I bought an August Smart Lock for my home a year ago and I’ve been changing its batteries ever since.
August Smart Lock battery life – real-world results
Per August, the expected Smart Lock battery life, for all generations, is between 3 and 6 months, but my real-world experience tells me that the actual battery life is about half that (so really 1.5 to 3 months, tops):
- 1st generation lock (Smart Lock) – Up to 6 months (more like 3 months)
- 2nd generation lock – Up to 3 months (more like 1.5 months)
- Both 3rd generation locks (Smart Lock Pro) – Up to 6 months (more like 3 months)
- 4th generation (WiFi) – Up to 3 months (more like 1.5 months)
What impacts smart lock battery life
Those are the estimates provided by August, but my personal experience shows me that the actual battery life is merely half that (so really 1.5 to 3 months).
The estimates above assume that you’ve installed the smart lock perfectly, your WiFi is excellent, your usage is “average,” and so on.
But there are quite a number of things that can drain, and greatly reduce the overall battery life of your August Smart Lock, regardless of which generation you have.
The good news is, if you’re mindful of each of these during the installation of your lock, you’ll hopefully get the most out of your battery life and avoid having to replace them all the time.
This one seems obvious but make sure you follow the install instructions exactly as they are written!
If your installation is off even slightly, the lock motor will have to work a bit harder and this will lead to a drained battery.
For example, ensure that you’ve used the right tailpiece adaptor and that the wing latches are seated correctly.
Give the lock the eyeball test after installation – does it look like it was put in correctly? How about its use? Can you effortlessly lock and unlock the door?
If not, I recommend you spend some time fixing things – you’ll be glad you did in the long run.
When your August Smart Lock locks, it deadbolts into your door frame.
It is really important that the deadbolt and the strike plate that is in your doorframe are correctly aligned with one another.
When the smart lock locks, is there any visible friction with your door or the strike plate? Do you hear any sounds that indicate the deadbolt is struggling to enter the strike plate?
If there is any resistance at all, the motor will have to work harder than normal and the battery life of your August Smart Lock will suffer greatly.
I experienced this early on.
My door wasn’t shutting completely and as a result, the deadbolt wasn’t lining up well with the strike plate.
The August Smart Lock had to work harder to close and therefore, I was changing its batteries a lot.
This is another obvious one, but usage is a huge factor when determining how long your August Smart Lock batteries will last.
If you have 7 people in your family, the door is obviously going to get more use through the day than a family of 3 (clearly just the number of family members living in the home has an impact).
But beyond that, the way you use the smart lock also has a big impact.
For example, if you turn on “Auto-lock” and “Auto-unlock,” your smart lock batteries are going to get more use than if those features are turned off.
That’s because these features use your smartphone to “know” where you are. Your phone then sends signals back to the smart lock, telling it your location.
When you’re phone is close to returning home, your door will automatically unlock itself and when you’re leaving, it will automatically lock.
All of this functionality requires battery power.
But ultimately you bought this product for a reason, and in my opinion, it’s worth buying some extra batteries once in a while to use it to its fullest capability.
A weak signal from your WiFi router will result in the August Smart Lock’s WiFi chip working harder to find, and then keep, a connection.
A poor WiFi signal will almost always result in reduced battery life, so it’s worth making sure your WiFi is up to par.
One easy solution is moving your router setup closer to your front door so that the connection is established quicker.
Short of that you might want to upgrade your equipment (router and/or modem) or possibly increase your WiFi speed package with your internet provider.
You’ll be able to see the strength of the WiFi signal in the August Smart Lock app on the home screen.
If it’s low, consider making some changes.
August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge
Many August Smart Locks today come with the August Connect Bridge, but if yours didn’t, it might be worth buying one.
The Connect Bridge plugs into an outlet in your home and acts as the WiFi “waypoint” for your smart lock.
So instead of using the lock’s internal WiFi, which is powered by batteries, you’ll be using the Connect Bridge, which is powered by your home.
This greatly reduces the burden on the lock’s batteries and will ensure that they last much longer.
Battery quality – don’t be cheap!
A final consideration is the quality of the batteries that you’re using to power your August Smart Lock.
There are many brands of batteries but some are exponentially better than others.
Use good batteries.
Two of the best brands are Energizer and Duracell. You’ll pay more for these, but it’s worth it. They cost more for a reason – they last longer!
If you buy off-brand batteries and your smart lock keeps dying, that’s on you.
Battery type and how many are required
The number of batteries and the type of battery you’ll need will vary depending on the generation of August Smart Lock you have.
The battery types and number of batteries required for all August Smart Locks are as follows:
- 1st generation lock (Smart Lock) – 4 AA batteries required
- 2nd generation lock – 4 AA batteries required
- Both 3rd generation locks (Smart Lock Pro) – 4 AA batteries required
- 4th generation (WiFi) – 2 CR123A batteries required
August says the average battery life of their smart locks is between 3 and 6 months, but from experience, the real battery life is about half of that.
The reason could be that your lock wasn’t installed correctly or that the deadbolt is experiencing friction with the strike plate in your door, causing the lock’s motor to work harder.
Apart from installation issues, the level of usage plays a significant role in battery life.
WiFi strength also plays an important role. A weak signal will drain the smart lock’s battery quickly. To combat this, August has come out with the Connect Bridge which reduces the WiFi burden on the lock itself.
Lastly the quality of the batteries you’re using matters! Don’t use off-brand batteries, stick to the popular brands. They’re popular for a reason.
Good luck with your August Smart lock battery life!