The Array by Hampton Connected Door Lock operates on Wi-Fi and is powered by the sun

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The vast majority of smart deadbolts rely on low-power Bluetooth, ZigBee, or Z-Wave radios because Wi-Fi radios are battery killers. The new Array by Hampton smart lock looks to defy that trend with an ingenious solution: An integrated solar panel that continuously trickle-charges its onboard battery.

Connecting to your smart home via Wi-Fi enables the Array to avoid a requirement that all other smart locks have: a hub or a bridge. Instead, all you’ll need for Hampton’s smart lock is a wireless router. Hampton says the lock—first announced at CES in January—requires only one to two hours of direct sunlight a day to offset the lock’s energy consumption from locking/unlocking and Wi-Fi communication. The company says its 5,200mAh lithium polymer battery should last around 10 months on a charge when the lock’s solar panel is exposed to direct sunlight, and from 30 to 90 days between charges in installations where the lock is exposed only to indirect sunlight.

The Array can also be opened with a conventional key, so you shouldn’t have to worry about being locked out due to a dead battery. And to make that possibility even more remote, Hampton includes a second battery and a USB charging cradle that can recharge a depleted battery in about three hours.

Hampton Products International

The Array by Hampton Connected Door Lock will be available in two styles and three finishes.

The $299 price tag Hampton is putting on the Array makes it one of the most expensive smart locks on the market. The company justifies the price tag with the inclusion of the solar panel, the second battery, the battery charger, and the fact that you don’t need a hub. Eliminating those first three items is indeed a big deal, but the last justification is of value only if you don’t already have a smart home system. It looks as though the Array won’t be compatible with any current smart home systems right out of the gate.

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