Should You Invest in a Digital Door Lock?
One household item which can greatly improve your everyday living is the digital door lock. In recent years, demand for this smart home product has quickly grown. Aside from security and convenience, digital door locks are also a stylish accessory for your home.
With this technology becoming a mainstay for home improvement and renovation works, here is a guide to what digital door locks are where you can find them.
What is a Digital lock?
Both digital and regular locks have similar locking mechanisms. The difference lies in the way you unlock your door. Using a digital lock means opting for a keyless, electronic method of securing your home.
Types of Digital Locks
You can open doors via keypad password, thumbprint biometric scan, Bluetooth, electronic card reader, wireless remote control, or a combination of the various options.
Each type of door lock has its pros and cons. For example, both biometric and password digital door locks do not require a card for access. However, biometric locks offer more security than password locks as fingerprints cannot be duplicated. But in emergencies, strangers who need to enter the house cannot do so as fingerprints need to be pre-registered.
Pros and Cons of Installing a Digital Lock
1. Security — Restrict Who Can Enter Your Home
Pros: Only authorised users can get past the door with a thumbprint or password. Some digital lock models allow you to give remote access to guests. This would come in handy for those who are renovating their homes. For instance, you could create guest passwords to allow temporary entry for contractors at fixed timings.
Some models also send you alerts should you forget to lock the door before you leave. So, you no longer have to worry if you remembered to lock your door when leaving home for the day.
Cons: Digital locks outfitted with Advanced Encryption Standard are quite secure, and most digital locks have built-in anti-theft alarms that will go off should someone try to tamper with the mechanism. That said, it is still possible for smart locks to be hacked. If you’re unsure how secure digital locks are, ask your retailer for more information on available security features.
2. Convenience — Keys Are One Less Thing to Worry About
Pros: You no longer need to bring keys out. That’s one less bulky item to worry about losing or fitting into your pocket or purse. Going keyless is excellent for those who frequently forget their house keys too. You don’t have to deal with being locked out anymore.
The same goes if a member of your household loses or forgets their keys. You don’t have to take time off and interrupt your schedule to bring someone keys.
Cons: Bluetooth- and mobile-controlled locks require your phone to be turned on for access. You might have to remember passwords and codes too.
3. Value — Home upgrades Will Cost You
Pros: With a digital lock, you’re paying for increased control, security, convenience, comfort and flexibility. Your home will feel more upgraded with a smart lock.
Cons: Without including installation fees, a traditional metal key lock typically costs $30 to $50, while a digital lock costs anywhere between $200 to $1,500.
How to Install a Digital Lock
You can fit a digital lock on most doors. Before you install, consider your existing door’s compatibility with a digital lock. Check your:
- Door material; compatible materials include iron, uPVC (un-plasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride), glass and wood
- Door thickness (the depth of your door); each type of lock requires a certain door thickness, knowing your door thickness will make choosing locks easier
- Door design; ideally, your door should have a flat surface
- Bolt assembly (the metal placed into the doorknob hole for the lock to stay in place); each lock has different bolt assembly specifications
To ensure your lock will remain undamaged after installation, also note:
- Clearance for height (vertical length of your lock)
- Clearance from door edge (horizontal length and distance between product and door edge after the lock is installed)
- Clearance from gate (gap between main door and outer gate when both are closed); you want your door lock to be able to fit
If you only have a regular door hinge and do not have a door closer installed, consider getting a door closer. The door closer cushions the impact should accidental slamming occur, protecting your digital lock in the process.
How Much To Install A Digital Lock
Depending on how complex your digital lock is, installation can take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. While you can search up YouTube to do a DIY lock installation, it is recommended you hire a professional.
Some brands might void the warranty unless your lock was installed by one of their approved contractors. These contractors may offer free installation, but if not, prepare to fork out another $100 to $200.
Pro-tip: Most digital door locks in Singapore use 1.5V AA alkaline batteries, which have to be replaced every 15 months. However, you may want to replace your batteries a few months earlier to avoid your lock ‘dying’ on you.
Best Digital Lock To Buy In Singapore 2021
Here is a list of digital locks to consider for your home.
Disclaimer: PropertyGuru is not affiliated with any of these brands. The following products were selected based on factors which include (but are not limited to) their design, specifications and price.
1. Starke Seamless™ Désignerin Digital Lock
The sleek-looking and well-designed Starke Seamless™ Désignerin Digital Lock can unlock your door in just 0.5 seconds. There are five entry modes: fingerprint, mobile app, passcode, card or key. The fingerprint scanner stores up to 100 unique prints.
Price: From $559.90 (U.P. $899.90), with free installation
2. Smart Mortise 2+
The Smart Mortise 2+ comes loaded with functions. Aside from fingerprint authentication, you can use PIN passwords, Bluetooth keys and RFID credentials to unlock your door. The device also allows you to control it remotely and check real-time access logs.
Price: $749, with free installation
3. Samsung SHS 1321
The Samsung SHS 1321 has safety features such as the Double Authentication Mode and anti-theft mode settings.You can access your home with either a PIN code or keycard. The Double Authentication mode requires you to use both systems to verify entry for increased security.
Price: $429 (from Lazada), with free installation
4. Hafele EL9000
The Hafele EL9000 is a 4-in-1 digital door lock. You can use either fingerprint, passcode, RFID card or mechanical key. On top of an auto-lock function, there is the option to deactivate lost or missing keycards.
Price: $749 (from Lazada), with free installation
Buying The Best Digital Lock for Your Home
The market is saturated with tons of digital lock options. That’s why we narrowed down your choices with the above four options. These popular models have multiple entry modes and are from top digital lock brands in Singapore. Generally, they have positive online reviews and are commonly featured on ‘Best Digital Locks’ lists.
Whichever model you choose, it’s best to first deliberate over which type of digital lock best suits your family’s needs. At the end of the day, upgrading your home with this handy smart home device can bring increased levels of comfort and convenience.
Other FAQ On Digital Locks
Which Digital Door Lock Is Best in Singapore?
Reputable brands in Singapore include Hafele, Samsung, Yale, Starke and igloohome.
Is a Fingerprint Door Lock Safe?
Yes, they are just as safe as keyed locks. For more information, ask your retailer about your digital lock’s security features.
How Much Does a Digital Lock Cost?
Depending on the type of digital lock, expect to pay between $200 to $1,500 (excluding installation fees).
How Long Does a Digital Lock Last?
5 years. This estimate assumes the technology used in your digital lock is likely to become obsolete after a period of time.
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Featured image source: wiredsmart.io