The latest deadbolt locks are electronic, and they can keep track of who’s coming into and leaving your home. Plus, they let you lock and unlock them with your cell phone, even if you’re not at home.
The cutting-edge Schlage LiNK, is an automated lock that you can control using a keypad on the wall near your door, or from any computer or mobile phone that has Internet access. You don’t even need a key.
Instead, you punch a four-digit passcode into the keypad, and the door automatically opens. That’s not a new concept, but this bolt takes it further: You can give each family member a separate code, and program the device to send your cell phone a text message letting you know when your children get home from school.
Or you can give your pet-sitter and housekeeper temporary, individual codes so they can let themselves into the house. Later, you can review a list of which codes opened the house and at which times.
You can even rig the lock up to a lamp so it lights up as soon as the door unlocks. That way, nobody ever enters a dark house.
A starter kit for the device includes a lever lock or deadbolt with a keypad, a “bridge” device that you plug into a router to allow you to access the home wirelessly, and a “module” that allows you to link a lamp to the door lock. That costs $299, plus $12.99 a month for the service that allows you to communicate with the lock from your cell phone or computer. You’ll need to subscribe to an Internet service separately.