Smart Home

A Smart Lock Installation Checklist for Homeowners

Published October 2022, Updated March 2024

Smart lock installation checklist

One of the most beneficial upgrades to your home is installing a new smart lock. Smart locks come with several benefits for home and business owners. Besides the convenience of a simplified check-in and check-out process, smart locks also offer you the ability to control access to your property without physically being there.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of smart locks and the steps to install a smart door lock on your property.

Why switch to smart locks?

Smart locks offer a wide range of benefits for homeowners. Here are just a few:

  • Enhanced security with auto-lock: If you often stress about leaving the door unlocked, installing a smart lock on your front door will ease your worries. The auto-locking option allows you to set the front door to lock automatically if left unlocked for a certain amount of time or if you leave a certain geographical radius.

  • More convenience: Smart locks can connect to smartphone apps. Digital keys can remotely grant visiting friends, family, and vacation rental guests access. Enhance this safety and convenience by integrating your lock into a larger home security system like Apple HomeKit or Ring.

  • No more hassle of carrying keys: House keys are often misplaced or lost, forcing you to change the locks often. Besides, using a key code means you won't worry about a stray key falling into the wrong hands. Smart locks also mean you won't need a physical key to lend to a friend to check up on your home when out of town.

  • Simplified home security: Smart locks give you full control of your home security no matter where you are. It lets you grant access and track who comes in and out of your home, and when.

  • A lock for every door: If you have specific rooms that require limited access, such as an office or wine room, you can install smart interior locks for each room. Each lock can feature specific pass codes so only select people can enter.

What to look for in a smart lock

If you are considering a smart lock, there are a lot of features to sort through. Here are a few of the most important ones.

Lock standard ratings

Smart locks are not designed with equal build and performance quality, so it's important to check their ANSI ratings. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) rate locks based on their durability, latch duration, and resistance to hacking. Grade 1 is the highest, reflecting the most secure lock for commercial use. Grade 2 offers reliable security for residential use, and many smart locks are ANSI Grade 2. Level locks are certified to BHMA Grade AAA standards, and meet ANSI Grade 1, or ANSI Grade A, which is the American National Standards Institute’s specification for the strongest, most secure deadbolt lock.

Door lock command support

Your smartphone acts as a digital key. However, you can misplace or lose your phone. When shopping for a smart door lock, check whether it has an alternative lock command support. Some smart locks offer multiple access options, including a cylinder key, NFC key card, or key code.

Technology interaction

Check whether the smart lock integrates well with your existing home network. Some smart locks feature Bluetooth support and can integrate with other smart home technology like Apple HomeKit or Ring.

Remote access capabilities

Many locks that use Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi adapters offer limited remote access. If you spend most of your time far away from home, you could lose connectivity. Choose a smart lock with innovative technology to guarantee unlimited remote access.

Battery life

Ideally, batteries power smart locks. When shopping for a smart lock, compare the estimated battery life of the models you're considering. You should also choose one with features that show how much battery life is left to avoid being locked out due to a dead lock battery. Level locks have a battery life of about a year with average use, while others offer a 3-6 month battery life.

Your smart lock installation checklist

Once you've found a lock with all the right features, installation is usually fairly easy. Most smart locks require the following steps.

1. Remove the old lock

You need to remove the old lock before you install the new smart lock. First, unscrew the screws on your old lock's interior turn piece. Next, look for the key assembly on the front side of the lock where you insert the key. On the side of your door, find the bolt that slides out when you lock it and unscrew the two screws attaching it. This will allow you to pull the bolt out.

2. Install the new deadbolt

Your new smart lock comes with its own deadbolt assembly. Insert the deadbolt into the deadbolt hole and twist or pull the assembly to adjust firmly into the hole. Ensure the deadbolt is well retracted before securing the assembly to your door using the provided screws.

3. Install the new exterior parts

Next, install the exterior-facing half of the lock. This piece comes with a flat bar spindle and electric cable. Slide the wire underneath the deadbolt before inserting the exterior lock into the framing. Once the exterior portion is firmly in place, test it by turning the flat bar spindle to the left and right. Ensure the deadbolt retracts without any resistance.

4. Install the new interior portion

The smart lock's interior sides typically feature a plastic or metal mounting plate. Hold the ribbon cable and slide it into the bottom opening of the mounting plate. Next, insert the two longer mounting screws that come with the lock into the mounting plate holes. Screw them firmly while ensuring proper alignment. Connect the cable to the interior portion of the new lock before hanging it on the mounting plate.

5. Insert the batteries

Locate your new lock's battery compartment and insert the provided batteries. Re-secure the compartment cover to ensure the batteries are firmly in place.

6. Calibrate and configure the lock

Once the batteries are securely in place, the lock will automatically prompt you through the calibration and configuration steps. When launching the app for the first time, you may need to be connected to WI-FI for the lock to install a firmware update.

Consider a Level smart lock

Smart locks are the perfect way to ensure your home or business is protected, no matter your location. Installing a smart lock is an easy, DIY undertaking. Although there may be some slight differences based on the type of lock you choose, the installation process is usually similar to what we've covered above.

Not all types of smart locks deliver quality performance, though, and choosing the ideal smart lock for your home can be a little bit confusing. That is where Level comes in. Level Lock is small, elegant, and powerful enough to securely and safely protect your home — and it's easy to install. Contact us today to learn more and follow us on Instagram @levelhome, Twitter @levelhomeinc, or Facebook @levelhomeinc.