Electronic Locks for Access Control Systems

You get a door installed but now you must decide between consumer grade smart locks vs business grade locks. The latter are typically electronically wired with low voltage cabling, built for frequent use, endure a certain force and come with advanced fire ratings and certificates.

 
 

The typical set up for your door is: Door, cabling, locks and readers. Keep in mind that locks come in two configurations:

- Fail safe: When activated power is taken away from the lock and the lock unlocks.

- Fail secure: When activated power is transmitted to the lock and the lock unlocks.

Depending on your preference, you'll need to decide if doors should remain locked or unlocked during emergencies, like power outages.

Aside from this technical difference, electronic locks are supplied in different voltages. Common power supply ratings for electronic door locks are: 

- 12V - 2A

- 24V - 1A 

Any electronic lock is compatible with Kisi.

Electronic Lock Types

1) Electric Strikes / Electronic Latches

HES 1006 industrial electric strike / heavy duty latch is a common electric strike combined with Kisi access control systems.

Kisi's opinion: Electric door strikes are probably the default option for metal or wood doors. They are also typically the most affordable option in terms of door security hardware. See how we compare against other commercial smart locks.

Here is an example of how the access controller would be wired to an electric strike

Kisi connection to electric strike

Get Kisi for your electric strikes here.

2) Magnetic Locks

Kisi recommends the M400 Schlage Lock

Magnetic locks might be the standard for the modern office. The simple reason: Many architects go with elegant glass doors which are in return not compatible with physical locks. To get around that "little" problem magnetic locks have been developed. They differentiate by how much force they can withhold, e.g. standards are 600lb lock while if you have a bigger door you might choose a lock that holds 1200lb.

Kisi's opinion: Magnetic locks are widely used and facilitate a great office atmosphere because they are used with glass doors. Be aware of motion sensors and backup batteries that might be required for the install- definitely not the cheapest option!

Here is an example of how the Kisi Controller is wired to a magnetic lock

Kisi access control panel connected to magnetic lock

Get Kisi for your magnetic locks here.
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3) Electrified Pushbars / Electronic Exit Bars

‍Electrified pushbar by Adams Rite or Sargent Exit Devices

Electrified pushbars are typically used to comply with fire code. You can unlock the door from outside and it's locked by default. But in case of fire there can't be anything electric or mechanic hindering a fast exit from the building. That's why in some cases or some laws require the use of push-bars. You'll often see those on side entrance doors of street facing doors in large buildings. When there is a fire, people run down the staircase and push the bar to get out quick. There are conversion kits to convert an analog pushbar to an electrified version.

Kisi's opinion: Electrified pushbars are a great hybrid for when fire code is required but you want to have a modern access control system connected to that door as well.

Get Kisi for your push/exit bars here.

4) Electrified Mortise Locks / Wired Mortise Locks 

‍Wired mortise lock by Sargent
Electrified door hinge by McKinney

Kisi recommends the Schlage L Series Mortise Lock.

Wired mortise locks look almost like a regular lock; however, the only difference is there's a power cable connecting the lock with the power supply. The tricky part about wired mortise locks is that the wire runs through the door itself and is wired back to the main wall. There are two installation options for mortise locks—electrified door hinges or on-wall cabling. 

Kisi's opinion: A wired mortise lock is definitely the most elegant, since many architectural designs and styles are possible. The only problem: It doesn't work with glass doors!

Get Kisi for your mortise locks here.

Set up for fail-safe locks

Set up for fail-secure locks

Fail-safe vs fail-secure: Find out which one is more suitable for your space.

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