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Smart Lock Vs. Electronic Lock (Key Differences To Know)

By Howard Bowman

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Due to the world becoming more digitized, keyless locks are becoming more and more popular for homeowners worldwide. However, each technological invention has some differences that you should consider when deciding which would be best for you and your home.

Smart locks and electronic locks have many fundamental differences. Smart locks use an app to grant access, whereas electronic locks use a keypad. Smart locks also have many distinguishing features, such as virtual keys and door sense technology that electronic locks do not have.

It isn't uncommon for people to think that smart and electronic locks are the same. However, there is a distinction between the two. Thus it's crucial to understand the differences that make them unique. Here is what you need to know about the key differences between smart and electronic locks.

All About The Differences Between Smart And Electronic Locks

As the name implies, a smart lock is part of the broader smart home design and allows you to lock or open a door using devices, such as your phone, watch, tablet, etc., using a secure smart app. Therefore, you avoid using traditional keys in place of your chosen device.

You can also unlock a door from anywhere, whether at work or on vacation, and offer access to individuals using their smart devices. Often, a Wi-Fi connection is used to power smart locks, and some even include Bluetooth functionality.

Electronic locks are locked and unlocked using an electrical current. An electromagnet, a solenoid, which is an electromagnet with a single-coil, or a motor, is all powered by electrical current. Although you don't need a physical key, an electronic lock works similarly to a traditional key-based lock.

Electronic locks are usually accessed with pin codes, making it easier to re-enter your home if you lose your key. Unlike conventional locks that use physical keys to open and close, typical electronic locks use electricity to open and close the doors. The hardware used to operate the lock varies.

You'll find that magnets and motors are often utilized. Each is triggered by shutting off or providing electrical power to the device. Both kinds of locks sound pretty high-tech, but the reality is that they have been around for years, and you have most likely encountered them at some point in your life.

Do Both Smart And Electronic Apps Use Smart Assistants?

Smart locks are affordable and can be configured to work with home automation software like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's HomeKit to create a comprehensive digital environment for your home.

Electronic locks, in general, cannot be integrated with smart assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, etc. Therefore, electronic locks are not in the same league as they cannot be linked to smart assistants. With a smart lock, when someone attempts to break in, you may simply utilize one of the associated smart assistants to summon assistance.

You can also ask Siri to open your door with smart locks rather than a keypad. Whereas with electronic locks, you do not have any choice but to use the keypad or the key provided should the keypad fail to work.

What Is The Difference In How You Unlock The Door?

Usually, electronic locks use a keypad to unlock the door and require a passcode or some PIN for the door to get unlocked. Others rely on key fobs or cards that must be swiped to gain access.

On the other hand, people looking for a high level of security and controlled access can utilize electronic locks that use biometrics such as fingerprint or eye scanning or even voice identification to authenticate individuals and control the locking device.

In some circumstances, traditional electronic locks have a mechanical key cylinder that allows access with a standard key. On the other hand, smart locks are a new lock variation that has arisen in recent years.

They use innovative technology to allow users to access the lock with their smartphone, both in-person and remotely, and keep a log of people who come and go through alerts. A smart electronic lock's locking mechanism is similar to a regular electronic lock.

Still, the enhanced technology adds some additional capability over earlier electronic locks. Many smart locks, for example, can be unlocked using a smartphone app just about anywhere in the world.

Certain smart locks also allow you to set the lock to open automatically when a person with an equipped smartphone wants to enter the door and to lock automatically when the person is ready to exit.

This is because some smart locks also offer auto-locking capabilities. For example, suppose you happen to be carrying a pile of groceries. The door will open automatically for you. In that case, you won't have to fumble about for your smartphone, apple watch, or whatever else because you can set an auto-unlock just so the smart lock knows when you arrive using Bluetooth.

Electronic locks do not have an auto-lock and auto-unlock feature. You may also configure an auto-lock, so the smart lock closes the door behind you when you leave. This is a massive advantage because some people forget to shut the door after them if they're in a hurry or have a wandering mind.

Many smart locks use patented door sense technologies. This is especially appealing because it indicates whether your door is open or locked. This function is ideal for those of us who are easily distracted. Unfortunately, electronic locks do not have this fantastic technology.

Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is typically used to connect smart locks to your phone. Smart locks give you the option of being able to send virtual keys to family and friends. This is especially useful when you want someone to have access for a brief moment but don't want them to be able to get back into your home, as there is an option of giving them a temporary virtual key.

This is especially useful when you want a mailman or repairman to access your home for a brief moment. The same cannot be said for electronic locks, as you need to either give someone the password or pin for them to be able to enter your home.

This means that individuals can come back any time they want and will have access whenever they want it. The only way to change that is to change the pin. This can be a huge inconvenience if you need to change the password or pin constantly, and you may even get them mixed up.

Virtual keys are the most significant advantage of smart locks. Access can be provided from a wireless connection anywhere, allowing for flexible access controls and effortless access modification. In addition, anyone can be granted one-time access, making it simple to allow your cleaning or delivery people into your home without giving away your home's pin code.

Your smartphone app is a critical function that only smart door locks can work with, not electronic locks. You also cannot keep a log of who enters and exits your home with an electronic lock as there is no smart app to alert you with notifications.

You also do not have a log that you can check at a later stage, as electronic locks don't use smart apps. Having an entry log record is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It's mind-boggling that you'll be able to see who has entered and exited your front door at all hours without setting up a fancy camera to record them.

How Long Is The Battery Life Of Smart And Electronic Locks?

Because smart locks and electronic locks are powered by batteries, they do not last indefinitely. However, how long each lasts differs significantly. Bluetooth smart locks are the most powerful smart locks available.

Bluetooth is a low-power frequency that isn't too taxing on your battery because it only connects to your phone every now and then. The most advanced smart locks are wifi-based smart locks. They are incredibly energy-efficient, lasting anywhere from one to two years depending on usage and the lock. Wifi-based smart locks, however, will only survive 1 to 3 months.

Electronic keyless locks are incredibly dependable, but the battery will eventually run out of power, just like every other battery-powered equipment. Fortunately, electronic locks have been designed to utilize extremely little battery power during each use. In fact, most electronic locks can run for up to 3 to 5 years on their original batteries.

Naturally, each brand is different. Overall, smart locks tend to use more battery and need replacements sooner.

Are Smart Locks Or Electronic Locks Easier To Operate?

The main advantage of electronic locks over their more complex smart locks is their simplicity. They do not require a smartphone or wireless connection to function. This is advantageous for people that struggle with technology or simply don't want to depend on technology to be able to enter their homes.

With electronic locks, you just need to remember your password or pin code and have an override key if something goes wrong. How much simpler can it get?

Do Smart And Electronic Locks Give Real-Time Warning?

Because most smart lock systems send warnings directly to your smartphone, you can see if any unwanted persons are trying to access your home in real-time and take rapid action to prevent their access, even if you're miles away. Whereas with electronic locks, there is no smart app to notify you immediately if a stranger is trying to enter your home.

Do Smart Locks And Electronic Locks Cost The Same?

Because of the advanced technology involved in a smart lock, the cost of an individual smart lock will be significantly greater than that of an electronic lock. That's a significant price difference, but the benefits and convenience of using a smart lock may be worth the expense, especially if you have tons of smart home functionality.

The typical cost of setting up smart locks and installing the related accessories varies depending on your location. Still, it generally ranges from $150 to $400. Generally speaking, people tend to pay $200 for smart locks with WI-FI functionality and accessories.

On the other hand, electronic locks can cost you between $100 and $300. This is usually dependent on several functions and the security level the particular model you get provides.

Which Is More Durable: Smart Lock Or Electronic Lock?

Smart locks are more lasting than electronic locks due to the potential for wear and tear on electronic locks.

You've probably noticed how certain buttons fade away on your TV remote because of use. The same happens with electronic locks. The pin code numbers you constantly press to lock and unlock your door will fade with use.

Electronic locks also tend to malfunction in cold weather where the keypad doesn't want to work. However, there is no worry of the lock exhibiting signs of wear and tear with smart locks.

To avoid wear and tear with electronic locks, you would need to constantly change the password to help prevent the numbers on the keypad from fading.

This can be a hassle, and the chances of you getting the codes mixed up is high. Even when you do regularly change the pin code, there are only so many codes you can pick, and the numbers will eventually start to fade.


Smart locks and electronic locks can be utilized to improve the security of your home. For example, you can open and close your door without requiring a key with both kinds of door locks. However, as you can see from the above mentioned, there are several key differences that you should keep in mind when deciding on which one to get.

Smart locks tend to last longer, have more features, and offer more convenience. On the other hand, electronic locks are much more straightforward and uncomplicated, less expensive, and have more battery life. Now that you are aware of the key differences, you can confidently choose the right lock for you and your home.

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