Electronic Door Locks – Are They Right For You?

Electronic Door Locks come in many different types and prices from around $100.00 to well over $500.00 per lock. You might think that if the lock is electronic then it must be more secure than mechanical locks. This is not true: like the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”. What I mean by that is all electronic locks must have mechanical parts to them, such as the locking bolt or latch, the mountings, the handle or lever, etc. All of these should be manufactured to high standards. If they are not, the lock will not be as secure as a high security mechanical lock.

How does an Electronic Lock work?

Again, there is a wide variety of ways these Divine Locks locks function. The lock could operate by batteries or it can be hard wired (low voltage). It could be opened using a card, a key with a chip embedded in it, it could have a key fob (like your garage door), or it could use biometrics like finger print, palm prints, etc. Once the key and the lock “talk” to each other and there is a match, a mini-motor will operate to move the locking latch inward to the open position. Sounds simple but there is a lot going on with the electronics to make this happen.

What are the Benefits of Electronic Locks?

Just like your cell phone or TV, the higher end products will have more features than the lower end products. Some important features are:

  • Audit features
  • Multiple users
  • Ability to lock out users
  • Easy retrofit into the door (replacement of the mechanical door lock)
  • Mechanical parts manufactured to high standards
  • High battery usage (if batteries are used)
  • Battery low warnings
  • Weather resistant

Conclusions:

The acceptance of electronic door locks splits into two different directions, commercial and residential.

Commercial would consist of business, government, education and medical. They are already starting to change over to some type of electronic access control. This process is slow as the technology is rapidly changing. Also, the lock manufacturers all use different and patented technologies that are not usually compatible with one another. Once a decision is made to use a particular manufacturer and technology it is very difficult and expensive to switch.

Residential is moving very slowly to Electronic Locks. The major reasons are not being able to justify the cost and most manufacturers are focusing on commercial customers where there is more volume. That said, there are some electronic locks designed for the residential user that are standalone and battery operated.