Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Stylish Yet High-Tech Lock

Ok, I know door hardware doesn't exactly inspire excitement in a lot of people. Normally, I wouldn't care that much either. But that inner geek in me (who am I kidding - outer geek is more like it) loves to see a technology edge to anything. And when it works? Even better.

So that's why I agreed to review a new lock by Schlage, because an electronic keypad lock sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. And I loves me some gadgets.

When the lock arrived, I was really impressed. It's a stylish lock, with gentle curves in a satin nickel finish.

Honestly, the hardest part of installation was getting the lock out of the box. They provide very detailed instructions on how to install the lock, but nothing to figure out which pieces to unscrew in order to remove it from the styrofoam.

When I saw the first instruction was to line up and measure the deadbolt hole in the door to make sure it would fit this lock, I had nightmares of having to drill into my door with some drilling type device that I do not own. (I'm not much of a do-it-yourselfer.) Thankfully, there seems to be some kind of standard size, because the hole from the old deadbolt and the lock matched up perfectly.

The actual installation wasn't too bad. It took longer than the 30 minutes that Schlage says it will take, and it took two people, but as I've said, Bob Villa I am not. There were a few times I wasn't sure exactly what to do, and in these cases I turned to the video instructions provided on the Schlage website.

The lock comes pre-programmed with two key codes, although you can reprogram them to a code you can remember or add more codes if needed. Having at least two codes is a great idea. You can give the second code to a house-sitter, babysitter, or anyone else who needs access to your house, and then change or delete the second code when you no longer want them to have access.

I really like the keypad deadbolt so far. The greatest benefit to me is not having to fish out my keys when carrying a toddler and several bags up to the door. I also like the security of not worrying about a key that could be stolen. (They do provide a set of keys for keypad override, should you need them.) It has a useful backlight so you can see the numbers at night, and a low battery indicator to tell you when you need to change the 9V battery.

If you're looking for a new door lock, consider an electronic keypad from Schlage. I can see this lock being very useful when my daughters are older. Better for them to remember a short number sequence to get into our house than have to keep track of a set of keys.

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