The sleek Halo Wi-Fi Smart Lock ($229) is the latest addition to Kwikset’s family of smart door locks. It provides several methods for locking and unlocking your door, including entering a code on its touch-screen panel, using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, tapping a button in a mobile app, and using a traditional key. It’s equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and is relatively easy to install, but it doesn’t offer the level of third-party integration that you get with our Editors’ Choice, the $250 August Wi-Fi Smart Lock.  

Design and Features

The Halo is a complete locking system designed for standard doors that are 1-3/8 to 2 inches in thickness. It comes with interior and exterior escutcheons, a latch and strike, a pair of keys, four AA batteries, and assorted mounting hardware.

The outer escutcheon sports a sleek contemporary look and is available in four finishes (Matte Black, Polished Chrome, Satin Nickel, or Venetian Bronze). It measures 5.5 by 2.7 by 1.3 inches (HWD) and contains a 2.5-by-2.7-inch touch screen and a keyway for opening and closing your door with the included keys.

Kwikset Halo

The touch screen is brightly lit and offers Kwikset’s SecureScreen technology, which generates two random numbers that must be tapped before you enter your four-digit access code. This prevents potential intruders from gaining access by looking for residue left on the screen while entering codes. The Halo has a built-in tamper alarm and will also sound an alarm and send push and email alerts when three consecutive incorrect codes are entered. When this happens, the screen will be automatically disabled for 60 seconds.

The interior escutcheon measures 5.5 by 2.7 by 2.0 inches and has a thumb turn for manual locking and unlocking, an LED indicator, and a removable panel for accessing the program buttons and battery pack. One of the buttons is used for pairing the lock during setup, and the other is used to reset the lock, reset network settings, and perform manual door handing that determines left or right handed installation. Under the hood is a Bluetooth radio for close-range connectivity and a Wi-Fi radio that lets you control the lock from anywhere without the need for a hub.

The Halo is controlled using Kwikset’s mobile app for Android and iOS devices. It opens to a My Home screen with panels for each installed lock that display the name of the lock and contain Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and battery level status indicators. In the center of the screen is a round lock/unlock button that is green when the door is unlocked and red when it is locked. At the bottom of the screen are People, History, and Settings icons. Tap the People icon to add users and create up to 250 user codes with full-time (24/7) or limited access. You can limit access by date or by weekday and time, and you can create one-time codes that expire after 24 hours. Codes can be shared via text messages, email, and Facebook.

The History icon takes you to a screen where you can view a list of lock activities, including who has used the lock, lock and unlock times, method (access code, app, voice), and instances of incorrect code entries. The Settings icon opens a screen where you can edit the lock name, enable/disable the Auto Lock feature that automatically locks the door after a set period of time, enable/disable lock sounds, and enable/disable the SecureScreen feature.

The Halo works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, but it doesn’t support Apple HomeKit or IFTTT applets that would allow it to interact with third-party smart home devices such as cameras, smart plugs, and lighting systems.

Kwikset app screens

Installation and Performance

Whereas models such as the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock and the Wyze Lock use your existing deadbolt and strike components, the Halo is a complete lock solution that requires a bit more time to install, but it’s still relatively easy.

It took a few minutes to remove all of my existing lock hardware, after which I downloaded the mobile app and selected the Halo from the list. At this point you can choose to use the Interactive Installation Guide, which offers step-by-step installation instructions, or download the Installation PDF. I selected the Interactive option and read through a couple of screens describing what tools I would need and showing me how to uninstall my existing lock. It also has instructions for drilling holes in doors that don’t already have deadbolt and cylinder holes.

After checking my door dimensions, I followed the instructions to install the latch and strike plate. Next, I installed the exterior escutcheon, making sure to carefully snake the data cable through the bottom of the latch, and attached it to the mounting plate. I attached the data cable to the interior escutcheon, attached the interior escutcheon to the mounting plate, and then attached the decorative shell. I installed the batteries and waited a few seconds for the automatic door handing procedure to run, and the physical installation was complete. 

Next, I was prompted to create an account, which included verifying my email address and phone number and answering three security questions. I then created a Home, tapped Add A Lock, and followed the on-screen instructions to remove the interior cover and press and hold the button marked A for three seconds, at which point the LED began flashing blue, indicating that the lock was in pairing mode. The lock was immediately recognized and paired to my phone. I was prompted to update the firmware, which took just under five minutes to complete, gave the lock a name, and followed the instructions to add the lock to my home Wi-Fi network. I created a Master Access Code and the installation was complete.

The Halo performed well in testing. It responded instantly to lock and unlock commands using the mobile app and Alexa voice commands, and the well-lit touch screen is responsive. The Auto Lock feature never failed to lock the door after my specified time had elapsed, and I always received a push alert when the door was locked or unlocked. Additionally, I received push alerts and emails whenever three or more incorrect codes were entered, although the lock’s alarm could be a bit louder.

Conclusions

If you’re looking for a stylish smart lock that offers multiple ways to lock and unlock your door, the Kwikset Halo Wi-Fi Smart Lock is worth a look. Equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, it lets you connect from anywhere using your phone, or you can use Alexa or Google voice commands, enter an access code on the touch screen, or open your door with a physical key. Moreover, you can create up to 250 unique user codes with full-time, limited, or one-time access. The one notable downside is that it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit or interact with third-party devices using IFTTT applets. For that you’ll need the similarly priced August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, which also works with home automation and security platforms from Honeywell, Logitech, SimpliSafe, and Samsung, and uses most of your existing hardware.

Kwikset Halo Wi-Fi Smart Lock Specs

Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Integration Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Installation Exterior Escutcheon, Interior Escutcheon
App Mobile
Notifications Email, Push
Geofencing/Location Services No
Guest Access Yes
Tamper Alarm Yes
Touchpad Yes
Voice Activation Yes

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