Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Hardware and Software With Potential
This is my first entry into home automation, and I'm fairly impressed with this starter kit.

First, I like the door lock. It's an attractive, sturdy looking piece of hardware with an easy action lever; my children with their small hands have a lot easier time with levers than with knobs, and who hasn't struggled with a door knob when bringing in a load of...
Published on August 24, 2012 by Glenn R. Howes

versus
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly complex, but with few features
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?

This replaces a simple knob lock (like the knob on your bedroom door). It is not a deadbolt set. It gives you an inside and outside lever and a strike plate. The photo at the top of the item description shows what you get. The photo further down in the detail of the item description (with the maid) shows a deadbolt. You do not get...
Published on August 22, 2012 by Just a guy


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly complex, but with few features, August 22, 2012
By 
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?

This replaces a simple knob lock (like the knob on your bedroom door). It is not a deadbolt set. It gives you an inside and outside lever and a strike plate. The photo at the top of the item description shows what you get. The photo further down in the detail of the item description (with the maid) shows a deadbolt. You do not get this.

You also get a plug-in-between light controller and a small box that attaches to your internet router (it requires an empty ethernet port). You get two standard keys for the lock.

PHYSICAL INSTALLATION OF THE LOCK

Installation was pretty simple if you have ever swapped out a lock. Initially the tongue part got stuck, but after I worked it a bit, it loosened up. The inside plate (with the plastic battery box) was a bit tricky to lineup.

The inside plate has plastic and rubber buttons to lock and unlock. These look terrible and there is a reason you don't see a photo of the inside portion on the website. This listing shows the inside portion. Schlage FE599NX CAM 619 ACC 619 Home Keypad Lever with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel

The lock handles stick out a bit more than normal from the door - so be aware of this if you have screen door. You might have some interference.

SOFTWARE SETUP

You MUST use the website to do anything with this lock - including reset the passcode - which is a stupid limitation in my opinion. You should be able to change the usercode simply from the lock keypad.

If you follow the instructions exactly, it all worked for me - although it took a few tries to pair the router box with the lock.

This should simply work via wifi between the lock and your wifi in your house. It doesn't work over wifi at all. It requires the black box to create another proprietary wireless network.

The website requires you to list your home address (not optional), phone number (not optional), email (not optional), and even prompts you to upload a photo of your house (optional). Think about that for a moment. I am telling a website exactly where the lock is located, what the house looks like, and what the code is. Sure, it is password protected, but that just sounds like a pretty unintelligent assembly of information to have all in one place. If there were a security breach on the Nexia side of things, someone could scan through photos looking for the nicest looking house in their area and would have access to the lock codes. Heck, they could probably even see when you were no longer home.

FUNCTIONS

The internet interface is terrible. Do you want to lock your unlocked door from the website? Good luck. It can be done, but it is very difficult to get it to work. Want to unlock the door? No such luck. Maybe for a moment, but you can't unlock it and leave it unlocked from the website.

Want an alert whenever the door is opened? Nope. Only when unlocked with a code (no alert if opened with the key).

Want an alert when the battery starts to get low? Nope.

You can set specific access codes (I think there are 15 allowed) and set a schedule for when each code is active.

LIGHT CONTROLLER

There is not much to say about the light controller. It plugs in between the plug and the outlet. The website allows you to turn the light on or off and to dim the light. You can set a "scene" in the website to turn on the light when the door code is used. You can also set a schedule for the light. The dimmer worked on my halogen and incandescent lights.

One big negative is that you cannot override the switch on the hardware. There is a button the white controller, but it is only used for pairing - you cannot push the button to manually energize the outlet. This is a stupid limitation.

COST

If you just want a keypad lock, there are much less expensive options. Schlage FE575 PLY 626 ELA Plymouth Keypad Entry with Auto-Lock and Elan Levers, Brushed Chrome This is trying to get you into the whole system of Nexia products.

You also much subscribe to the service for $8 or $10 per month. If you do not subscribe, you cannot access ANY features. You cannot change access codes. I would have thought that the paid service was only for remote access. That is not the case. Unless you pay for the service (or get a complimentary pass) you cannot use the light controller and cannot do anything with the lock. Don't buy this thinking you will just ignore the internet service - you are wasting your money.

FOLLOW-UP - The black box, which connects to your router, is needed to do any web activity. While mine seemed to work fine at first, I now have a problem that it keeps becoming unconnected from the network. I have to cycle the power plug and repair it to the lockset and the light module at least once a day to keep it running. Very disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Hardware and Software With Potential, August 24, 2012
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my first entry into home automation, and I'm fairly impressed with this starter kit.

First, I like the door lock. It's an attractive, sturdy looking piece of hardware with an easy action lever; my children with their small hands have a lot easier time with levers than with knobs, and who hasn't struggled with a door knob when bringing in a load of groceries? However, the number buttons are small and slippery, thus taking some concentration to press. Pressing the "Schlage" button over the keyboard does light them up for easy reading, but a visitor might not knows this and struggle to type in their PIN in the dark. One security reason for the small, slippery button design might be to prevent uneven visible wear of the 4 buttons you actually press; I'm sure that's why the printed number is below the surface.

Installation, which in my case was a replacement, took less than 20 minutes. If you've replaced door hardware before, the only extra steps involve threading a cable through the door and connecting it to the other side, and inserting 4 AA batteries.

The lock is of the type where locking disengages the outside lever from the bolt, while unlocking connects the lever to the bolt action. (To be clear, this is not a dead bolt lock). This design allows the lock to use a minimum of energy while still allowing remote unlocking; you'll notice that the deadbolts Schlage sells do not allow remote locking apparently because to do so (physically sliding the bolt into position) would be too battery intensive, and not allow for two years between battery replacements. I've installed a separate key operated dead bolt for when everyone is inside the house already or we leave for a trip.)

Two numeric keys and two physical keys are provided in the package. My kids quickly learned how to enter the unlocking code so operation is literally child's play.

As for the home automation part of the package, there were a few kinks, but in general it seems useful. The most cumbersome part of the process is attaching and removing the 9V battery while pairing the router with the lock and then the dimmer. It might have been a better idea to put the battery terminals external to the router as you only attach the battery for a few seconds during the pairing, and it is awkward getting it into and out of its cramped battery compartment.

Also, the website once logged into and connected to the router wasn't able to upgrade the device's firmware, showing some ambiguous error. So I'm stuck at the firmware version installed at the factory and can only hope the device functions properly.

But once I've registered on the website, paired the dimmer and the lock, downloaded the iPhone app, registered the iPhone account I'm set. I can control a lamp near the door or set it up to turn on when the door is unlocked; although i'm limited to old fashioned and energy hogging incandescent bulbs as neither CFL or LED bulbs are supported with no mention of dimmable LED bulbs. With the iPhone app, I can control the dimmer from the same room or anywhere else with an Internet connection.

When my kids were fooling around punching numbers into the lock, I received an e-mail saying the lock had been given a bad code, which would be helpful to alert me to malfeasance. And if a relative were to come by the house when we were away, I could momentarily unlock the door to allow them entrance, or give them a temporary PIN for the length of their stay.

The software is OK, although the web site could use better navigation. It's all reasonably competent but could use polish. The iPhone app could be simplified; it's not optimized for the common case of 1 lock and 1 dimmer, both of which should be controllable from one screen and not require me to tab around to find. In both cases, I have hopes for improvement, but we'll see as it is now it's serviceable, barely. If it doesn't improve, I won't be keeping the web service after my trial period expires.

I liked having key pad locks so much and the appearance of this lock, I bought a Schlage deadbolt for one of my other doors, but not the Internet enabled version, as I can't see needing to remotely control two entry doors.

[Update: Still liking the lock. After about 15 months or so, the lock started indicating (via red flashing) that it would like its batteries changed.]

[Update Sept. 3, 2014, the new iPhone app is much improved and satisfies a lot of my criticisms when it comes to navigation and appearance.]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Schlage Great, Nexia has Kinks, September 7, 2012
By 
Anna Hope (PA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The unit comes very nicely packaged with good documentation on how to step through the process

Installation of the Lock:
This went well and was completed within 15 minutes including removal of the old lock.I followed the documentation step by step and had the lock functional and tested the codes provided and both codes worked without issue.
This lock unit is solid, there is some cheap plastic that lets the device down a little in the appearance department (on the back side)but the external unit is very nice and very solid.One disappointment I had is that changing batteries requires removal of a portion of internal housing. Why not have a slide out unit to hold the batteries - this could be engineered a little better but it's a minor gripe.

Installation of the Nexia Bridge:
This was somewhat more problematic. I was initially unable to register the bridge successfully and multiple device resets did not resolve the Issue. I attempted swapping the Ethernet cable and this did not resolve the problem either. A call to Nexia support however was able to resolve the Issue quickly and efficiently. This involved a few quick steps in a precise order and the device registered online. I successfully enrolled the lock and was able to control it - however I could not add codes. Apparently this is a known Issue (encountered after support was closed) and a quick search resulted in finding a documented procedure in which I had to un-enroll the lock and re-enroll. I was then able to successfully add a code for the neighbor to use. The process of enrollment is a little fragile and seems like there are hurdles that can be encountered.

Features:
Using the keyless entry has been great and once configured the service works well. We have text alerts set up so we get notification when each of us uses the device. I could see this feature being useful for kids to see that they have arrived home on schedule. The Nexia system is expandable to incorporate video cameras and thermostats. I also have a NEST thermostat and have found that to be much easier to bring online. This is the difference between using Zwave technology with the Nexia and wifi with the NEST. The mobile app is quite comprehensive and allows for codes to be configured directly from your mobile device and also unlock the door - this is nice for letting someone in on short notice. The authentication for the mobile app is two stage. First download the app, connect to the account and then authenticate from the MyNexia account to activate a mobile device. Given the amount of control MyNexia offers this two stage authentication is reassuring. The level of service seem good however I do not know if it justifies the annual cost versus configuring your own Zwave home network.

5 out of 5 stars for the lock and 3 out of 5 for the mynexia service for a cumaltive 4 out of 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Door Handle and Home Automation Starter Kit, August 20, 2012
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Schlage product is a kit of two separate products, a heavy duty keyless door entry and a starter kit of home automation. Both products are designed around the do it yourself community and work surprisingly well.

The door handle is classic high end Schlage, meaning the metal casting is solid and heavy, the door handle is heavy and smooth, the striker plate and latch are nicely machined and heavy duty. I've installed my fair share of door locks, and Schlage does an excellent job with a big fold out instruction sheet. This lock set fit perfectly in my standard exterior door. Maybe I'm biased, this door had a Schlage lock set already installed so it took me about 15 minutes to remove the old lock and install this one. I'm very careful to follow instructions step by step, a lot of handy men or DIY might skip reading them. Looking back at the install, there is only one step somebody could get moderately tripped up, passing the wire from the front of the unit to the rear through the door cylinder and then connecting it to on the inside of the door. It's actually a kind of simple step, but could get missed if somebody wasn't reading the instructions.

I ran into one pretty big problem with the lock set, the keypad area is significantly thick. The face of that keypad is at about the same distance or thickness as the door handle. This is no problem if there is no screen door. I have a screen door and the keypad hits the handle on my screen door. If the keypad was 1/2 inch less deep, it would have fit.

Overall, this is a really great door handle and lock. The locking mechanism worked exactly as listed in the instructions.

One great big caution - there is no drilling template. So if your door is brand new with no holes, this will be a really big problem. Most lock sets include a drilling template. On the other hand, most prehung doors come with a door knob already installed.

The lock works beautifully and silently. Press and release the lock button on the inside, a red light comes on and a very faint whir happens. The door is now locked. On the outside the door handle will move, but not open the door. The keypad lights up a faint blue for each key. The feel is good solid and heavy, the feeling of an incredibly well built solid piece of hardware. I can't really figure out how to effectively use the key, in order to unlock the door the key has to be turned 3/4 of a turn, and then open the door. To remove the key it has to be turned back 3/4 of a turn and it relocks the door.

The keypad is powered by 4 AA batteries (included in the kit) and there is a claimed two year battery life.

The second part of this kit is the home automation. I recently tested a WeMo device from Belkin that is $100 for a single outlet and motion detector and works directly off wireless. I was very disappointed by the set up, the construction and how that device functions. This Schlage system is exactly the opposite - really rugged hardware that works. The bridge unit is a bit odd, I'm not sure I love that part of the system. But the wall outlet is beautiful simplicity.

Here is where set up got really weird and got me a bit frustrated for about an hour. The first step is to set up an account at a provided website. Each pieced of the system gets set up one at a time. The account set up walked me through each step and I had to follow those instructions without thinking too much. The first big step in the account set up is to select the devices, in this case the base station, a dimmer outlet, and a door lock (the icons were very helpful and accurate for choosing). Now that Nexia knows what equipment needs to be set up, the system steps through the process.

The dance is similar for each device with one exception for the base station. Enter the MAC ID (it really isn't a true MAC address as in the networking world, just a sort of serial number) that is found on the plastic wrapper and on the inside wall of the battery compartment. Then connect a LAN cable to a router that is connected to the internet (this is really important, do not connect the device to the computer, but to the router) and then connect the AC adapter for the base station. Click next on the computer and there will be a search for the base station. There is about a 2 minute time out if the base station isn't found. Be careful because the base station takes a long time to wake up and actually connect to the router (there should be a light showing connection on the router). Once the base station is found, the system does a bunch of things, like pairing it to my account, and updating the firmware. All this takes a few minutes.

Now that the base station is paired, the next step is to add devices. This is a more complex cha cha cha. Disconnect the base station from the router and remove the AC adapter. Plug in a 9V battery and move the base station within 6 feet of the device. Press the + (plus) button on the base station and then put the device in pairing mode (in the case of the door handle, enter the special code on the instructions; in the case of the wall outlet, press the button twice). After a short time the flashing yellow light will go solid and pairing is completed. Now go back to the router, plug in the LAN cable and the AC adapter and click next on the set up wizard. This step goes surprisingly well; the new devices are found and added to the Nexia account. Repeat for all the devices.

Now the part I originally hated, but think might be OK after messing with it. The Nexia service is a subscription service at $4.95 per month to allow mobile device or computer control of the devices. I hated this idea at first - what, make me pay to do that stuff, shoot this kit cost $300... Well I started messing with the home automation part, and this is one heck of a solid service. There is a lot that can be done with Nexia and I think I'm sold.

On that wall outlet, a few important things. The outlet is really a dimmer - it is not an on/off switch. The only things that can be connected to it are incandescent lamps or fully dimmable lamps (the instructions say no CFL or LED lights - I haven't tried a dimmable LED yet). The controlled portion of the outlet works from 25 to 300W. The device includes a pass through three prong outlet that has a 3000W capacity. The controlled portion of the outlet has over current protection.

This is what I really like about these outlets - they do not sacrifice an outlet. They fit across a single outlet and leave the second outlet open. There is also the pass through outlet. To manually turn on the light, there is a small button in the center of the device; a single press turns on or off the light. The devices are solid and heavy, very well constructed and cast.

The Nexia control center is pretty darn cool. Every event is logged, turn on a light, and unlock the door, all date and time stamped. I hate the codes Schlage gave me for my door lock. In the Nexia control center I was able to add a new code I like better. The moment I entered that code, the lock was updated and the new code worked. I could set the outlet to any dim level I want, between 10 and 100%. The lamp was updated immediately.

The wireless connection between the base station and devices does not use WiFi. The outlet module is really robust for connections. I unplugged the outlet and moved it to a different room. Plugging it back in, the outlet remembered the last setting. It isn't clear to me about the range limit for the base station. Something tells me it is really far. The base station was sitting on my ground floor around all kinds of electronics, the outlet was on the second floor at the farthest edge of my house (going through plaster, appliances, and one floor of stuff) and it responded perfectly, as if it was right next to the base station.

Is this thing worth $300? After putting everything together, I think so. This is a high quality door lock. It isn't the most beautiful lock in the universe (it does look a little corporate or industrial with the keypad), but darn it feels good and heavy when I use it. The automation piece is a million years better than Belkin's implementation. This system feels very well thought out with high quality devices. I'm not positive I will keep the Nexia subscription; right now it seems like a great idea. But at $60 a year, I'll have to see.

Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch + Motion Sensor bundle for Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch for Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great starter kit, May 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
The Schlage Security Kit comes with a bridge, a dimmer, and a lever lock. Installation instructions are not very detailed. No manual came with the kit. That's surprising, because the locks that are sold individually have a well-written manual included. This is a starter kit, and it does not.

SUBSCRIPTION

A subscription is required for remote access to our lock. I feel it's quite reasonable, especially considering we can add on as many locks, cameras, dimmers, etc., to the system as we want and still pay one low monthly price.

For those who don't want to pay the subscription fee, there are other options, but I will be reviewing the option that is included with this kit.

If you decide later to forgo the subscription, you will still be able to use the lock. Everything, including programmability will be usable from the lock. You just won't be able to access it remotely via computer, smartphone, or tablet.

BRIDGE

The bridge is needed for access through the internet. I encountered problems installing the bridge. Note very carefully that the battery should not be installed when connecting to the network. Between entering the MAC address and plugging into the network and into the power outlet, we only have a few seconds. Take your time, and it won't work.

I have experimented with this bridge and it appears to only work when plugged into an outlet and also plugged directly into the network via ethernet cable. I tried all sorts of variations trying to move the bridge away from the gateway but none of them work.

DIMMER

The dimmer serves two functions. It can dim a lamp remotely and it can extend the range of the wireless network. The distance between my bridge and one of my other Schlage locks is too far. Using the dimmer helps me use the other Schlage lock.

The dimmer does not work with fluorescent lightbulbs. It does, however, work with incandescent and LED dimmer bulbs. I used it with an LED dimmer bulb and it worked flawlessly.

Dimming can only be done remotely. I can turn the lamp all the way off or on. Very nice.

LEVER LOCK

The lever lock is the shinig star. Installation was simple. If you can install a regular lock, you can install this one. It comes with one key, in case you need it.

The keypad lights up, so we can see what we're doing at night. It's covered in silicone, so the numbers don't rub off. I like it better than the Nexia keypad on my other locks, because those keypads show the oils from our fingers so that any thief can see what buttons I'm pushing when the sunlight is shining just right. I constantly have to make sure those keypads are clean. That's not a problem here.

The only drawback to the lock is the battery. In order to change it, the lock has to be partially disassembled. This problem is not an issue with the Shlage deadbolt locks, which have a battery cover that opens.

PROGRAMMABILITY

The keypad can be programmed at the door or remotely. The box I got didn't come with a manual. I use the manual from my other kits, or it can be done online. It's easier to do online.

The options are endless. We can set the passcode length and change it to whatever we want. We can give each user a different code. We can set when those users can use those codes. For instance, the maid has her own code and can come in on Tuesdays between 3 PM and 5 PM.

If we have a Nexia camera, we can set it to turn on when someone enters our house. We can set an alert to tell us when someone opens our door. We can shut off all acces by setting a vacation mode.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

For basic setup problems, technical support is easy to reach and highly helpful. I reached them quickly on several occasions. We did not have difficulty communicating in English nor did they read from prepared scripts. They told me exactly what was wrong and all was better withing minutes.

If you have complicated issues, as I did later on, level 3 support is not very good. They kept sending the problem back down, not calling me, not fixing my problem.

What was wrong? The remote access was working but only partially so. I could not program my locks. When the problem was resolved, the guy very honestly told me he didn't do anything. The system is designed to fix itself. It took two weeks to do it, but it worked.

OVERALL

This is a wonderful set, the perfect gift for the technology geek in your life. I received this from the Amazon Vine program for review of the Nexia camera. I love the kit so much, I bought a set for my brother. He loves it, also.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch The Dimensions! Why the Subscription Service?, November 15, 2012
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The concept of this product is great. Remotely unlock a door, or set a temporary code for babysitters or house cleaners without the need for them to have a key and even control other Z-Wave home automation devices!

I'm not sure I agree with the implementation, however.

I have enough gadgetry in my home to know that standalone devices are perfectly capable of offering services over the internet for free. For example, I have a solar power monitor that gives real-time updates and a set of Belkin WeMos that let me remotely control electric outlets in my home.

Schlage, however, chose to offer their services only through a provider with a monthly service charge. Bummer.

I know others have said that Z-Wave control is theoretically possible without use of the paid service, but usability drops to the point of impracticality in that case.

If you're willing to swallow the service charges, however, it's great that this product exists on the market! What other option do you have really?

The only other thing to note is that you want to be careful about getting this if you have a deadbolt close to your door handle. The keypad is tall enough that you may not be able to install this on some doors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It does what it claims, but still could use some improvement, August 21, 2012
By 
John S. Dean "John" (Sturtevant, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I received this from the Vine program, and was very curious about it. I've had a 3M wireless thermostat for a few years (even reviewed it here on Amazon) and I love being able to fire up the heat or A/C from my iPhone when I'm not home and going to be home ahead of schedule. I also have a 6 camera security system (Logitech) that I can access from home or away... So I'm a huge fan of home automation and remote access.

Unfortunately, most of the products for me are useless as they all control things that plug into outlets with their little units that plug into the outlet between the lamp or whatever, and the wall. Every single light in my house is either recessed or, in my son's bedroom and my office, a ceiling mount light. All are controlled by switches in the wall. So until now, I've had few options for controlling them since the systems with wall switches have been few and far between, and the ones that were around were just not very cost effective. This at least can work with Z-wave devices, and GE has several in wall rocker type switches that allow remote control, but at $40+ per switch, it's still not very practical for more than just a switch or two to schedule on/off while you're on vacation.

The unit arrived in good shape, the heavy large piece had worked loose in the cardboard and poked holes in the box, but it didn't appear to have damaged itself or marred any other surfaces. Since my front door, where I would have liked to use this, has a different handle that required a hole drilled about 10 inches under the door knob, I couldn't use it there. So I ended up installing it in my steel door to the garage from my laundry room.

The install was a total snap - didn't take any extra time compared to installing a normal knob or deadbolt. In my case, it fit perfectly in the existing holes, so I was able to simply remove the old knob, bolt, and striker, and install these literally within minutes.

The next step is to set up the "bridge" - the black tower, the master control unit. The instructions are pretty basic, and rely on you going to the website for the detailed step by step, but it works well. What it didn't explicitly state that nailed me was to NOT install the battery during setup. I hadn't realized the battery is only inserted when you link a device. Then you pull the battery out again for "normal" use. If the battery is in, it can cause problems with the initial setup of the bridge to the account you create at their website. A quick call to support worked and they had me hard reset it (plus and minus buttons held for 30 seconds then disconnect everything for a minute) and then it linked up just fine.

That battery thing though is my first major complaint. It uses a 9 volt battery, and I have had many items end up with broken plugs from the 9 volt plugs pulling them out of the little oval. A hard switch would've been a much better idea, so you just turn the switch on or off to link devices rather than inserting and removing a 9 volt battery and stressing the plug so much. Granted, you hopefully won't have to do it a lot, but if the unit ever gets horked up, and you have to do a hard reset, you have to go through each device again. For me, a switch would've just removed the chance of that battery plug being broken.

Setup was a snap though to link things. You put in the battery, unplug it from the network and power, and bring it to within 6 feet of whatever you are linking to it. In this package's case, the lock and the dimmer unit. You simply put the bridge in link mode, hit a button on the other device, and it's done. In the locks' case you also had to type in the code on the lock for linking, and then press the schlage button and 0. Not a big deal, took just a few seconds.

The online features make it VERY easy to do things like add/remove users and combinations from the lock, or just change a lock code, set up a schedule, whatever you need. What I was surprised to find lacking was the option to actually lock or unlock your door from a computer. You can access the dimmer and turn it on / off or set the dimming level, but not the lock.

The iPhone software is free and installed fine, but you require the paid account at their website to get the access code to activate the software on the iPhone. The dimmer can be turned on and off by the phone software, and the dim level set. But again, the lock falls short. You can lock it, but you can't *unlock* it. All you can do is hit an "activate" button if it's locked that lets the outside handle work for a few seconds. So if you're trying to let someone inside temporarily without having to give them a code, the timing has to be exact. Seems like a major shortfall to me, that you can't simply unlock it permanently from a remote device. It may be a security feature to help prevent someone from accidentally unlocking it but to me protecting us users from our own mistakes usually means we lose features.

The web response is quick though, within a second or two of hitting the dimmer switch, my shredder (only thing handy to test the dimmer unit with since I have no lamps) turn on, and off again. Pretty flawless operation. And the lock locks within a few seconds as well.

I'll have to buy a couple of the Z-wave GE switches to test out, and will edit this review with the info about those when I do, to verify compatibility and function with this bridge unit.

Other downside to me is the cost of the service. $8.99 a month seems steep. My thermostat offers all the remove functionality for free. My Logitech security cameras offer all the remote access for free. I can understand for this system paying for "premium" options just like the Logitech cameras do, but I see no reason why the basics shouldn't be free with the purchase of the unit. But there's a "micasaverde" site and equipment that claims to work with Z-wave compatible devices and has no service charge or monthly fees, so at the end of my courtesy subscription for testing I may flip over to them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice concept but might not be your best bet, December 30, 2012
By 
Wayne (Silicon Valley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
This Schlage system goes beyond giving you a nice, well designed lock set, and gives you home automation. Although it has advantages and disadvantages, it works well if these are indeed the components you desire. But there may be other combinations of components that meet your need better.

LOCK SET: The lock set works well and is relatively easy to install. It replaces a traditional lock with a keypad based one that can be controlled remotely. You get a great deal of flexibility, including the ability to add more codes, monitor and keep track of which codes are used at what time, set codes that can be used at specific times only (such as a code that allows your housekeeper to come in on Monday mornings between 9 am and noon) and activate (momentarily unlock) or lock the door remotely. You can also add and change codes remotely or with the keypad.

The activate function only unlocks the system for a few seconds. But that should work fine for somebody standing there with a cell phone needing to get in. If you really want to unlock your door remotely and leave it unlocked for a long time, either a person can press the unlock button after activation, or you can dynamically set up a new code to give to somebody as a safer alternative. Then you can tell when it's been used, and get rid of a code completely when no longer needed. If you really want a way to unlock your doors remotely and leave them that way indefinitely, this is not the system for you. But I'd rather have the added security of not having that unnecessary function.

Using the Nexia system and controller, you can add this device, the dimmer module, and other devices such as thermostats to your system. The web based system is also where you can add additional codes, and specify what they do, such as turning on the lights or changing the thermostat setting when a specific entry code is used. With a non-automated system such as the Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolt you are limited to two codes and have to be at the lock to change them. With the Schlage system, you can also add/delete/change codes manually, but the process is slightly more involved since there are more functions. It's also not documented in the material that comes with the lock, so you need to find it on the web.

Activities such as linking the lock to the Bridge revolve around a six digit programming code, which can be changed. You typically enter the programming code into the lock's keypad, press the Schlage button and the function number, and the relevant information for that function. For example, once you tell the Bridge that you are linking it to the lock, the sequence would use a 0 after the Schlage button and wait for the process to finish. For adding a user code, you would use function number 1, enter the new user code, and enter it again. Between each entry, you will get a step confirmation (three beeps and orange flashes), and at the end you will get a function confirmation (one beep and green flash). Function number 2 deletes a code. There are seven functions in total, but chances are you will want to do much of this with the web interface.

Schlage also makes a Schlage BE369NX CAM 619 Home Keypad Deadbolt with Nexia Home Intelligence, which I have not tried. But it might make more sense than the one with this package. If you use this one and want to use a standard deadbolt, you will need to use a key anyway, and that defeats much of the purpose of the keypad based system. If you want to use the Nexia based deadbolt, then you may be able to get by without a lock for the latch part that this replaces. A disadvantage of a traditional deadbolt is that it can't be locked automatically when a person closes the door. The Kwikset does not have that limitation, so a non-deadbolt lock is less necessary in that case. Overall, I think you are better off with a deadbolt model if you can have only one that's locked. Schlage elected to prolong battery life by not motorizing the lock mechanisms, so their systems merely enable or disable manual handles and knobs. The Kwikset model I mentioned will move the deadbolt and can lock it automatically after a user closes the door, so even somebody without a key can leave the home, lock it with a deadbolt and be able to get back in with a code. But you may need to change batteries several times a year. This Schlage model, since it does not have a deadbolt, can allow the door to lock merely by closing it. UPDATE: The new deadbolt model mentioned below is motorized and works very well.

Although this installation is easy and relatively straightforward, keep the dimensions of the system in mind. I checked every outside door in my home and found that there was plenty of room below the deadbolt to install this. But it's taller than many traditional locks so that might not be the case for everybody. The handle also sticks out more than traditional ones, which can be a problem with a screen door. In my case, I found that the handle touches the screen and pushes it a bit. Since the frame around the screen is thicker, and thus closer to the door, closing the door when the screen door was closed resulted in the handle blocking the screen door from opening. Thus the simple act of closing the door could keep somebody from entering the home through that door.

UPDATE: Schlage has released the Schlage BE469NXCAM716 Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Nexia Home Intelligence and Alarm(Z-Wave) in various finishes. I've reviewed it separately. Even though this model being reviewed caused me no problems despite the dimensions, it did cause a problem when I went to add the deadbolt. It was no problem with a standard deadbolt, and the Schlage deadbolt comes down only slightly lower than a traditional one. But there wasn't enough room for both. The good news is that with the new deadbolt model, Schlage overcame the limitations I discussed above. It now compares favorably with the Kwikset deadbolt and is better in some aspects. If you need one or the other, you may wish to consider whether you'd be better off with the new Schlage deadbolt instead.

LAMP MODULE: The lamp module is designed to allow you to turn a light on or off remotely, or set it to a brightness level with the dimmer function. Any specific code for the door could also be set to turn on (or off) the light when used, allowing guests to enter a lighted home, or forcing them into the dark if that's your desire. I can see some advantage to being able to turn a lamp on remotely, a bigger advantage to having one turned on when the door is unlocked, and far less advantage to being able to use a dimmer function remotely. The trade off for having the dimmer function is that this unit will not work with anything but incandescent lamps. But those are being phased out in many countries and in certain states. By next year, I won't even be able to buy an incandescent lamp of 40 watts or above. I'm not quite sure what the point of a remote dimmer is since it won't affect usable light if nobody is there locally. About 90% of the energy from an incandescent bulb is wasted as heat, so if you want to turn a light on or off or dim it to save electricity, you might be better off leaving a CFL on full time. I'd much rather have something without dimming that works with standard lights rather than incandescent only.

Since the lamp module also works as a repeater for z-wave, you may want to install it somewhere between your lockset and your bridge, even if you don't intend to use the dimmer function. It can extend the useful range of your system.

In addition to the web based system, there is also an app for your smartphone. You must activate it from the web based system. If you add another device later, you will have to use the web based system to allow your smartphone to control it, since it controls only what's authorized. The web based system itself will pick up on new devices automatically.

With the app, you could press a button to let somebody in the house, or another to add a temporary code that expires in 24 hours. Pressing the code button again reminds you that one is set and lets you remove it immediately. You can use it to turn on/off the light or dim it, change your thermostat setting, etc. You also get to see an activity log, which can be useful.

For example, if you give your teenager his/her own unlock code, you can check the log to see if or when he/she came home. You can see who changed the thermostat at what time, and all sorts of other information that will be useful or completely useless depending on your situation.

Finally, although the software works reasonably well, I can't see why a subscription based system should be necessary, especially when used at home. There are third party tools that allow you access Windows based PCs remotely, so even local software would be good enough for many users.

Overall, the system works well for what it does. I think the subscription aspect will cost me more money than it will save, even with remote control of my thermostat. And although I can't blame this product for not being a different product, I can suggest that the deadbolt might be a better option for some.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free of charge, but was not asked to review it in exchange.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, January 26, 2014
By 
LAURIE RAINEY (PONTE VEDRA, FL, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schlage FE599GRNX CAM 619 ACC 619 Keypad Lever Home Security Kit with Nexia Home Intelligence, Satin Nickel (Z-Wave) (Tools & Home Improvement)
we use this at a beach house that we rent out
great way to give private access codes to guests without having to use keys etc
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The locks work great but the directions were a great problem, September 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The locks work great but the directions were a great problem. Before you start installing go online and find the directions in their help file. It gives the COMPLETE install directions, don't just how to connect the lock to the bridge but also how to reconnect your bridge and let it up date your account. When we clicked on the "Add Device" button on the web site it would not add a device but replace the device..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.