Should you fall for a connected lock and thus strengthen the security of your home? This is the question that many ask themselves when bringing in a dose of connectedness at home. Now freed from the specter of door dismantling, locks are easier to install and use. Among them, the Linus Smart Lock from Yale promises simplicity and security for all. We locked ourselves in to see.
For more than 180 years Yale has been designing cylinders and providing security for all types of doors . This name means nothing to you ? Yet it is one of the companies of the Swedish group Assa Abloy, also owner of Point Fort Fichet or Vachette, better known in our regions. Introducing the first connected lock from the American brand, the Linus Smart Lock, named in honor of its founder, Linus Yale.
Its promise: to adapt to 95% of the installations in place in France, “a real challenge in one of the most diverse countries in terms of armored door systems and even the size of keys or doors”, Do we have fun sliding at Yale. The idea of the product is to offer simple use, accessible to as many people as possible, while keeping its fundamentals. We tested the Linus Smart Lock to see if it kept its promises and knew how to be forgotten in our daily life.
What is a smart lock?
At a time when technology is creeping into every corner of our home that has become connected, it was normal that the sashes did not escape them. And in particular the front door of the home, which is there as much a reinforcement in terms of security as a touch of modernity and functions to make your daily life easier. A connected lock is there to tick all these boxes and automate everything. Gone are the days when installing a lock connected to a beep or to your smartphone required changing the whole system.
From now on, smart locks are capable of feats to open even in your absence (but on purpose!), To warn in case of problems or to come to the aid of heads-in-the-air who would have left without closing behind them. All this, at the tip of your finger and smartphone!
A very successful design
Compared to other models on the market, the Linus Smart Lock is quite elegant while taking up the new codes of connected locks. This is a slender, oval module that is attached to your door (58 mm wide by 150 mm long and 58 mm thick). Or rather on your door, because you already have an interest in anticipating a beautiful growth on the inside. Outside, nothing changes. This is one of the advantages: you can continue to open the door with your usual key and no one will know.
The lock is available in silver gray or black. It is a very qualitative aluminum product in its finish and everything is matched. By choosing the right color, it can easily blend into the decor or add a designer touch.
On its visible side, the device has a battery door (4 AA batteries included) hidden behind a removable pad. It also contains the QR Codes needed to configure the lock and then add it to the Apple Home app if desired.
There is also a rotary knob which allows manual opening. This encases the door key, which it will also automatically turn thanks to the motor integrated in the lock. The whole thing is quite heavy (623 g, batteries included), but of excellent quality and very robust. We are far from the first plastic locks we saw on the market.
On the back of the lock, that is to say the part which will be subsequently attached to the handle, is a black plate which will be positioned around the cylinder to support everything. Be careful to tighten it well, as it will tend to loosen over time and openings.
The smart lock is also supplied with a DoorSense opening detector to be positioned near the door, a double-sided self-adhesive mounting bracket and an Allen key to secure the base screws to the lock.
Yale Access: a no-frills app
The Linus Smart Lock works with the Yale Access app, available on Android and iOS. It is through this that you will be able to configure the installation of the product and then manage all of its parameters.
It is fairly classic, but has the advantage of not getting lost in too many fuss to optimize and facilitate its operation. From there, you can create your “home”, open the lock with a click, distribute permanent access to other household members or temporary access to guests.
If the lock secures the house, the app tries not to be the weak link in the system. It is thus protected by a double level of authentication (password + email or phone number) and you can even use facial or fingerprint recognition on your smartphone to reinforce it. The Linus Smart Lock also does not minimize its efforts in terms of encryption of the lock and announces a bank level of security for your data (AES and TLS).
An installation that takes you by the hand
The strength of the Linus Smart Lock lies in its ability to adapt to all types of doors. But it is nevertheless better to anticipate. For this, Yale has provided a very clear site on which to provide multiple information to find out if the product can be compatible with your installation (type of cylinder, lock, distance from the handle or the cylinder , opening system, etc.). You will then know if you can easily take advantage of it or if you will need accessories ( see below ).
The lock is configured through the app and must be launched in parallel with the physical installation of the product. Once your account is created, you add a product by clicking on “Configure a device”. All the steps are explained very clearly. You start by scanning the QR Code on the back of the battery cover so that the lock is identified.
You must then answer a series of questions about your home and your door to obtain the best possible installation: type of lock (European, deadbolt or latch, etc.), presence of an exterior handle, if you have to raise the one inside to lock, etc. Once these questions are settled, we get into the hard and concentration is required.
Start by installing the black plate located on the back of the lock. Don’t panic, the app will walk you step by step through the installation guide and explain how to attach the Smart Lock.
The good news is that you don’t have to take your door apart or even pull out the striker, which has long been a source of concern for many potential users. The lock comes to rest on the cylinder, you just have to “sacrifice” a physical key that will remain in the case to automate the opening. You then tighten with the pre-retracted screws on the plate to secure everything using the Allen key provided. You just have to put the Linus block back on the plate by clipping it as shown.
You can then resume the lock configuration after positioning the opening detector next to the door. You will need to calibrate the opening to make Linus understand when the door is open, ajar, or closed. The door is now ready for use with the help of your smartphone.
The whole is quite simple and intuitive, in addition to being very detailed. It only requires a few minutes of installation and connection in Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy to your smartphone for the configuration of the settings afterwards. Note that if the sound of the lock bothers you, it can be muted from the app.
If you opt for the addition of a Yale Connect Bridge Wi-Fi, a bridge that will allow you to manage your home remotely from anywhere in the world, but which is extra (80 euros), it will need to be connected to the house’s Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz). The lock thus offers the luxury of being able to switch from one connection to the other to always be as stable as possible.
However, this was the part of the installation that turned out to be the most complex. First of all, a constraint: the bridge must be plugged in less than 3 m from the lock and not too far from the Wi-Fi. You will then have to scan the code on the module, enjoy the spectacle of flashing LEDs to hope a connection. We had to start over several times before everything was operational. But once that works, the magic happens…
Accessories that are sometimes essential as an option
If your door is not completely adjusted, it is possible to add accessories to properly install your Smart Lock. Starting with an adjustable cylinder . Some older models, for example, do not allow you to leave a key in the lock on the inside and be able to open with another on the outside. For security reasons, this system is hardly used today. The Linus Smart Lock needs a double independent cylinder to function. It is therefore possible to change yours to the one offered as an option (40 euros).
The barrel is supplied with different sizes of extension for the exterior and interior, as well as extensions to adjust. Yale has not forgotten the physical key which is totally part of the product design and copies are provided in the box. You can order more from Yale later.
This is probably the only part of the lock assembly that will require a bit more work to replace yours and therefore take everything apart.
Yale also offers the Yale Smart Keypad, a keyboard connected with a digital code (70 euros) if you want to give a code to your visitors to type rather than access on their smartphone via the application , or even so you don’t have to take out your keys.
And as a reminder, the Connect Bridge is also optional (80 euros). It allows remote access to door monitoring via the app. Note that if you have decided to have several Yale locks in your home, you will need one bridge per model to manage everything remotely.
She does the minimum, but very well
Once your lock is installed, you will be able to enter the world of the secure connected home from the start. The basic operation of the Linus Smart Lock is to allow you to lock and unlock your lock without having to take out your keys. The smartphone and even the Apple Watch are your new means of access to this. Just hold them near the door and the door activates automatically. First of all, it’s pretty fast and you won’t have to wait long for the lock to activate automatically.
Everything goes through the Yale Access app, which you obviously have to always leave activated in the background if you want to take full advantage of the features. It is quite simple and is based on two modes: Home and Away. The app thus knows how to differentiate when you approach the lock, from your home if you have opted for bridge, thanks to geofencing technology which knows how to locate you when you approach or move away (around 200 m around the home). The lock will then be able to judge that you forgot to lock the door with the key when leaving and to do it for you, or to unlock afterwards to anticipate your arrival. Very practical especially if you put your arms full, the smartphone or the keys at the bottom of the bag. Remember to also activate the GPS location and your Bluetooth to take advantage of the automatic unlocking function.
The lock can tell the difference between your presence (or that of registered family members) and your absence. It won’t unlock on its own if you’re in your living room just because you’re nearby. It then switches to Home mode and adjusts its settings. You can then use it in the easiest way by opening the app and using the big green or red button that appears. This is its basic operation and it does it quite well, in a reactive way.
On the app side, you have many settings available for your daily operation. Apart from the automatic locking which we mentioned above, Yale Access offers various options such as the delay of the door ajar which alerts you after a defined opening time, but also Smart Alerts in the form of notifications to be created according to events (door locked / unlocked manually or by a defined person, door ajar) and times (find out if the children are on time, for example).
You also have a lock operation dashboard available. You will know who entered or left, whether the lock was activated manually with a key or via the smartphone, even remotely, the changes made, etc. Quite useful for supervising the whole.
Do not worry if you run out of battery on your smartphone when approaching home, the lock fortunately still tolerates the use of keys, which does not lose their usefulness. This event will be added to the dashboard and will appear as a notification on other owners’ smartphones.
Simply enable guest access
It is also from the app that you can distribute remote access with a simple invitation by SMS or in your contact list, even at the last minute. Just enter the phone number and the invitation will go out quickly. The recipient will only have to install the application, create an account to enjoy the access. You decide its status: owner (permanent access, with the possibility of setting app options and giving access) or Guest . This last type of access only allows you to lock or unlock the door from the application. It is you who define the frequency of use of the application and therefore of the lock (permanent, regular with weekly schedule, temporary for a defined period).
There is no need to connect to your Wi-Fi or the like for your visitors who turn their smartphone into a virtual key. They will thus operate the application and the lock like you do, but with limited conditions which are usually primarily about managing settings. This could be very useful for a household employee or a seasonal rental in particular, with a partnership displayed with Airbnb as a bonus, but also to allow a last minute visitor to enter. The guest list can be changed at any time and you can easily cancel access, even temporarily.
What about autonomy?
The advertised battery life is around eight months, thanks in part to Bluetooth Low Energy. Suffice to say that, despite extensive testing and daily use, the lock still has not shown the slightest sign of battery flickering. When the situation arises, a notification will let you know it’s time to think about it. As on the other models, we would prefer to see the arrival of a rechargeable battery pack to integrate, as has just been proposed by Nuki. It will be good for the planet, but also for your peace of mind. Because those are the times when you don’t have batteries on hand….
A complicated relationship with the connected home
If you have chosen the bridge (really essential!), You can make the Linus Smart Lock part of the connected home. It is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, the IFTTT standard or even manufacturers like Philips Hue and the Airbnb service.
We’re not going to lie to each other, it wasn’t always as easy as you might imagine. For Amazon Alexa, you have to go through a skill called “Yale Access” if we believe the app in our hands. It was a total failure and we were never able to add it despite our best efforts. Right from the login page, we got an error message.
For Google Home, things are pretty straightforward. You add the device from the app of the same name, you secure everything with a code sent by SMS, then with a user code. The lock is then added to the room of your choice and you can access it from the Google Home app.
For HomeKit, it was also sufficient to add the product from the Home app by scanning its QR Code (on the back of the battery cover). You can then, as with Google Assistant, control the voice lock with the help of Siri, add the Linus Smart Lock in a scenario (turn on the lights when the lock unlocks for the return from 6 p.m., for example ). The Yale lock is probably the most compatible with Apple’s system, with the pairing procedure included in the app. And it is most easily integrated with HomeKit and it works perfectly with use.
Price and availability
The Linus Smart Lock is on sale for 249 euros on the website of Yale or from Amazon , Leroy Merlin and other resellers [19459009 ]. It is available in silver gray or matt black.