Smart locks are a great tool for protecting your home from people with malicious intent. They also offer you the convenience of locking and unlocking your doors via keypads, fingerprint, and remotely. However, most smart locks are battery-operated and the batteries don’t last forever, so you’d need to replace them sooner or later. Read on to find out the time frame for replacing smart lock batteries.
Here is the short answer to how long smart locks batteries last:
Smart locks batteries usually last between 1 month to 2 years, depending on the lock’s brand, connectivity, and the type of batteries. In detail, smart locks that rely on Bluetooth and Z-Wave for connectivity and use lithium batteries can go 1-2 years, while Wi-Fi smart locks using alkaline batteries have shorter battery life, and need replacement every 1-3 months.
So if your smart lock runs on alkaline batteries, replacing them with lithium batteries can help boost its battery life. Also, you want to consider using Bluetooth or Z-Wave-compatible smart locks if you don’t want to replace the battery often.
That said, we’ll go on to explain how smart locks consume batteries and the various smart locks brands with reliable batteries. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
Smart Locks with Long-lasting Batteries
1. Schlage Smart Locks
Schlage is a leader in the smart lock industry, and it makes some of the best models. In particular, the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt has an exceptional battery life, if that’s what you want in a smart lock. Per our estimation, the batteries in this lock can last for 1-2 years before needing replacement.
This lock’s reliability is due to its use of lithium batteries that last longer than regular batteries on average. It also uses Z-Wave technology to connect your mobile phone to the smart lock. As explained earlier, smart locks that require Z-Wave for connection have better battery life than regular models using say Wi-Fi.
The impressive battery life of the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt comes at a steep price. However, you have to purchase a Z-Wave home hub that can set you back a hefty sum. Still, the benefits of Z-Wave technology are enough to justify such costs.
2. August Smart Locks
August smart locks have gained popularity for their value, ease of use, effectiveness, and stylish design. An August-made lock is a great option if you want a model that doesn’t require incessant battery replacement.
A good example is the August Smart Lock Pro, which is among the best smart locks on the market. This lock is compatible with Z-Wave technology, which helps with extending battery life.
You’ll probably need to buy a Z-Wave home hub if you don’t have one. Nonetheless, the August Smart Lock Pro’s strong battery life makes it worth the accompanying costs.
3. Kwikset Smart Locks
Kwikset is another smart lock manufacturer noted for the strong battery life of its models. As an example, the Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen reportedly gets excellent battery life. The same holds true for other Kwikset smart lock models such as the SmartCode 909, SmartCode 910, SmartCode 914, and many others.
From our research, Kwikset smart locks tend to have long-lasting batteries because they depend on Z-Wave for connectivity. On the average, batteries in Z-Wave-based smart locks last longer than those of Wi-Fi-based locks.
4. Yale Smart Locks
For years, Yale has offered the best smart locks with cutting-edge technology. While they are pricier than average, they offer enough value to justify the expensive cost.
An example of what we mean by “value” is the reliable battery life of many Yale smart locks. Models such as the Real Living Deadbolt T1L and the Real Living Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt have durable batteries.
As with other models on the list, Yale smart locks are compatible with Z-Wave technology. More than anything, this helps reduce battery drain and promotes longer battery life.
How Smart Locks Consume Battery Power
Smart locks are categorized based on the “protocols” used to communicate with smart home systems and with smart-phones. The three common examples of communication protocols are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave.
Communication protocols influence how smart locks consume power. Below, we evaluate how different smart locks consume power based on their communication protocol:
Locks that work with Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a commonly used smart-lock protocol, notable for its simple design and ease of use. Bluetooth-based locks consume low amounts of power, and the batteries often last long. In fact, you can get up to 12-20 months of use from the batteries in a Bluetooth-type smart lock.
The efficiency of Bluetooth-based smart locks is because Bluetooth is a low-power frequency and uses up little energy. Moreover, a Bluetooth smart lock only connects with your phone occasionally, so its impact on your battery is reduced.
However, Bluetooth’s greatest quality is also its greatest undoing: the low frequency makes connection possible only in short ranges. Only when you’re within 300ft or lesser can your phone connect with the smart lock. This means you cannot do things like granting entry to people while you’re away.
Locks that work with Z-Wave
Z-Wave is another common communication protocol used on smart locks. Unlike Bluetooth types, Z-Wave smart locks connect with a smart hub, not a phone. You need to plug the smart hub and connect it to a Wi-Fi router. Once the setup is complete, you can access your smart lock from anywhere.
A big advantage of Z-Wave-compatible locks is that they are energy-efficient. From what we can tell, their batteries can last for a long time—think 12 to 18 months.
Battery life on Z-Wave locks is durable simply because the smart home hub handles all energy-intensive tasks. This reduces the strain on the battery-powered lock and preserves battery life.
The only perceivable downside to Z-Wave smart locks is that you need to buy a smart home hub like Samsung’s SmartThings. Still, getting a smart home hub is beneficial in some situations—like when you have other smart home devices.
Locks that work with Wi-Fi
Aside from Z-Wave, Wi-Fi is the most advanced communication protocol. Typically, you’ll install an accessory to make the connection between your smart lock and your Wi-Fi network. Once you’re done with that, you can control your lock from anywhere, so long as you have an internet connection. You can unlock your door remotely to allow people entry in your absence and monitor your lock’s activity.
However, the functionality of Wi-Fi-based locks comes at a cost: reduced battery life. For some reason, Wi-Fi smart locks use up more power than most locks. Per reports, the average lifespan of batteries in a Wi-Fi smart lock is 1-3 months.
How to Extend Your Smart Lock Battery Life?
Replacing batteries in your smart lock can get tiring — and expensive, since smart lock batteries don’t come cheap. If you want your batteries to last longer, you may want to continue reading.
The best advice for improving smart lock battery life is to buy lithium batteries. Unlike regular AA (alkaline) batteries, lithium batteries have higher durability and reliability.
Many suggest that a lithium battery can last twice as long as the average alkaline-based battery. Based on this, you can expect a smart lock powered by a lithium-ion battery to last you for a long, long time.
For increased efficiency, you can pair a lithium-powered smart lock with a Z-Wave hub. This setup not only promises exceptional features; you also get a strong battery life that makes things easier.
It is advisable to check if your smart lock can use lithium batteries before buying. Using lithium batteries for a non-lithium smart lock can lead to extensive damage.
You should also avoid the temptation to use rechargeable batteries for your smart lock if it comes with disposable batteries. Trying to charge lithium or alkaline batteries has inherent safety risks you rather want to avoid.
FAQs About Smart Locks Batteries
Can I charge my smart lock?
You cannot charge your smart lock if it came with disposable batteries. Certain models do have rechargeable batteries that you can plug into a power source. However, the majority of smart locks use disposable batteries that require replacement at intervals.
Can I plug my smart lock into a wall outlet?
At the moment, we have found no smart lock capable of being plugged into a wall outlet. You may find a few DIY videos teaching how to power your smart lock with your in-wall outlet. But we advise you to avoid this as you can easily hurt yourself or damage the lock with such procedures.
How do I know if my smart lock battery is low?
Newer smart locks have a low-battery indicator that warns you when the battery is hitting dangerously low levels of power. Another sign of low battery power is a slower response time. In addition, opening your smart lock will take more attempts when the battery is low.
How do I replace batteries in my smart lock?
While models have few differences, they mostly have the same procedure for battery replacement. In most situations, you’ll need a screwdriver to open the battery compartment to remove the battery. Once you’re done with swapping out the batteries, close the compartment and switch on the lock.
Smart locks are cool, but having to replace batteries repeatedly can make owning one less enjoyable. As such, you should pick a model that guarantees optimal energy efficiency.
Even so, you should take in other factors aside from efficiency when buying smart locks. Ideally, you should get a smart/electronic lock that gives a balance of functionality, durability, and affordability. See our smart locks best picks, if that helps.