A smart door lock is the perfect companion to a smart doorbell. If the doorbell rings and you’re not home, you’ll see it on your mobile phone and you can choose to unlock it – no matter where in the world you happen to be.
The Yale Doorman L3S actually has a built-in doorbell, so you’ll be notified if someone rings the doorbell. But it doesn’t have a camera, so you’ll still need a surveillance camera in addition if you want to see who’s at the door.
We previously tested the Doorman Classic Connected, which was an upgrade kit that made the Doorman Classic (formerly called V2N) smart. But the L3S is smart from birth and straight out of the box, so you no longer have to wonder which type to buy. While there are several stores that sell Doorman L3S under slightly different names (such as L3S Flex), the difference is probably more about how many key fobs are included than the systems themselves.
All Doorman locks replace both the lock box and your existing door handle. If you want to continue using your old key, take a look at the Yale Linus, which can be mounted on the outside of your lock box. Not as elegant, but with the ability for you to enter with a key.
The Yale Doorman L3S comes in three colour variants, with our model in matte black, and it’s more rounded and flush than before. If you don’t care about the smart solutions for the lock, it works perfectly as a pure combination lock, with support for up to thirty different key fobs. So everyone can have their own token – including the neighbour, babysitter or whoever else needs to get in.
It should be easy installing the Doormanif you follow the instructions. Doorman L3S fits doors with thickness between 40-88 mm, which includes most of them. I was lucky enough to have the distributor help me with the installation, but from what I could see, it all looked relatively easy. The safest option, of course, is to order installation with the lock.
Wi-Fi connection is done in the app after the lock is installed. Select “Set up a device”, scan the QR code and follow the instructions on your phone.
The lock needs to be connected to your home network if you want to open it remotely. Then you can open it for the postman who comes to leave a parcel when you’re not at home, or for anyone else who needs to enter the house. Alternatively, you can create temporary codes that others can use, and they can be set to only work during certain time intervals.
If everyone in the family uses their own code, you can keep track of who’s coming and going at all times, for example, your child has come home from school or a friend is visiting.
Once connected to your network, the lock can be used with the app, Google Home and Alexa. It also works for hosts through Airbnb, which will automatically generate a password for the entire stay for the guest. Pretty neat!
As for Google Assistant, it requires its own four-digit code that you need to use to unlock or lock.
In the app you can set up routines, such as the door locking automatically after staying open up to 30 minutes. You can also set it up to open automatically when you’ve been away, and return within a given vicinity of your house.
You can be notified when the door has been locked or opened manually or if a specific user has done so. Get notified if the door is open or if it has been locked automatically.
When opening the lock from your mobile phone, you can choose whether the app requires facial recognition, a code or nothing.
Very similar to Classic in use
Other than the look – because I really like the way the new lock looks – there are no significant changes in the user experience from the Doorman Classic Connected. They are very similar, which is why you’ll also see that the reviews written are also similar.
The difference lies in the security encryption, which should make the Doorman L3S much harder to hack and thus more secure.
Otherwise, the only other difference is that you don’t have to press the star button before the code to open or close. Simply enter your six-digit code and then press the open or lock button.
Doorman L3S is a great lock
As mentioned, the lock and door handle are very elegant and the quality feel is outstanding. Just like the more affordable Classic, the mechanism glides flawlessly and there is absolutely no need to pull and tug on the door handle when closing the door. The mechanism glides so smoothly that there’s no problem.
As with the Doorman Classic, the lock code must be six digits. Which is more secure than four digits, but still a slightly annoying number of keystrokes. I would have liked to have had the choice myself, but have been told that this is because the door lock has now achieved the highest security certification.
It’s particularly clever that Doorman can lock itself automatically when you drive away from the neighbourhood and open again when you’re almost home. This eliminates the whole code lock issue.
9-12 months battery life
Where the Doorman Classic was quoted as having a battery life of one year, here they’ve been moderated to 9-12 months. In practice, it’s probably pretty much the same. The test lock was installed in May and the batteries are still working.
It is recommended to use disposable alkaline batteries for maximum battery life, but the lock also works with 1.2 volt rechargeable batteries.
If the batteries run out while you’re out and can’t open the door, all hope is not lost. The door handle has two terminals on the underside where you can connect a 9-volt battery for easy opening. Then, of course, you need to change the batteries.
The Yale Doorman L3S is more expensive than the Doorman Classic Connected and the user experience is pretty much the same. Still, I think many people want the newer top-of-the-line model for appearance reasons. Remember, everything about aesthetics in the home costs money, and simply replacing the handles on kitchen cabinets can cost hundreds of euros. Nevertheless, many people do it on a regular basis, so why not pay for a more elegant door lock as well?
The lock is highly reliable and works as it should. Just as flawless as before, only even more elegant. And with improved security encryption, you can feel even more secure.