very simple. The lock provides backlighting and sound feedback when punching in a code, pairing the lock, etc. We also like that the lock is very each to change batteries and is built so well we still have our two original locks still in operation over 4 years later.
The biggest drawback to this lock against the others is the lack of an automated motorized deadbolt. It must be locked and unlocked manually. You can’t go wrong with the Schlage Z-Wave locks if you want durability mixed with simple form and function and best of all, the Schalge brand standing behind it.
Kwikset Z-Wave Deadbolt
Kwikset was the second Z-Wave lock we added into our system and the first motorized dadbolt to debut shortly after the Schlage hit the market. The Kwikset is the smallest form factor out of all the locks, and seems to be of less quality than the competition. The Kwikset was easy to install and the keypad is smaller due to combining two numbers per button. The buttons light up and also offer sound feedback to the user, and flash red when an invalid code is entered. Pairing was also just as easy as the other locks, and range also seems to be on par with the competition. Once nice thing about the Kwikset locks are the smartkey options, where you can rekey the lock without replacing it. We never used this feature since we are against carrying keys in the first place. We still use our original kwikset lock and you can’t go wrong for the price and durability of the lock. We look forward to testing some of the new Kwikset locks on the market in our next upcoming lock review.
We reviewed the first generation FortrezZ water and freeze sensors and recently received the second generation sensors from FortrezZ a few months ago. The new sensors are superior to previous versions and best of all they offer the ability to use AA size batteries where the older versions relied on an obscure and expensive Li-ion battery. The newer versions of the water/freeze sensors are slightly larger but offer the convenience of the the two AA batteries. They also feel better made and the contacts on the bottom are better integrated into the unit. The WWA01AA offers a program switch for adding and removing the device from the Z-Wave network and also offers an integrated speaker for an audible alarm.
Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt
The Yale Real Living Z-Wave lock was the late comer to the market, appearing just over 3 years ago with its innovative touchscreen lock. This was the first touchscreen Z-Wave lock to hit the market and was also the most expensive Z-Wave lock, but the form and function was superb to all the others from our standpoint. Installation was a breeze, and using the touchpad on the front provided us with menu’s to change the codes, pair the lock, etc.
Sadly, our Yale lock has stopped working (touchscreen), so we are left up to the home automation controller to do it’s job and control it automatically. We use NFC tags near our door, hidden under a layer of paint against the door casing. (See our video page for videos on this)
Instead of touching the lock to enter a code, we now hold our Samsung Galaxy S5 up against the NFC tag for lock or unlock and the system locks the door for us. We also use homebuddy shortcuts on our phone to quickly launch a lock or unlock scene as we are walking up to the door when arriving home. This way the lock still does it’s thing, we don’t have to carry a key, yet the touchscreen won’t even light up anymore. Bummer, but at least the motor and everything else is working in the lock.
We love the look an durability of the Yale lock, except for the touchscreen components. We highly recommend this lock due to it’s innovative design, especially some of the features like the red LED that flashes subtly every few seconds to let you know it’s locked. This is a great idea and you don’t have to “double check” the lock, you can simply glance over at it and it tells you that it’s locked if you see that LED flash. Very neat. The privacy mode also enables you to lockout the front screen, disabling access via keypad during the time it’s enabled.
No other lock does these things that we know of, and talks to you as well. We love the lock and if we ever get a chance to test another Yale lock, we will be sure to get something that does not have a touchscreen, just one extra thing that can go wrong.
** UPDATE: 1-15-15 – We posted something on Facebook about the Yale touchscreen dying out of warranty, and we were amazed that someone from Yale got in touch with us and sent a new lock the next day! AMAZING customer service and they really stand behind their products!