Review: Level Lock is the invisible smart home lock with HomeKit for your front door

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    1348513485 Posts: 226member
    I find these products fairly amusing in terms of "security". Most apartments can have very strong doors and locks, but common drywall over studs wall construction, so a claw hammer gets you access next to the door. And most houses have glass all around, so even if the doors are secure, the windows are not.

    Don't overthink this.
    rob53watto_cobraGeorgeBMacNaiyas
  • Reply 22 of 34
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 331member
    The Level Lock should have an embedded sensor to reveal if the door has been pushed or pried open. Messaging that the door was recently locked or unlocked only tells the owner if the door was legally accessed with a key or app. But there are breaches in which the deadbolt remains in the regular lock position. Since it is called Level lock, the mechanism could be given a level indicator; then, an out-of-level deadbolt would reveal the door has been compromise by force. Perhaps a different sensor would do an even better job, but the point remains that Level Lock should report if your front door has been kicked in. 
    insync88watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 34
    insync88insync88 Posts: 24member
    mike1 said:
    This looks interesting. I'm in the market for a Smart Lock and was leaning towards the new August WiFi. The only thing that gives me pause with the Level is changing the battery. Even though they claim it will last a year, changing the battery looks like it will be a mini-project in itself, as everything needs to come apart again.
    Actually the battery is in the bolt itself and screws off easily when the battery needs changing no need to take the whole lock apart,I’ve had mine 6 mths and  battery still shows full 
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 24 of 34
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 528member, editor
    mike1 said:
    This looks interesting. I'm in the market for a Smart Lock and was leaning towards the new August WiFi. The only thing that gives me pause with the Level is changing the battery. Even though they claim it will last a year, changing the battery looks like it will be a mini-project in itself, as everything needs to come apart again.
    Changing the battery is dead simple. You just open the door,, lock the lock so the deadbolt is extended, then unscrew the cap on the end. put the new battery in, retract the lock, and close the door.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 34
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 528member, editor
    The Level Lock should have an embedded sensor to reveal if the door has been pushed or pried open. Messaging that the door was recently locked or unlocked only tells the owner if the door was legally accessed with a key or app. But there are breaches in which the deadbolt remains in the regular lock position. Since it is called Level lock, the mechanism could be given a level indicator; then, an out-of-level deadbolt would reveal the door has been compromise by force. Perhaps a different sensor would do an even better job, but the point remains that Level Lock should report if your front door has been kicked in. 
    That is why you pair it with a HomeKit contact sensor. These can be quite cheap and will notify you if the door is opened when you are away.
    MplsPwatto_cobrajdb8167
  • Reply 26 of 34
    rossgggrossggg Posts: 12member
    mike1 said:
    This looks interesting. I'm in the market for a Smart Lock and was leaning towards the new August WiFi. The only thing that gives me pause with the Level is changing the battery. Even though they claim it will last a year, changing the battery looks like it will be a mini-project in itself, as everything needs to come apart again.
    There is no need to disassemble the lock to replace the battery, you simply extend the deadbolt while the door is open, and then unscrew a cap on the end and swap the battery there.  That is why the deadbolt strike is cylindrical rather than rectangular, and why it includes a new strike plate for your door frame to accommodate the new deadbolt shape.
    edited May 2020 watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 27 of 34
    It would seem easy to incorporate a magnet into a strike plate and a reed switch or other sensor in the bolt. This would serve two purposes. One, to verify that the door is closed when it locks automatically (what good is a “goodnight” routine if the door isn’t shut). And two, it could serve to tell if the door has been breached.

    I’d be in for $229, but I expect they’ll add that feature in the next iteration of this product. 
  • Reply 28 of 34
    omasouomasou Posts: 313member
    I purchased this lock to use w/my entryway lock set but had to return it.

    Unfortunately for me the entryway deadbolt guts are inside the door (no not a mortice lock, which also does not work with level) instead of outside the door where you have separate deadbolt like the one shown in the video with the August lock in the picture above and therefore would not work. Otherwise, this is a slick solution.

    I also really, really like that it works with HomeKit and doesn't require yet another hub!
    edited May 2020 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 29 of 34
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    rob53 said:
    Few things.

    1. $229 is why people aren't automating their homes. $100 here, $100 there adds up very quickly. Why does this lock cost so much when it's barebones?
    2. The video didn't mention anything about using the keyed lock on the outside. I presume opening the house with the key still works (yes/no?). If it does, does the opening of the lock from the outside (also inside) change the status of the lock within HomeKit?
    3. The dead bolt isn't much of a dead bolt. It locks wimpy. Most dead bolts are solid, this isn't. Of course, most people understand a house door lock only keeps non-criminals out. A good kick and the door jam breaks apart.
    4. The dead bolt is connected to the lock using a magnet. How easy would it be to use another, stronger magnet to defeat the lock?

    If I were designing the lock for a new door, I would bore the lock hole most of the way through inserting a steel disk to slow down outside access to the lock. I'd keep the inside lock handle to allow people easy egress. I would not include any kind of keyed lock from the outside, requiring access from the lock app. Of course, a better locking mechanism would include three bolts; top, bottom and door jam. With a proper door jam, which isn't installed on all but a few houses, this lock and latching mechanism might actually stop the majority of thieves. I'd pay >$200 for this type of electronic lock.
    And the front door is not the main point of entry for thieves. It’s often a side or rear window.
  • Reply 30 of 34
    omasouomasou Posts: 313member
    rob53 said:
    Few things.

    1. $229 is why people aren't automating their homes. $100 here, $100 there adds up very quickly. Why does this lock cost so much when it's barebones?

    2. The video didn't mention anything about using the keyed lock on the outside. I presume opening the house with the key still works (yes/no?). If it does, does the opening of the lock from the outside (also inside) change the status of the lock within HomeKit

    3. The dead bolt isn't much of a dead bolt. It locks wimpy. Most dead bolts are solid, this isn't. Of course, most people understand a house door lock only keeps non-criminals out. A good kick and the door jam breaks apart.

    4. The dead bolt is connected to the lock using a magnet. How easy would it be to use another, stronger magnet to defeat the lock?

    If I were designing the lock for a new door, I would bore the lock hole most of the way through inserting a steel disk to slow down outside access to the lock. I'd keep the inside lock handle to allow people easy egress. I would not include any kind of keyed lock from the outside, requiring access from the lock app. Of course, a better locking mechanism would include three bolts; top, bottom and door jam. With a proper door jam, which isn't installed on all but a few houses, this lock and latching mechanism might actually stop the majority of thieves. I'd pay >$200 for this type of electronic lock.

    Keep in mind deadbolts are typically defeated by using a sledge to knock of the outer cylinder. So this is no worse or better than the deadbolt it is automating.
    And the front door is not the main point of entry for thieves. It’s often a side or rear window.

    1. Yes, expensive but an elegant solution.

    2. Yes, yes.

    3. The entire lock is substantial. The deadbolt, though hollow is a thick walled "tube" which is strong, e.g. bicycle frame; is filled with a battery and like you mention a wooden door jam will likely fail before the deadbolt.

    4. The lock slides onto the bolt and there is a set screw. The tolerances are extremely tight and once installed IN the door there is no way or room to disengage the two.

    This is a ANSI Grade 1, or ANSI Grade A (see level.co FAQ) which may be a higher grade than the deadbolt guts it's replacing. A lot of big box deadbolts are Grade 2.

    Like I mentioned above. I wanted to use this with my entryway set. So much so, I am considering purchasing a different entryway set so that I can use this lock.

    edited May 2020
  • Reply 31 of 34
    laytechlaytech Posts: 249member
    I love this lock. I almost bought August but when August would not allow me to pay for it via an international credit card (as I had to circumvent purchasing it from Australia by sending it to a friend in the US and then to Australia), I ended up buying Level Lock - no less convoluted mind but at least they accepted my international credit card.

    Level Lock is terrific, hidden in the door and no one can tell its a smart lock. It is of very high quality so much so that its almost a shame its hidden away but impressive little lock it is. Works great with Home Kit. Being Bluetooth I was surprised the Auto Unlock only worked with HomeKit but other than that, delighted with this lock.

    Shame that August and Level Lock don't allow international shipping, they really are closing off their full sale potential. 
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 32 of 34
    insync88 said:
    Actually the battery is in the bolt itself and screws off easily when the battery needs changing no need to take the whole lock apart,I’ve had mine 6 mths and  battery still shows full 

    It is good that the battery in the Level Lock will last awhile -- I have a 1st (or maybe 2nd) generation August lock, and it seems to need new batteries (4 AA) every month or two. It won't use rechargeable batteries either, so it's not good for the landfill. Also, the app doesn't show the battery charge, other than to say that they they need to be changed -- it would be helpful to know when they are getting low. I will look into getting a Level Lock in the future.

  • Reply 33 of 34
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,364member
    13485 said:
    I find these products fairly amusing in terms of "security". Most apartments can have very strong doors and locks, but common drywall over studs wall construction, so a claw hammer gets you access next to the door. And most houses have glass all around, so even if the doors are secure, the windows are not.

    Don't overthink this.
    As with any security measure, it's about changing probabilities, not guaranteeing impermeability. An intelligent intruder who is hellbent will find a way in. An intelligent intruder who is an opportunist will choose a different target if a home has obvious security features, cameras, etc. A dumb intruder will simply be defeated or caught by security measures covering the obvious points of entry. Very few cases involve the hellbent intruder.
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