I know a handful of you are smart home nuts that automated their entire house except for their sliding door. That ends today. After a significant amount of research, I found one readily available, reasonably priced smart lock that works on a sliding door (if it fits your door), and a few alternative methods that might work.
Before you Buy
When you started looking for a smart lock for your sliding door, you were probably looking for a smart lock that could either
a) replace – The lock on your door is removed and replaced with an entirely new smart lock. I found a readily available option at theconnectedshop.com, and also one from Lockly that doesn’t seem to be in stock anywhere.
b) retrofit – A smart device is fitted to the existing locking mechanism to add smart functionality. I didn’t list it here, but something like the Switchbot Lock may work on your sliding door.
That’s basically how smart locks are done for standard swing open doors. Unfortunately, options like that for sliding doors are significantly more difficult to find. For that reason, I also expanded this list to a third option:
c) smart devices that work by blocking the door from opening – The Haven Lock mounts to the floor and pops up to block the sliding door from opening. The Wayzn door is an automatic pet door, but can work for humans, too.
Smart Door Lock Slim – The Connected Shop
The Smart Door Lock Slim from theconnectedshop.com is the most affordable, and readily available smart lock I can find for sliding doors.
It has a narrow footprint of only 36mm that should easily fit within the frame of most sliding doors. It can be opened using a PIN, NFC card, fingerprint (my favorite), or with a the mechanical key.
For most people, the main concern is going to be, “Does this fit my door?” My answer to that is: “I don’t know, but…”
The main thing you have to watch out for is that the holes for the key and the handle line up (see image below).
Additionally, the majority of sliding doors are installed with a single hook latch, but this lock uses a double hook latch. Therefore, to install this lock, it would most likely require removing the old latch hardware and cutting a bigger hole in the wall to fit the new latch hardware.
If all that sounds complicated, I highly recommend calling theconnectedshop.com. They have trained staff that answer the phone and can help you determine if this lock will work for your door.
Also, once you buy the lock, you will get a link to online installation instructions. Furthermore, if the instructions need some explaining, the same trained staff will be available to guide you through the installation process. Finally, if the entire installation process sounds like a huge pain and you would rather have a professional do it, you can even ask support at theconnectedshop.com to set up an appointment with a local locksmith to install the lock.
Lockly is one of the top smart lock brands. They sell high-quality locks to both residential customers and commercial customers.
The Lockly Guard looks great and it’s probably exactly what you’re looking for. But, you may have a difficult time getting your hands on one. It appears that Lockly is not interested in marketing this model to retail customers. Instead, they are targeting commercial customers and installers. I’ve searched all over the web, and can’t find it in stock anywhere. I did find a product page for it on uhs-hardware.com. It’s listed there with a hefty price tag of $619.99, but it’s currently (04/2023) out of stock. Be aware that there are two versions of the Lockly Guard – one is for swing open doors and one is for sliding doors.
The Haven Lock attaches to the door frame kind of like the auto-opener below. However, it doesn’t have the motor to open/close the door. Instead, it either pops up to block the door from sliding open, or retracts to allow the door to slide over it and open.
In order to use the Haven lock on a sliding door, you first need the sliding door adapter. Once Haven is installed, you could leave the door’s original latch unlocked and instead use Haven as the locking mechanism for the door. Haven Connect is available with WiFi or Z-Wave, so it could integrate easily with your smart home. You can also purchase an optional keyfob.
I think the Haven lock is awesome, and it’s great at stopping brute force entry on standard swing open doors. But, using it on a sliding door doesn’t give you the same security “boost” over the standard hook latch on most sliding doors. Where I come from, almost all sliding doors are made of glass, which means an intruder could simply bust the glass instead of going through the effort of trying to force the door open.
That said, the Haven lock does give you a legitimate option to add smart locking capability to your sliding door. The option to get it with the Z-wave module ensures that you have full home automation capabilities.
Plus, Haven is an American company owned and operated by veterans.
Wayzn Smart Pet Door
One way to get around the problem of the seriously limited selection of smart locks for sliding doors is to avoid the lock part altogether. This automatic door slider acts as an automatic opener and a lock.
The Wayzn Smart Pet Door is an auto-opener that is marketed as an automatic pet door. But who says it can’t be used for humans, too!
The auto-opener attaches to the door frame. The opener only moves under the power of the motor. Therefore, if you try to open the door manually, it will not budge. It is effectively locked.
Wayzn installs without any permanent damage to your door. When not needed (or in an emergency) it quickly folds out of the way so the door can be operated manually.
It connects to WiFi, which means you can operate the door using the app and also using Alexa.
There is an option for the door to be activated by a motion sensor, but that seems completely impractical to me. I’m imagining myself standing in my underwear, sipping my morning coffee, and gazing out the patio door. It’s a balmy January morning with a -10F wind chill when suddenly the door slides open and I get an arctic blast right in the face and all my nether-regions. No thanks. I do not need my patio door (or any door for that matter) motion activated.
Wayzn could certainly be great as an automatic pet door, or even for someone with mobility difficulties. However, I feel like it’s a bit of a compromise if what you really want is a smart sliding door lock. I fear that the automatic opening and closing gets in the way of normal operation too much. In my house, the Wayzn would most likely be flipped up and disabled to allow for manual operation 90% of the time.
Clearly, the commercially available options for smart locks on sliding doors are pretty limited. However, if you’re dead-set on giving your sliding door a smart lock, maybe you can do it yourself? The Hook Up on YouTube has a cool video where he hooks up an electric drop bolt to his patio door and controls it using a Shelly relay. Here’s the video.
Everything you need to make the lock can be purchased for way under $100. Here’s an Amazon shopping list to complete the project:
For many years, there was basically zero options for smart locks that work with your sliding door. But, finally it seems the marketplace is starting to catch up, and there are a couple reasonable options.
I usually strive for more detail in my product lists like this, but in this case simply finding the available locks was quite a difficult task. I hope you found it useful and I hope even more that one of these options solves your sliding door smart lock problem.
Lastly, if you decide to take the plunge and purchase any of these options, come back and leave a comment on how it works!