Four Common “Gotchas” Around Wired Access
1. Thinking a Smart Lock Will Do the Trick Every Time
Now that smart locks are more popular than ever, many people assume every electronically controlled door operates the same way. Not true, say the experts at RemoteLock. Some doors require hardwiring much like overhead lights or sconces in your home. These doors are wired right into a property’s power supply and require their own panels and wiring to operate. You’ll typically see them at high-traffic main entrances, which see hundreds or even thousands of uses per day. A smart lock’s battery would drain frequently with this kind of use, so it’s not practical for such applications.
NOTE: You may see or hear the term ACS (Access Control System) used to describe these doors. That was an appropriate moniker in the past. But today, an access control system refers to a comprehensive solution that can manage both smart locks and wired doors.
2. Believing Glass Doors Can’t Accommodate Access Control
Whether single pane or double pane, glass doors bring great curb appeal to residential and commercial properties. But they also pose some challenges when it comes to access control. The trick is to use a magnetic lock installed at the top of the glass door.
If your glass door is located on the interior of your property and sees less traffic, it may not require a wired system. But this will depend on the width of the door frame. You can determine this yourself by measuring the width of the door’s stile, or the vertical bars on either side of the glass. In many cases, the stile is too narrow to support installation of a smart lock, so a wired access control system is a better fit.
3. Using Separate Systems for Parking Garages and Elevators
Just like those heavily trafficked main entries, parking garages see lots of comings and goings each day. They are usually located farther away from the main building without the consistent Wi-Fi connectivity needed to accommodate smart locks. A wired access control system answers the demands of parking garages, plus it offers many options for credential types from keypads, keyfobs, prox cards and windshield tags. In this way, garage entry is quick and easy for both long-term guests or one-time visitors.
As for elevators, wired access control is the only choice that’s robust and durable enough to accommodate them. If your property is mixed use with ground-floor retail and residences on upper floors, you’ll want to control access to certain floors for certain users. Therefore, the elevator access control contractor or installer needs to be in contact with the elevator vendor. Elevators have their own controllers and components, which have to be wired to the ACS controller to make your preferred access control configuration operable. (More on elevators here.)
With a universal access control platform like RemoteLock, property managers can control hardwired entry points like parking garages and elevators and smart locks on interior doors with one solution. There’s no need to toggle between two different access control solutions. Instead, RemoteLock offers you the flexibility and customization options for all locks and all doors.
4. Attempting to DIY Wired Access
With today’s resources (think YouTube videos), you might be tempted to tackle wired access yourself. Don’t do it, warn the access pros at RemoteLock. They’ve seen several failed attempts, and all have required more money to fix damaged parts. This is a job that requires a licensed installer who specializes in access control.
Your application may require design; cabling; installation of readers, door contacts or controllers; and system programming, just to mention a few tasks. So, find a licensed installer. These professionals have met your state’s requirements, including passing an exam to obtain the license required to install low voltage and logging a certain amount of experience in the electrical trade. Plus, they will likely warranty the work and provide service support for any future issues should any arise. Compared to the few who have attempted to DIY a job, a professional installation certainly pays off in the long run.
Bring It Together With the Right Software
Lastly, these days your software choice is actually more important than your hardware. So, the first order of business is to ensure you’re sourcing software that supports all locks and doors on your properties—those with smart locks and those that are hardwired, too. There are more benefits to a cloud-based access control software like RemoteLock including:
- Remotely control access from your smartphone or laptop, wherever you are
- Easily create or revoke access codes
- Choose the credential that works best—PINs, prox cards, key fobs and more
- Scale your system from 10 doors to hundreds as your business grows
- Create user schedules for cleaners, maintenance, visitors and more
- Know exactly who enters your property—when and where, too
Ready to learn more about the software that brings your wired access control and smart locks onto one intuitive platform? Talk to a RemoteLock expert today about how this software can transform operations for your properties.
Molly Worth is RemoteLock’s senior writer and editor, and is enthusiastic about making tech topics relatable and enjoyable. Prior to joining RemoteLock, she worked at several Denver ad agencies, and was instrumental in creating and fine-tuning brand voices for both national and local clients. Infused with her belief in the power of technology to simplify everyday living, Molly’s writing helps highlight the human benefit of technology for novices, experts, and everyone in-between.