Choosing the right smart lock is not easy.
There are a number of different factors to consider: how many entry methods does it offer, does it integrate with Alexa and Google, how long does the battery last, can I install it myself, and so on.
Most smart locks will tick some but not all of the boxes. The Lockly Secure Plus (Latch Edition) is no different: it’s a great standalone smart lock, sturdily built, with a highly secure pin pad and a state-of-the-art fingerprint sensor. If you’re a homeowner looking for a solid, secure smart lock, I highly recommend it.
But if you are looking for a smart lock for short-term rentals or you want a smart lock that you can control remotely, this might not be the best choice.
More about that later.
- Lockly Secure Plus access options
- Deadlatch vs Deadbolt Smart Locks
- Lock Design
- Touchscreen Pin Pad
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Bluetooth to WiFi Hub
- Lockly Smartphone App
- Using Lockly Secure Remotely
- Temporary Codes for Guests
- Integration with Smart Home Systems
- Additional Security Features
- Auto-locking (Deadbolt Edition)
- Battery Life
- Weather Resistance
What I like about it:
- Very secure touchscreen pin pad
- Excellent fingerprint recognition
- Solidly built with a sturdy design
- Easy to install
What I don’t like about it:
- The hub (or bridge) provides spotty WiFi connection
- Hard to operate remotely (not a good choice for short-term rentals)
Lockly Secure Plus access options
The Lockly Secure Plus has a secure touchpad as well as a 3D biometric fingerprint sensor. It also has a traditional keyway and comes with two spare keys. This means that even if the batteries run out, you can still open the lock.
One feature of the Lockly Secure Plus I really like is the PIN Genie® technology, which randomizes the numbers on your keypad, making it almost impossible for someone to guess your code from finger smudges or by watching you as you enter your code.
More about that PIN Genie technology below.
The Lockly Secure Plus also has a smartphone app that allows you to open and close the lock remotely and create temporary access codes for guests, family members, and service providers.
This is a beautifully built, solid, smart lock made of zinc alloy with a satin nickel finish.
But before we go any further, a quick word about deadlatches versus deadbolts.
Deadlatch vs Deadbolt Smart Locks
Most online articles about smart locks for external doors only discuss deadbolt locks. This can create the impression that a deadbolt is the only viable option for an entrance door.
But when it comes to smart locks, a deadlatch has a number of advantages over a deadbolt.
In a deadlatch, there is a component called a “deadlock plunger” that is held back by the strike plate:
The plunger hits the strike plate, which prevents the plunger from fully extending:
In that position, the latch effectively becomes a deadbolt – it cannot be moved by someone inserting a plastic card or screwdriver between the door jamb and the bolt.
The advantage of a deadlatch smart lock over a deadbolt smart lock is better battery life.
With a deadbolt smart lock, the deadbolt needs to be physically moved in and out of the strike plate. This places a heavy burden on the batteries that power your smart lock and it’s the main reason why many smart locks have a fairly short battery life.
Also, if your deadbolt is not perfectly aligned with the mortise in the door jamb, you’ll be using up your batteries even faster, as the extra friction requires more battery power.
By contrast, with a dead latch smart lock, the latch closes by itself using a spring mechanism – there is no action that the battery needs to power. This gives you a much longer battery life, because moving the deadbolt in and out of the strike plate is what really drains your batteries in a smart lock.
This is a heavy, solidly built smart lock, much more sturdy than some of the other products on the market. While installing the Lockly Secure Plus I was impressed with the sturdiness of its components. The lock’s robust construction means that it will remain intact even under extreme force.
However, it does have a slightly “industrial” look about it, and that may not be to everyone’s liking. Also, the handle is rather long for a domestic lock:
The lock has a metal cover that hides the keyhole. However, the magnets that hold this cover in place are not all that strong, and the cover tends to slide down.
But other than that, it’s very solid and sturdy. And that’s what you want in an exterior smart lock – something that will discourage people from tampering with it.
[Note that I am using the lock on an internal door, but it is designed to be an external lock.]
Installation of the Lockly Secure Plus was a breeze – I had it done in about 30 minutes. The 3D video in the BILT app made it easy and intuitive to install.
I was replacing an existing passage set, so the hole in the door, as well as the mortise in the door jamb, both fit perfectly with the Lockly smart lock.
If you are starting from scratch or if your previous lock used different fittings, you will need to use the templates provided in the box.
There are five basic steps to installing the Lockly Secure Plus smart lock:
Step 1 – Check if your door is right-handed or left-handed – if your door is left-handed (as mine was) you will have to reverse the orientation of the exterior lock handle (using the tool provided).
Step 2 – Remove the existing lock (or drill holes using the template)
Step 3 – Install the mounting plate
Step 4 – Install the latch
Step 5 – Attach the exterior assembly and tighten the three screws on the interior side of the lock.
Once you have done that, you need to scan the QR code on the activation card. Once the lock is activated, you then download the Lockly app and connect the lock to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Touchscreen Pin Pad
The Lockly Secure Plus smart lock has a touch screen pin pad with some nice security features built in.
One of these features is an innovative algorithm called “Pin Genie”, which scrambles the position of the numbers on the keypad each time the lock is activated. This makes it virtually impossible for an observer to work out the correct code by watching you or by analyzing fingerprint smudge marks on the touchscreen:
The numbers displayed on the touchscreen are constantly randomized, so there are no telltale marks that someone could use to determine the passcode.
The fingerprint sensor on the side of the lock uses advanced 3D fingerprint recognition, which makes it virtually impossible for someone to replicate your fingerprints.
Most smart locks with fingerprint access use an optical reader to recognize fingerprints. But the Lockly Secure Plus has a capacitive fingerprint reader. Without going into too many details, a capacitive fingerprint reader helps prevent the use of lifted fingerprints.
Most times, I find the sensor recognizes my fingerprints in a fraction of a second. However, I found it helps if you use the tip of your finger rather than the whole finger pad.
The fingerprint scanner can get finicky in wet weather: if you are having problems, make sure that both your finger and the sensor are dry.
My wife and I find that the fingerprint scanner works so well that we don’t use the pin pad at all.
You can add up to 99 fingerprints to the fingerprint sensor.
Bluetooth to WiFi Hub
The lock itself only has Bluetooth: to connect the lock to WiFi, you will need the Lockly WiFi hub, which may come with your lock, depending on which model you purchase.
The WiFi hub is not the best. You will need to have the hub located no more than 8 feet from the lock with a direct line of sight. And the hub has to be positioned no more than 20 feet from your WiFi router. And even then, the connection can be spotty.
The WiFi connectivity is definitely an aspect that Lockly needs to do some more work on, in my opinion.
Lockly Smartphone App
The smartphone app connects with the lock via Bluetooth, but you have to be within about 15 feet of the lock – more than that, and the app loses connection.
That being said, the app has some useful features. It tells you at a glance if the lock is open or closed, and it sends alerts if it is left open for more than a certain amount of time.
You can also open and close the lock from the app:
The smartphone app sends you notifications about when the lock is opened and closed and by which user. This is useful for parents who want to know that their kids are safely home from school.
The app also shows you the status of your battery life.
Another cool feature is that the app monitors the lock’s activity in real time. It gives you a detailed record of all lock operations, including lock and unlock events, as well as failed attempts. However, you cannot export or download the activity log, which may be a problem for some people.
Using Lockly Secure Remotely
Using the Lockly Secure Plus remotely is where this Lockly smart lock falls down.
Firstly, not all the features in the app are available through a WiFi connection. Some features require you to be in direct Bluetooth range of the lock.
Also, the lock is slow to respond when using WiFi – it doesn’t lock and unlock nearly as fast as with Bluetooth.
Setting up guest access codes via WiFi is pretty ‘hit and miss’: sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. If you need a smart lock for short-term rentals or to give people remote access, this is not the best smart lock for that purpose.
It’s excellent as a stand-alone product to use in your own house, but using it remotely is a bit of a headache.
Temporary Codes for Guests
While remote control of the lock can be problematic, if you are within Bluetooth range of the lock, you can easily create up to 15 guest codes at a time.
With each code that you create, you can set the code’s duration (how long it will work for) or even the exact time frame during which it will be valid. This means you can provide access to guests for a few hours, a few days, or even longer, depending on your needs.
The temporary access codes that Lockly generates are encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about unauthorized individuals intercepting or deciphering them. Also, the codes are generated randomly, which makes it very difficult for anyone to guess or replicate them.
Another security feature of the Lockly access codes is the ability to track their usage. Through the Lockly mobile app you can monitor when and by whom each code was used, giving you a clear record of who entered your home and at what time.
This is a valuable feature and a vast improvement over traditional locks, where you have to go and get spare keys cut for guests or service providers. Instead of sharing physical keys or constantly rekeying your lock, you just create unique temporary codes for each individual, giving you precise control over who can enter your home and when.
You can create and manage these codes either through the mobile app or on the lock’s touchscreen interface.
Integration with Smart Home Systems
Smart home integration is not a strong point of the Lockly Secure Plus. It integrates with Alexa and Google but not with Wink, HomeKit, or SmartThings.
Also, to add Lockly Secure Plus to Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you will need the Lockly Secure Link WiFi Hub. The lock itself only has Bluetooth connectivity – it needs the hub to connect with your WiFi network and the Internet.
Lockly Secure Plus is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which means you can control the lock with voice commands.
Additional Security Features
One of the key features of Lockly Secure Plus is its advanced encryption technology. The lock uses both AES-256 encryption and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to ensure secure communication between the lock and your smartphone.
With the encryption technology used in Lockly Secure Plus, your access codes are securely stored and transmitted. This means that even if someone were to intercept the data, it would be virtually impossible for them to decipher it without the encryption key.
Auto-locking (Deadbolt Edition)
With a deadlatch, your door automatically locks when you close it. But with a deadbolt, it is easy to leave your front door unlocked (you might close the door but not close the deadbolt).
The Lockly Secure Plus (Deadbolt Edition) overcomes this problem by giving you an auto-lock feature. With auto-lock enabled, the deadbolt automatically locks after a specified period of time (you can set the time interval in the app).
This means you never have to worry again about whether you remembered to lock the door when leaving your home or office – the lock takes care of it for you, automatically engaging the deadbolt after a specified time interval has passed.
The lock has very good battery life, as you would expect from a smart lock that connects via Bluetooth and doesn’t have built-in WiFi. The Lockly Secure Plus takes 4 ‘AA’ batteries and they should last 12 months, with normal use.
The Lockly Secure Plus is weather resistant and can withstand fairly harsh weather conditions, from wet to freezing temperatures to extreme heat. The box states that the lock operates in temperatures from -4 to 140 F (-20 to 60 C). The lock is rated as waterproof but needs to be under an awning and not subjected to constant rain.
The Lockly Secure Plus smart lock is a solidly built smart lock with cutting-edge security features. It is easy to operate using fingerprints, and it’s a great standalone smart lock for domestic use.
However, for those who need a smart lock for short-term rentals or AirBnB, this is not the best lock to get since it does not function very well remotely.