Door locks are a common area for people to automate. It's nice to have door locks automatically unlock when you arrive home, never have to use keys again, and be able to make sure all of the doors are locked before you go to bed. There are many brands and models to chose from, and most of them have good reviews.
I selected the Yale Assure w/ August Connect YRD226 for several reasons:
it provides several ways of accessing: traditional key, touchscreen, HomeKit, August Connect
it looks nice on my home
it was well-reviewed on wirecutter.com
The Yale Assure product line have a couple of options to consider:
Style: with or without a traditional key slot, keypad, touchscreen, lever lock, etc
Finish: nickel, brass, and bronze
Connectivity: HomeKit only with the IM1 module or August Connect w/HomeKit
The Yale Lock w/ August Connect allows each individual to have their own access key. You can also setup temporary and time-based access keys. You can view access logs to see who accessed the door. You can auto lock and auto unlock the door. Also be aware that Yale and August are owned by the same parent company.
Communications and Misconceptions
The Yale Assure w/August Connect comes with an August Wi-Fi Bridge. The August Bridge plugs into a wall outlet and connects to the Yale lock over Bluetooth and to your home network via Wi-Fi. This allows the lock to be controlled via your home Wi-Fi and while away from home. Many people get confused over how HomeKit interacts with the lock however. They think that the August Wi-Fi Bridge connects their lock to HomeKit over Wi-Fi. It does not. All HomeKit communications with the lock happen over Bluetooth. The August Wi-Fi Bridge is used to send August commands to the lock, not HomeKit commands. People become confused however because the integration between August and HomeKit is very good. Here is a summary of the various communication methods:
HomeKit: only communicates with the lock over Bluetooth. If you have a HomeKit Hub in proximity of the lock, this will allow you to communicate to the lock via HomeKit from your home wi-fi network or while away from home. But at the end of the day, that communication is using a Bluetooth signal from the HomeKit Hub.
August: communicates with the lock over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This is where the August Wi-Fi Bridge comes into play. It is essentially acting like a HomeKit Hub for August features. It allows the August app or August website access to your lock over your home's Wi-Fi or remotely.
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This was tricky. I think this was the hardest HomeKit device I have installed to date. Part of it was because when I did the install, I didn't understand the difference between the Communications and Misconceptions that I do now, and partly because of the layout of my home. If you have the right layout (see below), your installation will go very smoothly. It boils down to this, I think the Bluetooth radios in door locks are about the poorest quality you will find anywhere. In my installation, I had to have very close and nearly direct line of sight communication between the HomeKit (Bluetooth) Hub, and the August Connect Wi-Fi (to Bluetooth) Bridge.
My rear door is offset from the main exterior wall by about one foot. I have outlets on the main exterior wall to the left of the door about five feet, and to the right of the door about five feet away. I have another outlet on a kitchen island at a diagonal to the lock, also about five feet away. The problem is that radio waves hit the wall and are bounced out to the front of the room, making the August Bridge connectivity hit or miss. I had a HomePod in the exact opposite diagonal corner of the Kitchen, and it was just far enough away, with the small indentation of the door to prevent solid communication. I moved the HomePod to the wall closer to the lock, and everything has worked reliably ever since (for years).
Bottom line: You will need a HomeKit Hub in close proximity to your lock for reliable HomeKit access. You will need an outlet in close proximity and line of sight for reliable August access.
Auto Unlock is the ability for the door to automatically unlock when you arrive home. Secure devices (such as locks) in HomeKit cannot be unlocked without some sort of verification that you have authorized it. This would most likely be a popup notification on your iPhone that has to be acknowledged. This is a rule imposed by HomeKit. There are two workarounds:
HomeKit workaround: While HomeKit doesn't allow your proximity to automatically unlock a door without user interaction, a HomeKit automation can. Weird, right? So to workaround this in HomeKit you would do the following:
Use an unused HomeKit device (like an unused smart plug) as a "dummy switch". Call it AutoUnlock or something.
Create an automation that turns the AutoUnlock "dummy switch" on when you arrive
Create another automation that unlocks your door when the AutoUnlock "dummy switch" is turned on
Note: If you run HomeBridge, you could also do this with a "virtual switch" instead of using a smart plug as a "dummy switch," but that is beyond the scope of this site right now
August workaround: August does not impose this restriction on you. All you have to do is enable August's Auto Unlock feature, and your door will automatically unlock when you arrive, without any user interaction.
My lock has been 100% reliable. The issue that is does have is with my door, and it is no fault of the lock. Summers can get as warm as 90°, and winters can get as cold as -50°. My house is 100 years old. In the winter, you have to be sure to pull the door shut a little harder than the summer. If the door does not completely close, the deadbolt will not engage into the slot. It makes a noise when this happens, and of course the app will indicate that the door is unlocked. I suppose I can make the slot bigger, but that will make the deadbolt less effective. Any lock that I chose would have the same issues.