Yes, you can unlock your smart lock automatically with HomeKit. Here is the solution
How often are your hands full of files, devices, bags or groceries when you get home? Wouldn’t it be nice to reach your front door and just always have it unlocked for you? It’s as if your lock welcomes you home every time you arrive.
Many available smart locks on the market have an automatic unlock function that you activate on a phone app so that the door unlocks when you approach it. It’s like having your own little digital doorman. However, Apple HomeKit is limited in how it allows you to use this feature, unless you can bypass the system. In this article, I explain how to set up automatic unlocking on Apple HomeKit.
ZDNet recommends: Yale Assure Lock SL (Review)
When we looked into setting up smart devices at home, we ended up getting one Apple HomePod mini to set up with HomeKit because we appreciate the value Apple places on the privacy and security of its customers. Unfortunately, Apple’s approach to privacy and security also means that it doesn’t allow automations that lift a lock without confirmation. This means you end up having to unlock your phone and open the app to verify it every time you get home for the automation to work. This defeats the purpose of having the auto unlock feature.
But if you prefer to use HomeKit, you don’t need to buy another smart lock, you just need what you have to work better for you.
But how do you get around this? There are essentially two options: You can use Homebridge or you can set up a geofence trigger to another HomeKit device, and then another automation from that device to your lock. While we use Homebridge in our house, I’ll focus on the trigger option here since it’s the easiest.
We like Yale Assure Lock SL, and wanted it to unlock automatically every time we got home. Our trigger is one Lifx bulb we have in our home office. We call it high lamp. Essentially, we set up one automation to turn on the high beam every time we get home and another automation to unlock the Yale Lock every time the lamp comes on. Here’s how we did it
1. Open The HomeKit app and go to Automation.
2. Press Plus (+) character to add an automation.
3. Select People are coming to set the light to turn on when you get home.
4. Make sure I come is marked and press Next.
5. Choose your trigger, in this case high lamp, and press Next.
6. Confirm that everything looks correct on the screen and press Finished.
The new automation should now appear in your list. We just created the automation that will act as the trigger. Now, when I get home, the office high light will turn on. We need to add one more automation so that the lock unlocks when the light is turned on.
7. Tap the plus sign to add another automation.
8. Select An accessory is checked to set the lock to unlock when the light bulb is turned on.
9. Select High lamp as the accessory that will start the automation.
10. Press on Turns onso the lamp comes on when you arrive.
11. Select Yale lock and make sure it shows it as unlocked.
12. Verify that the automation looks correct”When the office light turns on > Unlock Yale lock” and press Finished.
13. Your automation is ready and in the list above Automations.
This has worked pretty flawlessly for us, although it is a workaround. I would recommend setting up an additional automation to turn off the lights maybe five minutes after you arrive or at a specific time of day, whichever you prefer.