Electronic Locks for Access Control Systems

You get a door installed but then it dooms on you that you might need an electric lock. There is a big difference from consumer grade smart locks vs business grade locks. Typically the latter are electronically wired with low voltage cabling, are built for frequent use, endure a certain force and come with advanced fire ratings and certificates, etc.

 
 

The typical set up for your door is: Door, cabling, locks and readers. Keeping in mind for locks is that they 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 given to the lock and the lock unlocks

The reason for differentiating this is that some companies have specific doors which need to unlock or keep shut during emergencies like power outages.

Aside from this technical differentiation, you might see them being supplied in different voltages. Common power supply rating for electronic door locks are: 

- 12V - 2A

- 24V - 1A 

In the end you can think of locks as four different categories. All of those are compatible with electronic keyless access systems.

There are many more details to understand about door access readers (or commonly called "proximity readers") but if you take away one thing from this guide about readers it should be how readers are categorized. 

Here are details about the four types of proximity readers in more depth:

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.

Electric strike wiring diagram Example of how the access controller would be wired to an electric strike.

Electric strikes (like this example from Seco-larm) are compatible with most metal or wood doors. Plus the great news is that it's most likely compatible with the lock you already use and you can keep using it (unless you have a deadbolt). To understand how an electric strike works, just think about your door buzzer in the apartment building. That's exactly what it is! 

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

Assa Abloy Magnetic Lock called "magnalock" by Securitron

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

Wired mortise locks are amazing - personally my favorite of all the options. The reason? They look almost like a regular lock! The only difference is that there is a power cable connecting the lock with the power supply. Now the tricky part about wired mortise locks is that the wire goes through the door itself and is wired back to the main wall. There are two options to achieve this - either you use electrified door hinges or you use 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

‍How to set up Kisi with fail safe locks - using a power supply directly wired to the fail safe strikes

Set up for fail-secure locks

How to set up Kisi with a fail secure electronic lock - wiring directly from the access control board to the door

Fail-safe vs fail-secure: Find out which one is more suitable to your needs

Still there? In-depth section for electric door locks 

These locks work in conjunction with an access control security system, allowing you to do away with old school keys when unlocking your door. 

Magnetic Locks

What is Magnetic Lock? How does a Magnetic Lock work?

A magnetic lock (also magnetic lock) works exactly as advertised; it utilizes a powerful electromagnetic lock to clamp your door shut, just like two piece of magnets. The electromagnet is attached to the top door frame at the corner, and a corresponding metal plate is installed on the door itself. The door is locked when the electromagnet is powered and the two pieces come in contact with each other.

When an unlock is triggered (using a keypad or some other electronic key), the electric power running through the magnet will be disconnected, thus releasing the metal plate on the door and allowing it to open. When the maglock is not powered, the door will be allowed to open freely. It is thus necessary to power a maglock at all times to ensure it stays locked.

Magnetic locks are almost always installed with a electronic security access control system, which requires some form of authentication for users to enter. They usually come with a keypad, as well as a key card or key fob reader. Most maglocks are installed on glass doors, though they work well with wooden or metal doors too.

How much power is it required to power a maglock? 

A typical maglock requires only 12 or 24V to power up; this means that a US-standard power socket is enough to power your maglock. All maglocks run on a DC current.

Just because all maglocks are set to fail-safe does not mean that they are safe during a fire emergency (fail-safe means they need a constant source of current to remain unlocked). This is because the fire and smoke cannot be contained in the enclosed space during a fire, and risk spreading to other parts of the building. Even if the power to the locks fail to cut when the fire alarms are triggered, occupants without means of unlocking a maglock will be trapped inside the space.

Do maglocks comply with fire safety regulations and standards?

></div></figure><p>Just because all maglocks are set to fail-safe does not mean that they are safe during a fire emergency (fail-safe means they need a constant source of current to remain unlocked). This is because the fire and smoke cannot be contained in the enclosed space during a fire, and risk spreading to other parts of the building. Even if the power to the locks fail to cut when the fire alarms are triggered, occupants without means of unlocking a maglock will be trapped inside the space.</p><figure data-rt-type=

A magnetic lock (also maglock) works exactly as advertised; it utilizes a powerful electromagnetic lock to clamp your door shut, just like two piece of magnets. The electromagnet is attached to the top door frame at the corner, and a corresponding metal plate is installed on the door itself. The door is locked when the electromagnet is powered and the two pieces come in contact with each other.

When an unlock is triggered (using a keypad or some other electronic key), the electric power running through the magnet will be disconnected, thus releasing the metal plate on the door and allowing it to open. When the maglock is not powered, the door will be allowed to open freely. It is thus necessary to power a maglock at all times to ensure it stays locked.

As such, many states have strict regulations requiring maglock doors to be installed with a free-egress; this refers to a manual override option that allows the door to be opened from the inside. An example is a panic bar, which you can see here on the left. In some cities like San Francisco, maglocks are almost completely disallowed unless they pass some very strict regulatory guidelines.

How to Install a Magnetic Lock (without keypads and/or motion sensors)

The tools needed for installing a magnetic lock:

- EM Lock from Access Pro

- Rulers & pencil to mark position of locks

- Screwdriver

- Screw 

 Locks come in two halves: thick (electromagnetic itself - connected to power supply and has wires) and thin metal plate (attaches to the door)

1. Mark out location where you want the thin plate to be installed on the door.

2. Drill the holes, then mount the thin plate to the door with screwdriver and screws.

3. Close the door to double check the fitting of the lock before you do so.

4. EM Lock installed on door frame.

5. Guarantee correct alignment and line + mark EM lock with thin plate.

6. Account for wiring by drilling appropriate holes + tighten mount in place with screws.

Since most maglocks come with keypads and motion sensors, be sure to read the instruction on your maglock installation carefully before proceeding.  

Get Kisi for your mag locks here.

For more information:

http://www.sdcsecurity.com/docs/whitepapers_emlocks.pdf

http://www.locksmithledger.com/article/10611828/code-requirements-for-electromagnetic-locks 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzaUG8qokLo 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEW-5Hq_waw

Electric Strikes

What is an Electric Strike? How does an Electric Strike Work? 

An electric strike modifies the existing strike on your door frame, allowing your door to be unlocked via electronic means instead a physical key. This way, your door can remain locked to public access, while authorized users can access your space easily without manually turning the latch.Here's an illustration below. The strike cavity refers to the hole in the door frame where the door latch fits. On the perimeter of the cavity is a keeper, where the deadlatch rests when the door is closed. On a normal strike, the latch will have to turn and contract back into the door lock before you can swing the door open. However, an electric strike modifies your strike so that the latch does not have to turn at all. Instead, a modification is made on the keeper, allow it to pivot outwards when an unlock is activated electronically. Think of it as creating a lid on your door frame that is powered by electricity.

Your Personal Guide to Access Control Systems - Electric Strikes

Why use an electric strike?

Most electric strike models are tested up to 500,000 cycles, where they can withstand traffic involved with access control applications. Therefore, electric strikes are used as parts of many electronic access control systems to provide added security and convenience for traffic control and offices with high turnover rate. Most electric strikes can be made to accommodate odd frame conditions and other problems, hence they are a versatile fit for most doors that need an upgraded level of security.

For more information:

http://www.locksmithledger.com/article/10238119/electric-strikes-everything-you-should-know

http://idighardware.com/2012/07/fail-safe-vs-fail-secure-when-and-where/

Your Personal Guide to Access Control Systems - Electric Strike on door frame
You can wire a electric strike to a regular US standard wall socket.

Electric Strikes are almost always installed with a physical security access control system, which requires some form of authentication for users to enter. They usually come with a buzzer,  a keypad, a key card , or a key fob reader.

How much power is required for an electric strike?

Electric strikes are one of the most common type of electronic locks for office and residential buildings; there are many calibrations and variations of electric strikes, but most of them are easily powered by a small voltage of either 12V or 24V. This means that a regular US-standard wall socket with an output of 110-120V can sufficiently power your door lock. 

Fail-secure vs. Fail-safe

Since electric strikes require power in order for your door lock to work, a power trip would compromise on the accessibility and security for your space. As such, electric strikes can be designed in such a way that would either prevent the door from being locked electronically when power fails, or prevent an electronic unlock.  

fail-secure electric strike allows a space to remain secured when the power fails (hence the name fail-secure). Such a lock requires power to be channeled to the strike before the keeper is allowed to pivot. As such, the only way to open the door during a power trip is doing it manually, like turning the door latch or using an old-school key. Most doors use a fail-secure setting on the strike since it requires no power to keep the door locked. 

fail-safe strike has the opposite setting: it allows the keeper to pivot freely when there is NO power sent to the strike, which means that power has to be constantly fed to the door if you wish to keep it locked indefinitely.  In sum: a fail-secure strike requires power to unlock the door, while a fail-safe strike requires power to keep it locked at all times. Some strikes are built-in with both settings; consult a locksmith on what type of settings you need on your strike before purchasing.

Electronic Mortise Locks

></div></figure><h4>What is a Mortise Lock? How does a Mortise Lock work?</h4><p>The Mortise lock is a very popular locking hardware for residential units. They comprise 2 locking mechanisms on the lockset itself: one for the latch bolt and another for the deadbolt. A handle will control the latchbolt, and the keyhole (on the outside) and deadbolt knob (on the inside) controls the deadbolt. The reason why the Mortise is a common feature in residential doors has largely to do with the double lock function on the lockset, allowing a user to adjust the convenience of access into the secured space.</p><h4>Types of Mortise Locks and How It Works</h4><p>Electric Mortise locks are usually installed on the same type of <a href=doors as with electric strikes, with one key difference: the electricity runs directly to your door latch, and not to the strike on the door frame. An electrified Mortise lock will allow you to control the bolts on the lockset using an electric signal, and this signal can either (A) remotely retract your latchbolt, or (B) control and turn your deadbolt knob, depending on the model on the lockset.magnetic lockshttp://www.locksmiths.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Handout-for-BII-presentation-v2.pdfhttp://locknet.com/lockbytes/excerpts/whats-the-difference-mortise-vs-cylindrical-locks/key fobshttp://www.gvlock.com/faqs/crash-bar-panic-bar

For type (A), when power is not supplied to a Mortise lock, the door latch will stay put and not slide into the door, and you will not be able to push open the door. Once power is supplied, the door latch will retract into the strike plate and you can simply push it open without turning the handle.

Type (B) is a sturdier solution that slides the deadbolt into the lockset slot. The electric signal automatically turns the deadbolt knob, and turns it back once the unlock is complete and door is closed. Such a solution still requires you to turn the handle after the deadbolt has retracted, so a handle has to be installed on both sides of the door.

Fail-Safe vs. Fail-Secure Mortise Locks

As with electric strikes and , mortise locks are wired either fail-safe or fail-secure at any one point in time. Each configuration describes the default state of the electronic door lock when no power is being fed to it. A fail-safe door is left unlocked when no power is being fed to the lock; it requires a constant stream of electricity for the door to remain locked. On the other hand, a fail-secure door is locked by default when the power is switched off. As a result, you will need to feed electricity into the system before an unlock can be activated. Some higher-end mortise locks have settings that allow it to switch between fail-safe and fail-secure; be sure to check with a locksmith about these settings before proceeding with the installation of your electrified Mortise lock.

For more information: 

 

 

Panic / Crash Bars 

What is a Panic Bar? How does a Panic Bar work?

Panic bars (also known as crash bars) are exit devices found on the interior of a door. Unlike most doors, users just need to push a bar in order to effect an exit from the building; most other doors require you to at least turn a handle or activate an electronic signal (like sensors and/or ). These usually come in a rectangular form with a horizontal push bar for stairwells, or work with a metal pole which you then push downward.

Why use a Panic Bar?

Panic and crash bars are a must-have for fire-safety approved buildings. Always found at emergency exits, these are installed to help manage a stampede of occupants escaping a building during a fire. This scenario pretty much explains how the panic bar was thus named: panicked occupants just need to crash into the emergency door to evacuate. They have thus far proven to be very effective in preventing a situation where mobs of people were trapped while trying to escape from a burning building.

Types of Panic Bars

While most panic bars are not strictly electronic locks by themselves, they can be combined with an electric strike so as to enable access from the exterior. This is necessary for offices where the door serves the dual function of being a fire escape point and the front entrance. Since these types of bars are manually powered without any electricity, all you have to do is install a surface-mounted electric strike on your door that will allow it to swing outwards when the strike is powered.

An alternative is to install an electrified panic bar. Such bars can either use an electric signal to retract the latch on the panic bar itself, or deactivate the lever handle unit (i.e. the push bar) so that allows the door to swing freely.

Either type of panic bars will require a lever to be installed on the outer side of the door.

For more information:

 

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