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How Do Smart Locks Get Power? Common Power Sources Explained

Smart Lock Power Source

With the integration of IoT devices into everyday life, many homeowners choose to replace their traditional door locks with smart ones. A smart lock is an advanced electronic lock that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone, tablet, or voice commands.

Like other smart home devices, most smart locks rely on a stable Internet connection and a reliable power source to operate. But how do these devices get power? Some standard options for smart locks include battery, hardwired, solar power, kinetic power, power harvesting, and hybrid power. This article will discuss the various methods these innovative locks utilize to stay powered.

How Do Battery-Powered Smart Locks Get Power?

Battery-powered smart locks are widely used for their simplicity and ease of installation. These locks typically use standard or rechargeable batteries, such as AA or AAA batteries. These batteries power these smart locks' internal circuitry and motor. Due to the battery power, the lock can be engaged and disengaged as needed.

Battery-powered smart locks often come with low-battery indicators to alert users when batteries run low. Some advanced models may even send notifications to users' smartphones to ensure they never find themselves locked out due to dead batteries.

How Do Hardwired Smart Locks Get Power?

Hardwired smart locks are directly connected to the home's electrical system. These devices use low-voltage power from your existing wiring to function, which provides a constant and reliable power source. Installing these smart locks may require work and time since extension cables or drilling holes may be needed.

Once installed, hardwired smart locks draw power from a transformer, which converts the standard electrical voltage to the appropriate level required by the lock. With hardwired smart locks, you don't have to worry about the device's battery life. If your home has electricity, the smart lock will operate smoothly.

How Do Solar-Powered Smart Locks Get Power?

Solar-powered smart locks integrate solar panels into their design to harness sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. These locks store the harvested energy in internal batteries, which power the lock's operation. Solar-powered smart locks are more efficient and eco-friendly than traditional battery-powered ones, and their reliance on conventional power sources is significantly reduced.

For optimal performance, solar-powered smart locks require exposure to sufficient sunlight. There are also some models designed to operate with minimal sunlight. For regions with less sunny weather, they are more suitable.

How Do Kinetic Energy-Powered Smart Locks Get Power?

Kinetic energy refers to the energy generated or harnessed through motion. For smart locks, this energy is typically derived from the user's physical actions, such as pressing buttons, turning a handle, or even unlocking and locking the door itself.

Most kinetic locks are equipped with advanced mechanisms that capture the energy generated by the user's motion and convert it into electrical power through specialized generators or piezoelectric materials. Kinetic locks also have a backup mechanism, which stores energy for the consistent function of these locks.

How Do Power Harvesting Smart Locks Get Power?

Power harvesting, also known as energy harvesting, captures and stores small amounts of energy from various ambient sources, such as light, heat, vibrations, or radio frequencies, and converts it into usable electrical power. Energy harvesting is widely used for low-energy electronic devices and sensors.

For smart door locks, these energy sources can include radio frequencies from WiFi signals, thermal energy from temperature differences, vibrations from door movements, or even light energy. Power harvesting technology allows these smart locks to supply their internal power reserves continuously and reduces reliance on traditional power sources.

How Do Hybrid Power Smart Locks Get Power?

Many smart locks incorporate a combination of power sources to ensure uninterrupted operation. Hybrid power can be an excellent choice to maximize the effectiveness of these electronic devices. For example, a smart lock might have a primary battery power source supplemented by solar panels or kinetic energy harvesting capabilities.

Pros & Cons of Different Power Sources

Choosing the right power source for your smart lock ensures uninterrupted operation and maximum efficiency. Each power source has its advantages and drawbacks; here is a comparison table.

Power Source Pros Cons
Battery-Powered Easy installation, portable, suitable for most setups Frequent battery replacements, limited battery life, and environmental impact
Hardwired Reliable and continuous power source, no need for battery changes Complicated installation, dependent on home electricity
Solar-Powered Eco-friendly, highly-effective,  harnesses renewable energy Requires sufficient sunlight, higher initial investment
Kinetic Energy-Powered Sustainable, no reliance on external power sources Limited energy generation in specific scenarios
Power Harvesting Diverse energy sources, continuous operation Little power generation in low-energy environments

Battery for Smart Door Locks: Types & Battery Life

Battery-powered smart locks are among the most popular power options due to their easy installation and versatility. Even solar-powered or kinetic ones have an embedded battery to play the receiver role in storing the energy.

In this part, you will get fully informed about the different types of batteries used for smart door locks and the battery life of some popular models in the market.

Types of Batteries Used for Smart Lock

Two types of batteries commonly used for smart door locks are standard alkaline batteries and rechargeable lithium batteries.

  • Standard alkaline batteries: As disposable batteries, alkaline batteries are commonly used in various electronic devices. They derive their name from the alkaline electrolyte used in their construction. Many smart locks are designed to use standard AA or AAA alkaline batteries, and they usually have a battery compartment on the exterior side of the lock. The number of batteries needed varies depending on the specific lock model.
  • Lithium batteries: Regarding smart door locks, lithium batteries are also known as rechargeable batteries. These batteries use lithium as their primary component in the anode. Compared to traditional alkaline batteries, these batteries offer longer life and may last several months on a single charge.

The battery life of smart locks can vary significantly depending on the specific brand, model, usage patterns, and features enabled. Here are some examples of common smart lock brands and their approximate battery life.

  • Yale Assure Lock 2: Equipped with four AA alkaline batteries, this smart lock supports Bluetooth, WiFi, and Z-Wave protocols. It can unlock as you approach the door. The battery life of this device can last from 6 months to a year.
  • Aqara Smart Lock U100: The Aqara U100 is a fully-featured smart lock with Matter support and has multiple ways to unlock it (including Home Key). However, it needs a compatible Aqara hub for most of its features. It also requires four AA batteries to get power and has 8 months of battery life.
  • Schlage Encode WiFi: This is a traditional door lock style with a touchscreen keypad and built-in WiFi. This lock can connect your door to smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Amazon Key, and Ring. Also, this device can work for 6 months with four AA batteries.
  • August WiFi Smart Lock: Unlike the former ones, this August smart door lock uses two CR123 batteries, which are non-rechargeable, primary lithium batteries with a cylindrical shape. Their battery life is relatively short and only can last 3 months.
  • SwitchBot Lock: This door dock doesn't require removing any part of your existing lock and is ideal for renters. With two CR123 batteries as the power source, this lock can work for up to 6 months.

Smart Lock Power Drain: What to Do When Your Device Loses Power

Your smart door lock loses power no matter what kind of power source it runs on. So it's essential to know how to handle the situation to ensure continued security and access to your property. Here are some steps you can take.

1. Check the Power Source

The first step is to determine the cause of the power loss. If your smart lock is battery-powered, check the battery compartment to see if the batteries need replacement. If you have a wired smart lock, verify that there's no electrical connection or power supply issue. Sometimes, a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse can cause the problem.

2. Replace or Recharge the Batteries

If the power source of your lock is a battery, you may need to replace or recharge the battery.
For example, if they are alkaline, replace them with fresh ones. If they are rechargeable lithium, connect them to a power source using the provided charging cable.

3. Restore the Power for Hardwired Locks

In the case of a wired smart lock, reset any tripped circuit breakers or replace blown fuses if you've identified an issue with the electrical supply. Check the outlet with another electronic device if the lock still doesn't receive power. If there's still no power, consult a qualified electrician to inspect and repair the electrical connections.

4. Use a Physical Key

Most smart door locks have a traditional keyhole as an emergency backup solution. Check out if your door lock has this feature. Keyholes are usually under the door handle or the keypad. When batteries run out, use the traditional key to unlock your door. But it would help if you kept this backup key always by your side.

5. Enable Backup Power Options

Some smart door locks offer backup power options. For instance, some battery-powered smart locks may have a built-in USB port that allows you to connect a power bank to supply temporary power. Similarly, some hardwired smart locks may support a backup battery module. You can read the user manual for detailed information.

6. Contact Manufacturer Support

If none of the above methods work, contact the manufacturer's customer support for further assistance. Their support team can provide specific instructions or troubleshoot the issue.

7. Call a Locksmith

In some situations, smart door locks may go into full lockout mode when the battery is dead or critically low. In such cases, it might be necessary to contact a locksmith. They can offer professional service and help replace the battery or fix the faulty lock system directly.


How do smart locks get power?

There are various methods smart door locks use to stay powered. Some standard options for smart locks include battery, hardwired, solar power, kinetic power, power harvesting, and hybrid power.

Can I use rechargeable batteries in my smart lock?

The answer is yes. Most battery-powered smart locks are compatible with rechargeable batteries; most lithium batteries are rechargeable ones, for example, CR123 batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be cost-effective and environmentally friendly, as you can recharge them instead of buying fresh ones.

Do smart locks work when power runs out?

It depends on the type of smart lock and its power source. Battery-powered smart locks will continue to work during a power outage, as they rely on the energy stored in their batteries. But if its battery drains, it will keep you locked out. On the other hand, hardwired batteries may cease to operate during a power outage.

How long does a smart lock battery last?

The battery life of smart locks varies depending on usage and battery type. On average, it can range from 6 to 12 months.


Smart door locks use different power sources to operate. Some standard power options include the battery, hardwired, solar power, power harvesting, and kinetic energy. Each power source has its advantages and drawbacks; you can choose the suitable device based on your specific needs and the existing fixture of your home.

Most smart door locks on the market are battery-powered, and the battery life may vary depending on the specific model. How does your smart door lock get power? Have you ever experienced any power failure of your device? Tell us about your experience and share this article with your family and friends. Let's discuss it together!


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Editor from Reolink. Interested in new technology trends and willing to share tips about home security. Her goal is to make security cameras and smart home systems easy to understand for everyone.