The integration of wireless locks into mainstream access control solutions continues to be a trending topic given the inherent benefits the marriage of these two access technologies provide. But despite the efforts of both access control and wireless lock suppliers, there still seems to be some confusion as to the definition of “wireless”, and what specific feature/benefits different “wireless” solutions deliver.
For purposes of simplifying this discussion, there are three popular categories of “wireless” lock integration solutions we want to define:
- Wi-Fi® locks
- 900 MHz locks
- Bluetooth (BLE) locks
While Wi-Fi®, 900 MHz and Bluetooth (BLE) locks are all “wireless” by definition, they have very distinct differences in the way they are deployed and the purposes they best serve.
Sielox has been a certified member of the Allegion Alliance Network since 2012, which was formulated to further the deployment of wireless locks. The three Sielox-Allegion integration solutions encompasses three Allegion “wireless lock” communications technologies that span five Allegion product lines. Wireless and WiFi integrations are accomplished via Sielox’s 1700 Controller and Pinnacle® Access Control Software, enabling systems integrators to cost-effectively install a wireless lock solution, and system users to efficiently manage a variety of access control applications.
900MHz Lock Integrations
Also in 2012, Sielox integrated Sielox 1700 controllers and Pinnacle Access Control software for real time wireless command and lockdown of Allegion AD400 900MHZ wireless locks. This integration operates independently of the IT network for programming and allows both Allegion AD400 900MHZ wireless locks and AD300 wired locks to be remotely upgraded, allowing firmware upgrades to be made remotely, eliminating the expense and time of removing the locks from doors for upgrades.
2.4 GHz Bluetooth (BLE) Integrations
A new product line of more affordable wireless locks was released in 2015 using the Allegion ENGAGE™ Gateway, which employs low energy 2.4 GHz Bluetooth (BLE) communications. Sielox 1700 controller integrations with Pinnacle Access Control software manage Allegion ENGAGE Gateways via RS485 cable for real time command and lockdown. This integration includes Schlage NDE and LE wireless locks as well as Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) wireless lock capabilities.
Wi-Fi® Lock Integration
In 2019, the Sielox-Allegion integration received a significant upgrade allowing the management of Schlage NDE and LE wireless locks over existing “WiFi” network communications. With this integration, users can now also control an unlimited number of Allegion Schlage WiFi locks, manage cardholder records, create access groups, define holiday schedules, and more. Schlage lock fields are also reported in Pinnacle v.10.4 providing users with a single dashboard to monitor lock status.
System managers can send and receive updates directly to locks without a control panel, providing users with convenience and dependable security with lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Layered Wireless Lock Integration Solutions
It is important to note that Sielox integrated site deployments of Allegion wireless locks may have two hardwired doors and a mix of up to 32 wireless locks per 1700 controller using either AD locks with 900 MHz communications and Allegion NDE, LE and Von Duprin RU RM locks using 2.4 GHz BLE. This accommodates the best mix of wireless lock technologies based on infrastructure and need requirements.
New Sielox integrations with ASSA ABLOY will be announced this summer, so there is undoubtedly a lot of activity in the area of wireless locks. So before you make the wireless lock connection, make sure you have a firm understanding of the capabilities each wireless option provides relative to your infrastructure and security needs. And look for an access provider like Sielox who has had skin in the game since wireless first came onto the scene.