Level Lock-Recently I got my hands on the Level Lock,
a HomeKit-enabled connected home product that allows you to convert your existing deadbolt into a smart lock. The premise of Level Lock is extremely simple and might be a good choice for those that want to keep the look of their existing hardware while benefiting from smart features like HomeKit support.
Level Lock Specifications
- Installs in just minutes
- Puzzle piece interface
- Utilize your pre-existing deadbolt
- Powerful 6-stage stainless steel gearbox
- 1-year battery life from a single CR2 battery
- Always-available mechanical operation with the physical key
- Stress tested to over 1 million cycles
- App-controlled via Bluetooth or with HomeKit
locks have increasingly become sophisticated, with some high-end models boasting fingerprint unlock, shared access codes, anti-jam protection, and other innovative features. While they all strive to provide homeowners with convenience and security, they all have something else in common: An unmistakable design. You know it’s a smart lock because of the glaring characteristics, like a digital/physical keypad prominently positioned outside a door.
How does Level Lock do this trick ?
The Level replaces the interior deadbolt assembly, but you keep the exterior and interior escutcheons you already have, ensuring your door looks the same when you finish as when you started: no monstrous keypads, no giant chrome handles.
Complete install in under 10 minutes
The beauty of the Level Lock is its quick and simple installation, which took me no more than 10 minutes to complete. From start to finish, the process is far more streamlined than any other smart lock installation I’ve done. All that’s required is to replace the deadbolt, attach the new motor, and then fasten the lock housing all into place.
All of the components are tucked away and hidden from view, giving my door the same look and finish as before — something I can’t say about other smart locks.
How is it powered ?
There’s a single CR2 battery that discreetly fits inside of the deadbolt, which allows the six-stage, stainless steel gearbox to operate. While uncommon, the CR2 battery is rated to last upwards of a year with ‘normal’ use. So far, it’s lasted me two months, but there’s no indication in the app as to how much juice is left.
Level Lock Straightforward features
Unlike its contemporaries, the Level Lock pales in comparison when it comes to features, especially when you factor in its $229 price tag. It works just like any other smart lock-in that you can lock/unlock it using a smartphone. As for the rest? There’s the auto-lock feature that’ll lock my door within a designated period of time after I head out. It’s useful if you’re in a rush, but even its longest setting (1 minute) is pretty short — so it’d be nice to have longer options.
Homeowners will appreciate Level Lock’s shared access through an invitation. This is useful if you plan on being away and need a friend, neighbor, or family member to check up on your place — or if you happen to offer your home on Airbnb. You can either provide them with admin or guest privileges, with the ability to set specific dates and times for them access to the lock.
Apple users are given an extra incentive,
as the Level Lock supports HomeKit, giving owners of the iPhone or Apple Watch the ability to lock/unlock by asking Siri to do it. It is a bummer that there’s no support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. I reached out to Level and while there are plans to expand to other platforms in the future, there are no specifics at the moment.
As I mentioned above, Level is able to achieve a minimalist design by hollowing out the deadbolt to double as the battery compartment. In doing this, it does bring up the matter of the lock’s integrity. I haven’t tried kicking down my door yet to test it out, but Level assures that it’s been engineered from the ground up for strength and durability.
The company is even bold enough to claim that it exceeds the highest industry standards
The Level Lock may not seem all that different from its competitors based on its list of features, but it sets an engineering benchmark in design. That alone makes it disruptive and innovative for those who don’t want to dramatically change the aesthetics of their door.
Is there a better alternative ?
For the price? Yes! The Level Lock is expensive at $229. In the same price range, the $300 Lockly Secure Pro offers an extensive suite of features, such as fingerprint unlock and a digital keypad for access, for a little more. And for just a smidgen more, Lockly recently came out with the Vision — a $400 priced lock that has everything in the Secure Pro but also adds in a video doorbell camera.
Conversely, there’s the $100 Wyze Lock on the other end of the spectrum. You’re saving substantially more for the same features as the Level Lock.
How long will it last ?
There’s a two-year limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship under normal use.
- Discreet, minimalist design
- Quick installation
- Shared access with guests
- Auto-locks itself
- Can’t determine