What Happens If Your Smart Lock Loses Power?

If you ever experienced last-minute doubts about a door left unlocked, a device like a smart lock could be your new best friend. These locks mostly do away with traditional keys and use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth along with a keypad, your fingertips, or even your voice to unlock your door. There also are retrofit models like the August WiFi that can turn your regular lock into a smart lock, so you can always keep your old deadbolt across your door as an extra safety measure.

While these jazzy features sound wonderful and convenient, the one lingering question you may have is what happens if your smart lock loses power due to a blackout or any other situation where there is no power. Does it mean your doors unlock, leaving you vulnerable? Or will you wind up one day locked outside of your home with no way to enter?

In short, there's good news: your smart lock can provide your home with the same level of protection, even if the lights go off.

Most smart lock have prepared for battery drain

Fortunately, the vast majority of smart locks on the market today are battery-powered. If the power goes out, the locking mechanism will continue to work and you can still open your door using a keypad even if remote capabilities do not work.

If you have a model that can be used with a key, you'll still be able to open your smart lock like you would a traditional lock. But what happens in situations where your batteries end up dying, and the smart lock does not come with a keyhole? 

Many (and hopefully most) keyless smart locks have features that allow you to enter without dismantling your whole door. A great example of a solution for this issue comes in the Google Next x Yale lock, which uses a battery compartment that can be accessed with a paperclip. Another older model Yale lock allows you to temporarily charge its internal battery by holding a 9V battery under its chin.

Before you get to this point, your smart lock should deliver plenty of warning as your battery drains over time, and you'll almost certainly be given a warning that your smart lock is near the point where it'd be out of power completely. Smart lock companies differ slightly on how they handle this situation, but no brand wants to be caught with bad reviews because they failed to give their users proper notification of a low battery.