The difference between digital mechanical and electronic keypad locks.
As more and more businesses and organisations recognise the need to restrict access in buildings and offices, the battery powered push-button door lock is fast becoming the popular choice as a convenient and standalone alternative to the traditional lock and key.
Digital keyless entry door locks are either mechanical or electronic in operation and there are many different varieties available to suit a wide range of access control needs. A basic entry digital mechanical lock can cost anything upwards of £30 whereas a top of the range digital electronic lock can cost several hundred pounds.
When you are looking to replace a lock and key with a keyless entry system it’s often hard to know which product to choose. So we’ve highlighted the major differences between digital mechanical and electronic locks, to help you select the right lock for your application.
1. On-door code change
The most obvious benefit of an electronic lock over a mechanical lock is the way in which the code is changed. Most digital mechanical locks have to be removed from the door before the code can be changed, which could take about 15 to 20 minutes. This may not be an issue if there is only one lock, but what if the building has tens or even hundreds of digital locks that need a code change on a regular basis? Because it is a time-consuming task, it might even delay the code being changed altogether. If maintaining levels of access control in a building is an important part of the health and safety routine procedure, as it would be in a hospital for example, then it is important to change the codes on a regular basis.
Codes on digital electronic locks can be changed while the lock is in situ on the door and the task can be completed in seconds, saving time and without the disturbance of having the door out of use for any length of time.
2. Greater code options
Mechanical locks only allow each digit to be used once, so, for example, the code 1122 would not be possible. Electronic locks have the ability to repeat numbers in a code. The number of code permutations available for mechanical locks is counted by the thousand, electronic locks provide over a million four, five or six-digit length codes. Importantly, electronic locks allow for multiple codes to be entered into a lock with the ability to delete, suspend, and restore these codes via a master code. This gives a more convenient way of controlling access over a single code mechanical lock.
Additionally, electronic locks will shut down for a short period of time after three incorrect code attempts – a feature that helps to frustrate the opportunist who might stand at a door tapping in multiple codes in the hope of getting lucky. The very nature of having so many code options and the incorrect code function reduces the chance of anyone guessing the lock combination, making digital electronic keypad locks the more secure choice.
3. Release functions
It is possible to connect a digital electronic lock to a building’s alarm system to automatically free the lock so the door can be opened without the code in an emergency situation. This is often a requirement in public buildings like schools or colleges so that rooms can be quickly checked for occupancy in the event of an emergency. Electronic locks can also be connected to a release button to allow staff to ‘buzz’ in a visitor. This feature can be useful in a reception area of an office building that uses an intercom system on the front door.
4. Standalone scalable solution
Even if there are plans to increase the security in a building at a later date by adding a biometric or card-based access control system, electronic code locks offer a cost-effective standalone solution without complex wiring and can be added to one door at a time if need be.
5. Flexible access control
For applications where a large number of digital locks are needed, and where safety concerns are high, electronic locks will save a lot of time, give a greater number of code options and the extra functionality will allow them to be integrated into existing alarm systems. And as electronic keypad locks don’t have to be removed from the door to change the code, they also have a lower total maintenance cost over the lifetime of the lock. The installation of digital electronic locks is not too different to mechanical ones – the only additional task is to connect the battery cable. Once the lock is on the door it need never come off and will be more effective in helping to deter unauthorised entry.
We have an extensive range of mechanical and electronic digital door locks to choose from. If you need help selecting the right keyless entry door lock, please give us a call on 0800 393405 or visit our website.