We have has good luck with electronic locks. I hadn’t heard of Yale before though my wife tells me they are one of the most common brands back in the UK where he is from. Kind of like Schlage here in the states.
Our first electronic keypad locks were actually Schlage ones that also accept keys. Our front door lock was then replaced by a fancy Simplicikey lock with remote key fobs like you use with a car.
We recently decided to go completely key-less since our new car has quick a chunky remote fob and isn’t parked in the garage so we decided to try a new lock and get rid of all the clutter in our pockets and handbags.
Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth and Z-Wave
We picked the Assure lock for its simple, elegant design with no key entry and a black touch screen integrated without physical buttons. That means the keypad is not so obvious from the street. The lack of a traditional key also makes the lock safe from bumping with a blank which has become a more common way to overcome mechanical key operated locks.
The Yale lock also has support for Bluetooth remote control with either Android or iPhones. You do need to install and register an app in order to use this functionality. The lock can also be integrated into your alarm system if it supports something called Z-Wave. A feature we are unfamiliar with.
The Lock comes in a nice, heavy box with a printed sleeve. Once you open the box, you see that the lock is neatly packed in two main parts along with a bag that contains latch and other hardware. A set of 4x AA batteries are included, so everything you need to install and be up and running is included in the box.
This lock was easy to install and works with a standard door that previously had Schlage and Simplicikey locks installed on it. No further modification to the door was required to install the lock. Bear in mind that the lock has no handle; you will need a separate handle on your entry door. We have a long handle with a second non-locking latch already on the door.
The steps to mounting the lock are straightforward: Just install the bolt, and then the front exterior plate which is all metal. You also get a metal backplate and machine screws that fasten through the existing hole in the door. A single insulated cable feeds through the hole in the door underneath the bolt and plugs into the back cover of the lock. The back cover screws into the backplate and you’re almost done. You just have to insert the batteries.
The instructions for setup are pretty straight forward. The first thing to do is create a master pin. The printed instructions guide you through it but the lock itself has voice prompts similar to a company phone system. It gives you oral instructions and option to choose by pressing the corresponding key on the touch screen. It’s very easy, but you do have to hurry because it does time out after a few seconds are returns to standby mode.
Everyone in the house has their own pin. The lock supports a huge number, something like 250.
Unlocking the door
Using the lock is straight forward. You simply glide your palm down over the pure black face of the lock. You hear a noise and the keypad graphics fade in. Type your pin and press the check button. You hear a quiet whirr as the lock engages and slides the bolt. You hear a chime and the keypad fades away and your done. Once inside you simply twist small handle on the back of the lock to slide the bolt manually.
Locking the door
Locking the door is even simpler than opening it. Just exit through the door and close it, swipe your palm over the touchscreen and you will hear the lock whirr and a chime to tell you the door is locked. No button pressing.
We did try the app on android phones. The app requires you to register an Email with Yale before you can use it with your lock. You have to set the lock itself into pair mode, the phone app provides instructions and with Bluetooth device discovery enabled in Bluetooth settings. Your phone and lock will find one another. A password pops up on your phone that should match one that appears on the lock touch screen. If they are the same you just confirm and it’s done. The app shows a picture of a key you can name.
The app takes you through a tutorial where you quickly tilt your phone quickly 90 degrees from portrait to vertical, your phone should vibrate and you should hear a chime from the lock. Slide your palm down the touchscreen and press the checkbox and the door should unlock.
Bluetooth niggles. I ended up not using the Bluetooth that much. For me it’s a bit of a gimmick because I don’t usually carry my phone in my hand. Plus it’s a bit temperamental. Sometimes the app only has to be resident running in the background on the phone for the lock to respond to me rotating my phone 90 degrees. Other times even if the phone vibrates, the lock doesn’t respond unless I start the app. When it works you get a notification on your phone telling you the name of the key that was used to unlock your door (which is cool).
We liked this lock and decided to keep it on the front door. Which also meant having to buy a new door handle since the old one was a long brushed nickel one and our new Yale lock is brass. The Yale lock looks nice, simple and elegant and the touchscreen keypad is very easy to use. Locking up is much easier than other electronic locks I have had. No need to actually press a key, just brush your palm down the touchscreen and it takes care of locking up for you. Convenient if, like me, you have three dogs on leashes and are being dragged enthusiastically down the garden path for walkies.
Having no clutter, no need for physical keys or remote fobs is really nice. Not having to rely on the phone is nice too since I leave it behind when I take the dogs out. The lock works well and is quiet; the motor in the mechanical bolt doesn’t sound strained like my previous simplicikey lock which was loud and sometimes sounded like it was wearing the last 2-3 years we have had it. The Yale is very quiet, quiet enough that if it didn’t chime quietly you might not know whether it locked/unlocked the door. I saw you can control the volume and chime of the lock but I left it at default. The dogs can hear it when I come home and make quite a racket. Not a bad thing, since any wannabe tamperes will draw a lot of noise from three dogs waiting eagerly on the other side.
So both my wife and I really like the lock.
Product Name: Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth and Z-Wave