Traditional locks and keys have been used for centuries. But today, this technology is unable to meet the evolving security needs of businesses. Due to this challenge, commercial real estate owners and managers are implementing reliable access control solutions and commercial door locks.

Commercial door locks are standalone security devices installed on doors to restrict people from entering a room. Only a person with a physical key can open this lock. Though modern commercial door lock systems come with advanced functionalities such as key less entry and remote lock/unlock, you should carefully consider if they meet your security requirements.

In this article, we’ll explore commercial access control solutions and commercial door locks so that you’ll understand how these two technologies differ in terms of features and working mechanisms.

Components of Commercial Access Control

Commercial access control has several components that enhance security.

  • Control panel: As a core component of the access control solution, the control panel decides whether to grant access to the building. It stores all the access control data, user credentials and other relevant information needed to make entry decisions.
  • Door readers: Users present their access credentials to the door reader. Often installed near the lock, door readers scan the user’s physical key fobs, biometrics, access cards and mobile keys and send the information back to the control panel to establish the validity of the user.
  • Credentials: Credentials are access keys that give a user the right to access a specific resource. Access credentials can be in many forms, including a PIN, swipe card, physical key fob, RFID card, biometric, mobile key and others. Today, many access control systems are compatible with smartwatch credentials, too. For instance, Genea allows users to add their access keys to Apple Wallet and use their Apple Watches to unlock doors.
  • Unlocking mechanism: Upon validating access credentials, the control panel sends the communication back to the door to release the lock. Depending on the security requirements, security professionals can choose between fail-safe and fail-secure unlocking mechanisms.
  • Management software: It is the access control software that allows you to manage users, access permissions, hardware, and access activities. Enterprises are recommended to choose cloud-based access control software over on-premises software to enjoy benefits such as scalability, flexibility, remote access, low cost and enhanced security. 

What is a Commercial Door Lock?

Though commercial grade door locks look similar to traditional locksets that are used in homes, they differ in terms of strength, functionality and endurance. Not all commercial locks are suitable for all kinds of doors. Unless you understand the grades of commercial locks available in the market, you may not know what type of lock you should choose for a particular door.

Let’s understand more about the grades of commercial locks below:

  • Grade 3: Grade 3 locks are made with less durable material and therefore are easier to breach. Available in the form of lever locks and cylinder locks, these are suitable for interior doors in residential homes, offices and other commercial buildings.
  • Grade 2: Grade 2 locks are stronger than Grade 3. Made with more durable material, these locks are often used for areas that need high security and facilitate more traffic. It is ideal to use Grade 2 locks for lobbies.
  • Grade 1: Grade 1 locks are made with durable stainless steel and hence provide the greatest security to the building. These heavy-duty fire rated door locks are suitable for a storefront, museum, bank and storeroom. With satin chrome or satin nickel finishing, they can also provide an aesthetic look to doors.

The grade of commercial door hardware is determined by looking at the type of material used for components such as strike plates, door hinges, door levers, deadbolts, door closers, lock cylinders, exit devices, door handles and doorknobs.

Security professionals should first assess their security requirements and then decide on the grade of the commercial lock they want to purchase.

Commercial Door Lock Types

In addition to grades, you should also get familiar with the types of commercial door locks while choosing a suitable door lock system for your enterprise. The most popular types of commercial door locks are wireless locks, mortise locks, cylindrical locks, deadbolt locks, electric strikes, padlocks, lever locksets and electronic locks.

Wireless Locks

Wireless door locks are locking devices that operate (lock and unlock the door) without the need for electrical wiring. These locks are powered by an internal battery. You can connect wireless locks to the Wi-Fi and operate them from a smartphone application. Businesses can easily integrate wireless locks into existing access control systems and facilitate keyless entry for users.

Mortise Locks

Mortise locksets are widely used in commercial buildings because they are highly durable and resistant to forced entry. Since mortise lock systems come with a strike plate along with a deadbolt located inside the body, they are difficult to breach without a key.

Deadbolt Locks

A deadbolt lock is a lock system in which the bolt is moved by rotating the key without the spring. These single cylinder deadbolts are easy to install on doors and provide better security for your building. They can be installed on external doors in conjunction with other commercial door lock systems to provide an extra layer of protection. Today, many types of commercial magnetic door lock systems come with keyless deadbolt options that make them compatible with modern-day access control systems.

Electronic Locks and Smart Locks

Commercial electronic locks are advanced locking systems that eliminate the need for physical keys. Since WIFi or Bluetooth-enabled smart locks are compatible with access control systems, enterprises can choose to use PINs, swipecards, mobile keys, RFID cards and other credentials to unlock the door. It means these locks work in conjunction with electronic keypads, proximity card readers or RFID card readers.

Commercial Access Control Systems vs. Commercial Smart Door Locks

Choosing a suitable security system is essential for a commercial building. While some buildings can manage with stand-alone commercial smart door locks, some need to implement a robust access control system to enhance security and increase user convenience. It all depends on the security needs of the building.

Unless you know the basic differences between commercial access control systems and smart door locks, you will not be able to make an informed decision.

 Commercial Access ControlCommercial Smart Door Lock
Place of useAn access control system is highly suitable for entrance gates, front doors and high-risk doors of the property. You can also add interior doors to the access control network for enhanced security and streamlined operations.It is suitable for interior doors where the risk of a breach is very low. 
SuitabilityIt is perfect for commercial buildings with multiple entry points and hundreds of users. Small-scale enterprises can also install access control systems to enhance building security.Smart locks are suitable for small offices with one or two doors.
Remote managementMany cloud-based access control solutions provide a centralized dashboard that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Remote access is the biggest advantage of the access control system.Since smart locks are stand-alone locking devices, you can lock or unlock doors from a remote location through a mobile app. However, managing multiple smart locks can be cumbersome without an access control network.

Genea is Your Commercial Access Control Solution

Commercial access control is an ideal security solution for commercial buildings that plan to protect their critical assets. It helps enterprises reap the benefits such as remote access, touchless entry, real-time reporting and enhanced security. Small offices with one or two doors can implement smart locks as they may not need a full-scale access control solution.

Genea offers a range of access control solutions that help commercial real estate properties and enterprises manage access control activities at multiple locations, meet compliance and automate manual processes.

  • Cloud-based access control: Genea offers a cloud-based access control solution that enables enterprises to monitor access activities across multiple locations from anywhere.
  • Mobile access control: In addition to swipe cards, RFID cards, physical key fobs and biometrics, Genea is compatible with mobile credentials. It allows your employees to use their mobile phones to unlock doors.
  • Touchless visitor management: Genea’s touchless visitor management software enables commercial real estate properties to streamline visitor access to the building.

Book a demo of Genea Access Control to learn about how it can enhance the security of your commercial real estate properties.

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