Categories

Blog

Your browser is out of date

This website will not look or function as originally intended in your current browser

We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Chrome or Firefox

    Smart online shopping tips for the holiday season.

    November 24, 2020 5:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    Woman shopping from smartphone | Schlage

    If you’re planning to purchase gifts online rather than wade through crowds in person, use this guide to be a smart shopper.

     

    READ MORE

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday have traditionally been two of the biggest shopping days of the year. Who doesn’t love a great deal? But with the pandemic, holiday shopping in 2020 will look a little different. Some studies are predicting more will be done online, even before Cyber Monday. If you’re planning to purchase gifts online rather than wade through crowds in person, use this guide to be a smart shopper.
    Woman shopping online with her smartphone.

    What you should never buy online

    Some items should never be bought online, no matter how good the deal or how easy it sounds. Things that fall under this category include anything you need to test drive, literally or figuratively. Cars, mattresses and pillows, and some furniture are very personal. You want to get a feel for a particular item, not just rely on product descriptions and customer reviews. Some clothing, like swimsuits, intimate wear and suits also fit in this category.

     

    When it comes to things like cars and mattresses, we are seeing more companies shaking things up and making it easier to buy online. Carvana for vehicles and Casper and Leesa for mattresses are making it easier to try their products out at home and return them if you aren’t happy. So if you do plan to purchase something like this online, choose the seller wisely and look for good money back guarantees and warranties.

     

    If you think you’ll have lots of questions, head to the store instead. Large appliances like a refrigerator, washer or dryer often come with lots of fine print, either about the appliance itself or when it comes to delivery and warranties. Heading to a store to talk to a sales associate can be extra helpful. Another question to ask yourself is if you can negotiate the price of an item. If a little haggling is appropriate, don’t buy it online – obviously, there’s no one to negotiate with.

     

    Anything where color matters should be left to in-person purchases, too. This includes paint, artwork you’re trying to color match to other décor and cosmetics.

    What you should buy online

    Now that we know what we’re not putting in our virtual cart, what should we buy online? Electronics are a big go, go, go! You can often find great deals on computers and televisions. Laptops have so many options to choose from that unless you need to talk to a geek, shopping online lets you pick and choose only what you need. Small electronic accessories – chargers, USBs and cases – are also solid online purchases.

     

    We said not to get the refrigerator online, but smaller kitchen appliances are totally okay. If you’ve had your eye on a new blender or fancy waffle iron, there’s no reason not to buy those while kicked back on the couch.

     

    Not many of us are taking major trips right now, but if we were, we’d certainly be buying our plane tickets, searching hotel deals and snagging great prices on luggage. All of these are best bought on the internet, either directly from the seller or through a trusted agent.

     

    Fitness equipment is expected to be hard to find this winter, so if you’re in the market for a treadmill or free weights, buy them online and do it quickly. Due to gyms closing during COVID-19, many stores have seen their inventories drop and selection could get even more sparse in the colder months.

     

    Kids’ toys and books for everyone are great online purchases. And if you don’t know what to get someone, buy a gift card online and let them do their own shopping … online or in person, of course.

    Table showing items that can be safely purchased online and items that shouldn't be purchased online.

    How to spot a great online deal

    Especially when you’re shopping online, it’s easy to get excited by the fancy graphics and pop-ups claiming a great markdown. Not all deals are true deals, however. Here are some tips for knowing when you’re actually saving money.

     

    • Do the math. Some websites will put a clearance sticker on a product, but when you look more closely, it’s only marked down a few bucks. Make sure it’s really on clearance and worth it.

    • Beware the free shipping trap. More and more places are offering free shipping as a standard. If there’s still a minimum, however, and you find you’re putting extra items into your cart just to meet it, take a minute to think. Will saving $35 on shipping really work in your benefit if you end up buying an extra $50 worth of random stuff just to get it?

    • Splurge on frequently used items. Going cheaper on something you use and depend on every day – coffeemakers, locks and security systems, a cell phone – isn’t always the smart move. You need them to hold up and you need to trust them. Often, spending a few extra dollars to make sure you get durability and quality will work out in your favor. After all, you could end up spending more in the long run if you have to replace it right away. And nothing is worth the caffeine headache you get when your coffeemaker breaks down unexpectedly after a month.

    • Know the difference between price and value. If something is important to you, it’s okay to spend a little extra. Don’t pass it up just because it’s not a great “deal.” You don’t have to overspend, but it’s perfectly fine to pay fair price for something that is going to improve your life, make it more convenient or truly make you happy. In other words, if you find great value in it.

    How to shop safely online

    When you shop online, make sure you’re doing it safely. This goes beyond just protecting your packages once they’re delivered. Before you even start putting things in your cart, check that you have a secure WiFi connection. Only shop at stores you know and trust, perhaps a shop you’d visit in person anyway. Remember to look for the padlock icon in the browser search window, too. This will help you know if the website uses secure encryption.

     

    Learn how to stop package theft and get other online shopping safety tips here. And don’t think it’s only a matter of holiday security. This is important every day, especially as the homebody economy grows and we turn to contactless delivery more often.

     

    Now that you know what to shop for and the best way to do it, get great ideas for everyone on your list. Use the Schlage Gift Giving Guide today for our picks on everything from smart lock bundles to favorite pet accessories to must-haves for the outdoors lover in your life.

     

    25 unusual ideas to celebrate holidays during quarantine.

    November 23, 2020 8:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, November 23, 2020

    Quarantine holiday | Schlage

    Unwrap these 25 quarantine holiday ideas to keep the festivities fun, the kids entertained and the memories happy.

     

    READ MORE

    “Home for the holidays” has a different meaning for many of us this year. With concerns about the coronavirus, people all over the country are foregoing their typical traditions. If that’s you, don’t settle for a season of boredom and disappointment. Unwrap these 25 quarantine holiday ideas to keep the festivities fun, the kids entertained and the memories happy.
    Happy couple standing in kitchen on Christmas morning.

    1. Tell holiday bedtime stories

    When you wind down for the night, treat everyone to a holiday-themed bedtime story. Make it a one-time event or start a longer book early and read it bit by bit every night until Santa comes.

    2. Do a holiday scavenger hunt

    Make a list of wintery or holiday-themed items, then see who can find everything on the list first. It’s perfect for every level of quarantining and kind of weather. Adapt it to include items in the house, the yard or the neighborhood. Go solo or team up. Tailor it with age-appropriate items for kids, adult couples or a range of friends.

    3. Don’t sit on Santa

    If your kiddos will be disappointed by not being able to sit on Santa’s lap this year, try a virtual alternative. Ask a friend or family member to don the iconic red suit and chat on Zoom from the “North Pole.” The younger set who still breaks into tears when they see Kris Kringle up close might actually love this.

    DIY Christmas card with origami trees.

    4. Make holiday cards and gifts

    Holiday greeting cards have been going by the wayside in favor of e-cards lately, but this might be the year to bring back the classic tradition. You and the kids can send customized greetings with some cardstock, construction paper and good old-fashioned crafting supplies. It’s an especially nice gesture if you’re unable to visit with out-of-town relatives this year.

     

    Social distancing at the mall and avoiding holiday crowds will be tough. Stay home and make a thoughtful homemade gift. Knit something, try out your new woodworking skills, dip your own candles, macramé a hanging plant basket or make some finger-painted masterpieces with the kids.

    5. Organize a cookie-free exchange

    Have your cookie exchanges been canceled because of COVID? Instead of swapping finished baked goods, organize a recipe exchange instead. You might finally get that prized recipe someone’s been keeping a secret all these years.

     

    You can also send cookies for a good cause. Rather than baking them yourself, purchase some from a non-profit organization like Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and have them shipped straight to the recipient. When you purchase from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, 100% of the profits go toward funding pediatric cancer research.

    6. Decorate somewhere new

    You’re spending more time at home, so make sure your décor is on point. Look beyond simple tree and mantle décor and deck all – seriously, ALL – the halls this winter. Don’t forget to jolly up your home office, bar cart or cabinet, kitchen and even laundry room.

    White kitchen decorated for Christmas.

    7. Challenge someone to a decorating duel

    It’s time for a friendly decorating contest. Maybe you give each of your kids a small Christmas tree – anything from a 12-inch tabletop topiary to an artificial four-footer for the corner of their bedroom – and give them free reign to put their unique decorative touch on it. Or maybe you go head-to-head with your partner on the best wreath.

    8. Make an ornament

    This is a great one for anyone who’s crafty, looking to ward off boredom or hoping to keep the kids busy. Make a unique, personalized ornament for your or a loved one’s tree.

    9. Adopt a family

    There are always families in need at holiday time, perhaps even more so this year as people struggled to find consistent employment or were faced with unexpected expenses. Connect with an organization like The Julian Center and provide toys, clothes and other necessities to those in your community.

     

    Would you prefer to help someone you know rather than an unknown family? Consider paying for a month of their heat and utilities or buy some groceries for them. It might not be a big expense to you, but it can lift a huge burden from their shoulders.

    DIY mask decorations for Christmas.

    10. Decorate or make holiday masks

    We might be living with masks for some time. If nothing else, they’ll help keep your face warm on cold winter walks. Try decorating some disposable ones with paint, glitter or even simple markers. Or stock up on some holiday-themed fabrics and sew some reusable masks. Turn it into a contest and see who can be the most creative.

    11. Learn someone else’s holiday traditions

    Whether you look to another culture or ask others about their family traditions, learn how other people celebrate the holidays. You might choose to incorporate some of those traditions into your own celebration – a new food dish, some décor, a prayer or message of thanksgiving – to grow in your understanding, empathy and compassion during this joyous season.

     

    Kwanzaa is a nonreligious holiday celebrated by millions of African Americans, focusing on concepts like unity, heritage, truth, justice and mutual respect. It’s not unusual to celebrate Kwanzaa and another holiday like Christmas, so you’ll be in good company if you take the time to learn about these traditions and celebrate them respectfully.

    12. Decorate your door and porch.

    Go a little overboard decorating your front porch this year. Why stop at a simple holiday wreath? Do up your entire door and porch with holiday décor that will bring cheer to both you and your neighbors. If you need some inspiration, check out our Christmas Porch Décor Pinterest board.

    Teal front door with holiday wreath and garland.

    13. Ask Alexa

    You can make all kinds of holiday commands for Alexa. Test your trivia knowledge, play music, get holiday cooking tips, track Santa … the list goes on.

    14. Go light-seeing

    Holiday lights are a tradition for many of us. Take a drive and enjoy the brightness of the season from the isolated safety of your own car. It’s a great chance to explore some new neighborhoods. Many towns are also turning their traditional light shows into drive-ins this year, so check your local listings for more ideas.

    15. Purge to make room for new gifts

    Prepare for an influx in toys, books, clothes and other gifts by purging what you already have and don’t use. You’ll feel good for the organizational effort and for donating your gently used items to a thrift store or charity. Get your kids involved and use it as an opportunity to teach them about helping other families who might not have as many toys and gifts.

    16. Build a bonfire

    A backyard fire pit provides all kinds of opportunities for safer holiday gatherings. Staying outside can help reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, so it’s a good alternative if you simply can’t imagine not seeing friends and family. Simply enjoy the toasty fire together or get creative with some hot holiday drinks or grilled caramel apples.

    Children in kitchen baking Christmas recipes.

    17. Try a new latke recipe

    Some recipes become traditions even when no one really likes them that well. If that’s the case, try a new version, whether it’s latkes, sweet noodle kugel or jelly donuts. If you’re feeling disconnected from your family and traditions, dig out one of Grandma’s classics and make that instead.

    18. Look at old photo albums

    Are you missing your favorite holiday traditions? Take a stroll down memory lane with the Ghost of Christmas Past and look at old photos. It’s time to actually flip through those old albums that have been collecting dust.

    19. Take a family photo

    Your holiday cards have probably already been sent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a great family photo now. Save it for next year’s card or text it right away with season’s greetings to the friends and family who are celebrating in their own homes.

    Family baking for Christmas and taking a group selfie.

    20. Remake a holiday classic

    Stop-motion Christmas movies like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Jack Frost have a special place in our hearts. There are tons of apps like iMotion and Stop Motion Studio that are free and easy to use so you make your own movies.

    21. Invent a holiday drink

    Large holiday parties are less common this winter. Use this as a planning year. Invent a new holiday drink or two. Test them out and save the winning recipe for next year’s festivities.

    22. Turn cards into gift boxes

    Do you save the greeting cards you receive only to wonder why later? Turn them into small gift boxes with this tutorial from The Spruce. It’s a great way to be a little greener this holiday season.

    23. Go caroling

    Sharp HealthCare advises us to “refrain from singing, loud talking or shouting” to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. Instead, put on a mask, maintain appropriate distance from your neighbors and play Christmas music from a portable Bluetooth stereo. Think of it as your own version of Love Actually but without the heartache.

    24. Santa-tize

    Do you set out milk and cookies for Santa? Or carrots for his reindeer? Help Santa stay healthy by putting out some hand sanitizer, too. You don’t want him taking any germs back to the elves.

    25. Host a holiday movie marathon

    We know catching a Christmas-day movie at the theater is a big tradition for many. This year, stay in and host a holiday movie marathon or watch party with distant family. You’ll save money and protect your health. Let everyone pick their favorite – Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, A Christmas Story – so no one gets left out. Which classics are we missing?

    Whether you’re looking for more holiday décor ideas or tips to help you make your home even more comfortable while quarantining, Schlage has you covered. Visit the Schlage blog or find us on Pinterest.

     

    5 simple steps for better security with the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt.

    November 22, 2020 5:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Sunday, November 22, 2020

    Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt | Schlage

    Here are five steps for installing your new lock, setting it up for remote access with a home automation hub and making it a better part of your daily life.

     

    READ MORE

    It’s the season for deals, and starting Nov. 22 through the end of the month, you can get 20% off the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave technology as part of Amazon’s Turkey 5 Deals. Now’s the time to make your life easier and your home more secure with this smart lock.

     

    We want to show you just how simple it is to add the Schlage Connect lock to your smart home. Here are five steps for installing your new lock, setting it up for remote access with a home automation hub and making it a better part of your daily life.

    Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt.

    How to install and set up your Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt

    1. Install the deadbolt.

    The first couple of steps are all about actually putting the lock on your door. First things first. Schlage locks are designed to fit on standard pre-drilled doors, and one way we do that is by making the backset of the deadbolt adjustable. After you’ve removed the existing deadbolt, you’ll adjust the bolt length to fit your backset, insert it into the door and screw it into place. You’ll also install the reinforcement plate onto the door frame. For more details and to see animations that guide you through these steps, try our interactive instructions.

    2. Install the touchscreen.

    At this point, you’re going to install what you probably think of as the actual smart lock. Install the touchscreen to the exterior side of the door, making sure that the cable passes through under the latch assembly – what you did in step 1 – and that the bolt is retracted, or flush with the door.

     

    The support plate should then be screwed to the interior side of the door. This is the component that the lock’s interior assembly will attach to. Again, be sure the cable passes through the opening at the bottom of the plate so that you can connect it to the interior assembly and press it into the panel. Next, attach the interior assembly of the lock to the support plate, remove the battery cover to secure a final screw and insert the batteries.

     

    You’ve now installed your lock. Our interactive instructions can help with these steps, too. Notice that there was no hardwiring required since it’s battery operated and you don’t need to call an electrician. That’s what we call the simplicity of Schlage.

    3. Program your lock

    Press the Schlage button at the top of the touchscreen and enter the default four-digit user code, found both in your installation instructions and on the back of the interior assembly. Your lock will then perform a set-up routine during which you’ll see a series of blinking lights on the touchscreen.

     

    Next, you’ll want to test your deadbolt to make sure it turns smoothly and the bolt doesn’t rub or stick against any portion of the door or frame. Standing inside your home, close the door and rotate the thumbturn several times. If the bolt drags, adjust the strike as needed.

     

    To test the touchscreen, go outside, taking a key with you so you don’t get locked out, and close the door. Press the Schlage button to lock the door. Press the Schlage button again and enter the four-digit user code to confirm that the door unlocks.

     

    Finally, you can create user access codes, up to 30 for trusted friends and family. To do this, press the Schlage button at the top of the touchscreen and enter the six-digit programming code, found in your Quick Start Guide or under the lock’s battery cover. Press 1 to add a new code, followed by the user code you’d like to create. Once you’ve entered the access code a second time to confirm it, a green check will light on the touchscreen to indicate success.

     

    You can also add and delete codes via an app associated with your home automation hub after you’ve paired the devices. More on this to come.

     

    If you have trouble with any of these steps, visit our How-To Center for FAQs, helpful videos and more troubleshooting tips.

    4. Sync with a smart home automation hub.

    To access your lock remotely from your phone or with voice commands, you’ll need to sync it with a compatible smart home hub. The most common hubs for the Schlage Connect lock are Samsung SmartThings, Ring Alarm, Nexia and Wink.

     

    Review the instructions or app* that came with your hub to add your smart lock. If the hub requires a DSK code to add the lock, you can find it on the label on the support plate or in the Schlage Connect Quick Start Guide.

     

    *Note that only the hub’s app will work with the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt. You cannot use the Schlage Home app with the Schlage Connect lock.

     

    Once you’ve paired the devices, you can lock and unlock your deadbolt from anywhere, manage access codes, get alerts when a code is used or check the status of the lock, all from an app. Functionality may differ depending on which hub you use, so check with the hub manufacturer for specific capabilities. Find more compatible partners at our Works With page.

    5. Set up your smart home.

    Once you have your lock installed and connected to a hub, you can start to include it in your smart home in other ways. If you’re using the Samsung SmartThings, Nexia or Wink hub, you can also use Alexa to control your lock. To use voice commands through Google Assistant, you’ll need a Nexia hub. It’s one of the easiest ways to check your lock’s status and lock the door if you forgot, all without lifting a finger.

     

    With some third-party hubs, you can also make your Schlage lock part of a routine or scene. So when you say, “Alexa, time for bed,” you’ll trigger a chain of events that might adjust the lights and temperature in your home, turn on relaxing music and lock the door, along with whatever other actions you program.

     

    The added convenience and simplicity of a smart lock and other connected devices are what attract many people to the idea of a smart home in the first place. It’s not just about gimmicks and fun, although smart devices can certainly be entertaining. When you take the time to customize your devices to fit your lifestyle, you’ll soon wonder how you lived so long without them.

    In addition to 20% off the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave technology, you can also get 20% off select interior mechanical door hardware as part of the Turkey 5 Deals Nov. 21-30. See which hardware is the perfect fit for your tastes by trying our interactive Style Selector. Or find more details about our smart locks at Schlage.com.

     

    Schlage Encode locks and Echo devices deal prime combo of security, convenience.

    October 19, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    Schlage Encode lock and Amazon Echo Dot | Schlage

    When you buy a Schlage Encode lock during Amazon Prime Day, you'll receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. Here's what you can do when you have multiple Echo devices.

     

    READ MORE

    Are you a fan of free stuff? Of course you are. On Amazon Prime Day in 2020, you can get just that. When you buy a Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you’ll also receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. And if you already have an Alexa voice assistant? Sync them together and take advantage of these five things you can do with multiple Echo devices.
    Schlage Encode lock and Echo dot.

    1. Protect your home with Alexa Guard

    Perhaps one of the most underutilized features of an Echo device is Alexa Guard. This security feature is designed to detect sounds – breaking glass, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, footsteps – when it’s set to Away mode. You say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” and you’ll receive an alert on your phone if it “hears” a potential threat to your home’s security.

     

    Alexa Guard works best when you have multiple Echo devices. With multiple devices, you’ve essentially added more sensors. For example, if you only have one Echo Dot and it’s in the bedroom, it may not be close enough to detect sound at the patio door. A second Echo device can help eliminate that blind spot. To activate Alexa Guard, select Guard from the Settings menu in the Amazon Alexa App. You can also set preferences such as Away Lighting, Smart Alerts and link to third-party home security systems.

    2. Help secure your door with the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

    While we’re on the subject of security, let’s talk about how you can use the Echo Dot, or other Echos, to control your Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. When the lock is connected to your home WiFi, you can ask Alexa about the status of your deadbolt, as well as tell her to lock and unlock the door. And when you have multiple Echo devices – one in the kitchen, another in the bedroom, maybe one in the basement – it’s easier than ever to control your lock with those voice commands. Saying “Alexa, lock the door” from bed or asking “Alexa, is my door locked?” from the kids’ playroom provides ultimate convenience and peace of mind.

    3. Update shopping lists, calendars and reminders

    When you ask Alexa to add something to your grocery list, put something on your calendar or set a reminder, it goes to your Amazon account. That means you can access that list or get the notification from any of your Echo devices. No more rushing to meet your kids’ bus because you didn’t hear the reminder from the other end of the house.

     

    Note that if you set a timer or alarm on one Echo device, it will not sync with others in your home. The timer will only sound on that original Echo.

    4. Play music simultaneously in multiple rooms

    You’re hosting a get-together and want your party music to play in the kitchen and living room. Or maybe you’re cleaning the house from top to bottom and need some jams to keep the motivation going. You can play the same playlist on multiple devices in multiple rooms. PC Mag has step-by-step instructions for grouping your devices and setting up that functionality. Of course, if you’d rather not have music playing on all devices – perhaps your teen has different tastes than you – you can simply ungroup them as well.

    5. Drop In on friends and family

    Treat your Echos like an intercom with Alexa Drop In. This is a super-convenient function when you want to call the kids to dinner without screaming or if you want to tell your dog to get off the couch (or just tease them a little bit) when you’re not in the room. You can say, “Alexa, drop in on the Living Room Echo” and immediately start the conversation to find out if your sweetie wants something to drink before the movie starts. Use this guide from How To Geek to enable Drop In for your Echo devices.

    In addition to this limited time offer on the Schlage Encode lock and Echo Dot bundle, you can also get 20% off the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt and select interior door hardware on Prime Day. Find great deals on a variety of interior door knobs and levers, from the traditional Schlage Georgian knob to the more contemporary Schlage Latitude lever, as well as our best selection of trim styles and finishes.

     

    Learn more about the Schlage Encode and Schlage Connect smart locks, as well as all of our electronic deadbolts, at Schlage.com. We also have a variety of resources for getting the most out of your devices at the Schlage blog.

     

    Top 3 benefits of a smart home you shouldn't live without.

    October 12, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, October 12, 2020

    Google Home mini next to smartphone| Schlage

    Before you dig into researching smart home options, it helps to decide what you want most from your technology.

     

    READ MORE

    Smart home, home automation, connected home, Internet of Things ... there are many terms that describe the ability to add remote capabilities for monitoring the home. It's no wonder we have a hard time deciding which products we need! If you're feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of options in home automation, you’re not alone. Before you dig into researching those options, it helps to decide what you want most from your technology. Here are our picks for the three top benefits of a smart home.

    1. Energy Efficiency

    Many smart home products allow you to be more energy efficient, so you’re doing your part for the environment, not to mention easing some strain on your wallet. When you’re trying to improve your at-home energy usage, a great starting place is a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from work, from the airport when you’ve just returned from vacation or even from bed when you’re too cold to get out from under the covers. Learning thermostats, one of the latest innovations in home automation, will even learn your daily routines and, with time, be able to change the temperature based on your personal preferences without you having to do a thing.

     

    Other connected devices that can have a big environmental impact include washers and dryers, thanks to enhanced sensors that stop the devices from running unnecessarily when the cycle is finished or water monitors that can alert you to leaks in a basement, utility closet or laundry room before they become a moldy mess.

     

    Lighting, especially, is a great example of how you can turn an ordinary electronic into a smart appliance. Connect them to a smart plug – CNET offers their favorites for 2020 – and you’ll be able to turn lights on or off using your smartphone. Check out more ways that getting smart can save you and your home energy in our blog archive.

    2. Convenience & Security

    On those scatterbrained days when you can’t remember if you locked the door or shut the garage, smart devices pull double duty by helping to keep your home secure and by doing it conveniently. When you can use your smartphone to lock your Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt from anywhere, or an app to check on your smart garage door, there’s no more retracing your steps to check that everything’s secure and being late for work. Make these part of a smart routine and the convenience levels skyrocket. A single command will make sure your entrances are secure, your lights are dimmed and more, so you can rest easy at night.

     

    Connected cameras allow you to check in from time to time and offer even more peace of mind. And video doorbells can alert you when someone’s on your porch. It’s a great way to see when a package is delivered or, worst-case scenario, drawing unwanted attention from porch pirates.

    3. Time

    Smart devices are time savers in more ways than one. One study found that 57% of Americans say their smart home devices save them 30 minutes per day. That’s 182.5 hours, or more than a week, each year.

     

    Clearly, these smart devices are giving back free time, allowing us to focus on other activities. Instead of being confined to the kitchen or constantly adjusting the music during a party, spend time with your guests by automating music playlists, lighting and more. Use smart kitchen appliances that alert you when food is on the verge of spoiling or remotely check if the meal in the oven is done, and you’re not only saving time, but money as well.

     

    When choosing connected home products, make sure you consider the benefits that matter most to you. Learn more about smart homes and the technology that makes them so safe, convenient and simple, at the Schlage blog.

     

    Your future smart home is already here.

    October 8, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, October 8, 2020

    Man looking at smartphone | Schlage

    No longer a question of if homeowners are adding smart home technology to their renovation to-do lists, it’s more a matter of how and with which devices you’ll choose.

     

    READ MORE

    It doesn’t take much to transform your house into a smart home. In just a few hours, you can make your space more efficient, secure, convenient and, of course, entertaining to hang out in. No longer a question of if homeowners are adding smart home technology to their renovation to-do lists, it’s more a matter of how and with which devices you’ll choose.

     

    With many devices pricing at less than $300 and falling in the “easy DIY” category, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding the technology that works perfectly with your budget and lifestyle. An added bonus? Many smart home products can be taken with you when you move, so whether you’re in your forever home or need to plan around your ever-changing family, our smart home tips have you covered.

    Man at home looking at smartphone.

    3 steps to building a smart home

    1. Understand the basics

    When it comes to new innovations, many of us may be slow to adopt until we’re more familiar with and trust the product. When IBM introduced the first “smartphone” in 1994, only 50,000 were sold. Today, some 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone and, according to the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of people who do not have high-speed internet at home say it’s because “their smartphone lets them do everything online that they need to do.”

     

    The cell phone, an extension of so many of our personal beings, is now the basis for much of our smart home control. Consider smart locks. Many, including each of Schlage’s connected locks, can be managed and controlled through an app on your smartphone. With a few taps, you can lock and unlock the door, create personalized codes to share with trusted friends or service professionals, see who has accessed your lock and, depending on your devices and connectivity, manage package delivery without interrupting your day. All from the palm of your hand.

     

    In addition to smart locks, your smart home can have lighting systems that automatically turn on and off, surveillance cameras that keep an eye on things and thermostats that adjust temperatures based on whether you’re at home. All of these and others can be controlled remotely through your smartphone.

     

    Once you understand the basic possibilities that are open to you with a smart home, you’re ready to choose your favorite products.

    Mom and daughter looking at iMac in kitchen.

    2. Do your research

    It’s best to research the products you’re interested in so you can customize your smart home to match your priorities without wasting money. You’ll also want to consider which products you might want to add in the future, such as connected baby monitors or a smart oven.

     

    No matter your goals – energy savings, convenience, security, entertainment – there’s a smart home plan that can do it and options to stay within your budget. Here are a few ideas:

     

    • Goal: Energy efficiency
      With a smart thermostat and smart irrigation systems, you can lower bills by using power and water only when you need them. These products automatically adjust to weather patterns or your preferences. Also consider leak detectors, which can save water and money by alerting you to hidden pipe problems. Appliances like a smart dryer that can shorten laundry time. That’s a triple-win for conserving time, money and energy. Try these ways getting smart can save you and your home energy, too.

    • Goal: Convenience
      Install smart locks, blinds, lighting and similar devices to make daily routines simple. With a click of a button, you can get the coffee going in the morning or, when you’re ready to call it a night, shut the blinds, lock the doors, activate the alarm and turn off the lights. Another possibility: Unlock the door remotely when your teenager loses a key right before curfew. All from the comfort of bed.

    • Goal: Security
      Your home can be set up with smart cameras, motion sensors and smart locks to help keep your family safe. Smart carbon dioxide and smoke detectors can also send messages to your smartphone when something is awry. Look for security devices that work together – the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt and Ring Alarm, for example – for even more security with added convenience.

    • Goal: Entertainment
      Whether staying in for family movie night or inviting friends over for dinner, your smart home can help make you the ultimate host. Create Scenes with Alexa to adjust lighting and music appropriately. Some smart kitchen appliances will not only find recipes but also help you cook the meal to perfection. You might also the dim the lights using your smartphone as the remote control.

     

    It's important to select products that work seamlessly with each other via WiFi or your smart home hub. Include that compatibility in your research so you know everything will work just as you want it to when you get home. To see how Schlage smart locks work with different technologies, try our Get Help Deciding Tool.

    Installing Schlage Encode WiFi lock.

    3. Installing and connecting it all

    Installing some of the latest smart home products yourself has gotten quicker and easier recently. That new Schlage smart lock? Many have reported installing theirs in just 15 minutes. All you need is a screwdriver and, since there’s no hardwiring, you don’t need some fancy electrical training, either. You’ll likely be able to install smart thermostats, automated lights and motion sensors with the same ease.

     

    Some smart home products are more complex. Don’t let that scare you off. Professional installation may be available in some cases, and no matter the device, how-to videos are also good resources.

    Smart homes in 2024

    Colonial style home.

    With innovations for the smarter home moving at a record pace, futurists and other industry experts are predicting that a significant number of Americans will transform their homes at a record pace. According to the research firm Statista, the number of smart homes is expected to reach more than 375 million worldwide by 2024.

     

     

    If you’re already using your smartphone as an integral part of your day-to-day routines, a smart home could become something else you can’t live without. Visit our blog for more technology tips and to see how Schlage can be the perfect complement to any smart home.

     

    3 steps to building a smart home.

     

    5 essential smart products to improve your home security.

    September 30, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

    Home exterior at sunset | Schlage

    With everyone claiming “smart home this” and “smart home that,” where do you begin? Let us remove some of the confusion. Here are five high-tech yet simple products that can improve your home security.

     

    READ MORE

    Technology – that constantly evolving beast that is either loads of fun or a source of endless headaches. Which innovation do you pick? Which should you pass on? And with everyone claiming “smart home this” and “smart home that,” where do you begin? Let us remove some of the confusion. Here are five high-tech yet simple products that can improve your home security.
    5 Smart home security products.

    1. Smart lock

    Smart locks are typically more secure than traditional mechanical deadbolts. When it comes to Schlage smart locks, you’ll find some of these leading security features.

     

    • Most Schlage smart locks have a built-in alarm that can detect a disturbance at the door and alert you via your smartphone. You’ll find this option on the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave Plus technology.

    • Unique user codes for trusted individuals can be added and removed as necessary, letting you control who has access to your home and when.

    • With no need for a key, you don’t have to worry about a spare ending up in the wrong hands.

    • Check the status of your deadbolt from anywhere, and if the door is unlocked, simply lock it using a compatible smartphone app.

    • Schlage smart locks feature the same data encryption technology used for online shopping to help protect your information.

     

    And you can improve security even more when you pair it with a smart home hub that controls other devices like your lights or motion-sensor cameras.

    2. Video doorbell

    Knowing who is at your door before you get off the couch is convenient. Knowing who is there before you unlock the door while you’re at the office is a necessity. Get that enhanced smart home security we just mentioned by combining a Schlage Encode deadbolt with the Ring Video Doorbell. With these devices together, you have the ability to see who’s on the porch, decide if you want to give them access and unlock the door using your smartphone. It’s a great way to have both peace of mind and convenience in the palm of your hand.

    3. Backup power supply

    A storm blows through and you’ve lost power. You still need to keep your home and family secure. For some devices, you’ll need a backup power supply like a generator. For others, like Schlage smart locks, there’s no need to worry. All our electronic locks are battery operated, so they’ll continue to work even if the power is down.

     

    Generators are starting to go smart, too. Consumer Reports explains how you can now use your smartphone to monitor usage on some models.

    4. Glass break sensors

    Intruders like to pick the easiest entry point, and that’s not always the front door. Sometimes it’s a window or maybe it’s a glass patio door. Install sensors that can alert you when glass is broken. Safety.com shows you what to look for with this perimeter security device and names its favorite options.

    5. Voice control

    Being safe in your home isn’t just about stopping intruders. What if you or a family member have fallen and can’t reach the phone to call for help? Just say the word and Alexa or Google Assistant can place a voice-activated call and unlock the door for your neighbor. Convenience at your fingertips is a time saver. Control with your voice could be a life saver.

     

    To make your home as safe as possible, be thorough. A strong deadbolt is vital, but you’ll be better off when you combine that with a variety of security measures to cover all your bases. Start by using our Get Help Deciding Tool to find which Schlage smart lock is right for you. Then check out what technology works best with your favorite deadbolt to start building your safest home yet.

     

    Make your day with Amazon Alexa.

    September 18, 2020 10:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 18, 2020

    Amazon Alexa - Prime Day - Schlage

    Whatever you’re looking to control, Alexa can take home automation voice technology to the next level.

     

    READ MORE

    “Alexa, Earl Grey, hot.” While this might not be the most important request you make of your Alexa device today, her answer of “Unable to comply; replicators are off line…” is sure to be a disappointment.

     

    From charming pop-culture Easter eggs to advanced home automation functionality, Alexa-enabled devices have become a staple in smart homes around the world. Featuring an ever-evolving list of skills, people have fallen in love with the convenience of Alexa. So, if you’re planning on picking up an Alexa device on Prime Day this year, Schlage would like to remind you of all the great things you can expect.

     

    Managing your thermostat. Controlling your home’s lighting. Locking your front door. Whatever you’re looking to control, Alexa can take home automation voice technology to the next level. Better yet, Alexa is not alone. Many of today’s most respected and innovative brands –Schlage, GE, Phillips, Ring, Nest and others – are supporting smart -home technologies with products that were literally once the stuff of science fiction.

    “Alexa, what can you show me?”

    Alexa-enabled devices are designed to work with a range of brands innovating in the home automation space.

     

    Alexa can control the volume of your Sonos wireless speakers. Phillips Hue lighting can be turned on and off or dimmed, just by asking. Your front door can be locked with your voice and you can monitor many of the safety systems in your home, including video doorbells and security cameras. This is just scratching the surface. If you’ve been considering adding home automation technology into your life, now is the perfect time to get started.

    Amazon Alexa - Smart locks - Schlage

    “Alexa, lock the front door.”

    It’s no surprise that Schlage is among the leading companies innovating for the smart home of today (and tomorrow). In 1909, Schlage’s founder, Walter Schlage, received his first patent for an electronic door lock that could also turn the lights on and off. Now, more than 100 years later, the company he founded is expanding its innovation footprint by introducing a whole family of smart locks that can be accessed from your smartphone or from your Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

     

    With the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt, Amazon Echo users can lock their doors with their voice, and with the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can also unlock the door via voice and a unique PIN. Convenience and peace of mind are just a voice command away and represent but a fraction of what voice-activated home automation promises to bring to you and your family.

    “Alexa, play Holst Jupiter on Spotify”

    There are a wide range of Amazon Alexa-enabled devices for you to consider, each sporting its own particular set of features tailored to your preferences and the specifics of your home automation system. From the Echo Plus smart speaker, to the compact Echo Dot, to the video-enabled Echo Show, there are plenty of options to match your needs. Pick your favorite and then sit back and enjoy, as a whole world of possibilities in home automation open up for you.

    “Alexa, what’s the date?”

    With all home automation devices, a little research and preparation can go a long way in making sure all of the products you pair with your system are compatible and will work properly. You’ll be well on your way to making yours one of the more than 5 million smart homes in America today.

     

    By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 41 billion connected devices in our homes, cars and more. Since you can get started exploring the Internet of Things for as little as $500, when you consider the convenience, safety, security – and fun – connected technologies can bring you, it’s certainly worth looking into.

     

    And there's no better time to start than right now.

     

    Get smart and healthy with wellness technology for your home.

    September 16, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020

    Wellness technology | Schlage

    Try some of these high-tech options if you’re designing a wellness home or encouraging your family to be healthier.

     

    READ MORE

    Many predicted that the average home in 2020 would have about 500 smart devices. It’s reasonable to ask at least some of that technology to help you achieve your health goals. More people are even expecting it from the get-go. Try some of these high-tech options if you’re designing a wellness home or encouraging your family to be healthier.
    Man sitting on couch looking at tablet while drinking coffee.

    Smart tech in the kitchen

    We recently wrote about going low-tech in wellness design and shared kitchen tips like creating an efficient floorplan and ventilation to improve your eating habits. Smart devices can help in a lot of the same ways, especially if you pair them with those more traditional solutions.

     

    Many devices, including smart refrigerators or this counter they’re testing in the WHIT lab, can help you find healthy recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand. Some might also talk you through the recipe, sharing how-to videos, offering ingredient substitutions and helping with meal prep. This smart home aid can take some of the struggle out of eating healthy, especially when the main obstacle is know-how.

     

    Look into smart appliances and fixtures that can help you on your culinary journey as well. Delta VoiceIQ is a smart faucet that senses and adjust water temperature, is voice controlled and can measure the exact amount of water you need, even if you’re using an unusual container. And some smart ovens will monitor whatever’s cooking to make sure your meal is plated at the right temperature and never dried out (hopefully). Think how much easier it is to feed your family well when what you serve is prepared to perfection.

    Smart tech in the bedroom

    We’re all familiar with that sleepy feeling that makes us feel sluggish, cranky and unproductive during the day. Two of the most impactful ways to get better sleep are through improving air quality and lighting. Although studies show that poor air quality does not cause sleep deprivation, they are linked. When it’s harder to breathe at night, you are likely to have a harder time getting to sleep and staying there, similar to those with sleep apnea. It can also increase the chances of other respiratory disorders.

     

    You can upgrade your HVAC system to more effectively handle air toxins or get an air purifier to do the same job on a smaller scale. Keep in mind that some indoor air quality monitors that do just that – monitor. Investigate all the features of a device if you want something that can not only detect VOCs and allergens but also automatically make the necessary adjustments to improve the air quality.

     

    Artificial light interrupts our circadian rhythm, meaning it makes it more difficult to sleep at night and feel refreshed in the morning. Adjustable color temperature lighting can help counteract this problem by mimicking natural sunlight and helping us reset our sleep schedule, improve mood and reduce anxiety. Aside from its everyday benefits, circadian lighting has been shown to also help those who suffer from seasonal depressive disorder as well as those recovering from jetlag or unusual work schedules.

     

    In an unexpected twist on circadian lighting, WHIT uses it under the stairs. Not only will you avoid harsh artificial light as you head to bed, but it also reduces fall hazards.

     

    To state the obvious, windows let in valuable natural light. It’s why so many people promote putting your home office near a window. But when they let in too much light, keeping you awake during longer summer days or by overheating the room, consider smart tinted windows or automatic solar-adaptive shades that adjust based on the sun’s location. For something in between these automatic solutions and simple blackout curtains, look for remote-controlled window treatments.

    Smart tech in the home gym

    If exercising more is part of your wellness goal, there are more and more at-home options right at your fingertips. Of course, you can opt for smart rowing machines, Peleton and Mirror, which will guide you through workouts and provide feedback to keep you moving. But those aren’t your only options.

     

    If you’re a runner who wants more out of their treadmill workouts, try these earphones that can monitor your stride. By tracking things like pace and balance, it can improve your training and maybe even help you avoid injury.

     

    No one likes an injury. Access to physical therapy can mean the difference between getting back to daily activities and forever being hampered by aches and pains, especially among older adults. Some smart devices and healthcare providers now offer at-home physiotherapy sessions, perfect when you can’t make it to an office or gym for rehab.

     

    Finally, lest you think you need special subscription services to get a good sweat going, consider smart speakers and smart screens – it could be as simple as casting from your laptop to your television – to improve your workouts. Great music can promote better fitness. Make your space work as hard as you are and improve your chances at success.

     

    Don’t forget about making your mind stronger, too, whether it’s a smart yoga mat or apps to help with meditation and mental health.

    Smart tech for mother-in-law suites

    Multigenerational homes are becoming increasingly common. If you have a mother-in-law suite or a separate apartment on the property, these smart home devices can give everyone peace of mind without limiting independence. Fall sensors detect when someone has slipped and, if that person is unable to get up, some of those devices will contact emergency personnel. Not all fall sensors are camera-based so you can still install some in bathrooms without sacrificing privacy.

     

    If you or your loved one needs help remembering to take medications, smart pill bottles or even a simple schedule reminder from Alexa can help them stay on track.

     

    Alexa and other voice assistants can do more than just remind you of things, though. They can be great for those whose vision impairments make it difficult to see a clock or read a recipe, or for someone who is unable to reach a phone if they need emergency assistance. Some studies have found that voice assistants that offer games can also help improve cognition and loneliness, two common risks to overall health among older adults.

    We know technology can sometimes seem overwhelming, but once you get started, you’ll love the ways it makes your life more convenient, safer and more fun. Find answers to some of your burning tech questions at the Schlage blog or follow us on Twitter.

     

    How to protect electronics during a disaster.

    September 15, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020

    Protecting electronics during disasters | Schlage

    Emergencies can happen any time, which is why it’s best to be prepared. These tips for protecting personal electronics and appliances during a disaster are a good place to start.

     

    READ MORE

    Emergencies can happen any time, which is why it’s best to be prepared. How you prepare depends on what kind of emergency – hurricane, fire, flooding, tornado, winter storm – you’re likely to face and whether evacuating your home will be necessary. The tips below for protecting personal electronics and appliances during a disaster are a good place to start. We hope you never have to use them, but with proper planning, you can lower the risk of damage to your home, family and peace of mind.
    Woman using laptop.

    What you can do today to prepare for an emergency

    You don’t have to wait until the last minute to make many of your preparations. When you put together your emergency kit, take some time to safeguard the rest of your home as well.

     

    • When it comes to personal electronics you’ll want to keep with you during an emergency, pack extra wall chargers. Remember chargers for cell phones, laptops and tablets, and any electronic medical devices, for example, and include them in your emergency evacuation kit.

    • Get portable chargers or battery backups, especially for cell phones, and pack those, too.

    • Back up important information on the Cloud. This includes important documents, an inventory of valuable belongings for insurance purposes, emergency contact info for you or family members out of state, medical information or all of the above. If they’re on the Cloud, you don’t have to worry about your laptop’s hard drive getting damaged during the emergency. A USB or external hard drive are other options but more susceptible to damage.

    • If fire and earthquake are concerns, get a sturdy, portable case to protect your devices from impact by falling debris or flames.

    • Install surge protectors. Some electronics are especially vulnerable and can fry their chips during a power surge.

    • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and replace their batteries on a regular basis. This not only helps protect your personal wellbeing, but early detection can also let you take swift action to protect your material possessions, electronics included.

    How to protect home electronics before an emergency

    If a disaster or evacuation seem imminent, it’s time to start putting your family’s emergency preparedness plan into action. But remember: Your first priority is staying safe and alive. Only take these steps if you are not in immediate danger.

     

    • Charge your devices completely so you don’t have to worry about the battery when power goes down or you no longer have access to an outlet.

    • Take your car charger with you if you need to evacuate. And don’t worry about it draining your car battery.

    • Unplug and move electronics to a high location in case of flooding. Also unplug major appliances before an emergency. Refrigerators and freezers can stay connected to power unless there’s a risk of flooding.

    • Turn off the main breaker to protect your home appliances and technology from power surges. Make sure everyone in the home knows how to complete this task. The same goes for the main gas and water valves.

    • Lock your doors and windows to help protect electronics, and everything else, from potential break-ins. If you have a Schlage smart lock, rest assured that your door will remain locked even if the power and WiFi go down. You just won’t have remote access capabilities without WiFi. Don’t worry about getting locked out, either. You will still be able to get in by unlocking the deadbolt at the touchscreen or by using a manual key. Schlage smart locks are battery operated and not connected to the home’s power.

    How you can protect electronics and appliances during a disaster

    Once you’re in the thick of an emergency, your top priority is to keep you and your family safe. You can also take steps to avoid making the situation worse and putting unnecessary strain on yourself and first responders.

     

    • Pack cell phones, computers and other personal electronics in plastic zipper bags or waterproof bags. Because we often rely on our cell phones to contact loved ones or emergency personnel, and get information and other alerts, it’s all about protecting that lifeline, whether it’s during a fire, flood, heavy rain or severe snow.

    • Use flashlights, not candles, during a power outage to limit the risk of fire damage.

    • Never use a generator inside your home. Generators emit carbon monoxide, creating a situation that’s potentially more hazardous than what you started with.

    • Don’t use electronics or appliances that have been submerged in water. Best case scenario, they simply won’t work. Worst case scenario, you inadvertently start another emergency.

    • Don’t turn on the power or use electronics without an inspection by a qualified electrician first. They will be able to advise you on what needs to be repaired or replaced before the next use.

    It’s never fun to contemplate natural disasters, home emergencies and all the anxiety that comes with them. However, it’s even less fun to try to deal with these situations without a plan in place. Find more ways to protect your home and loved ones at the Schlage blog.

     

x

Stay up-to-date on the latest style and design tips, trends, DIY tutorials, product updates and smart home news.