Latching Technologies in Access Control: Examining the Options

Beyond the access control terminal: Door Latching Technologies

The unsung heroes of access control systems, latching technologies, are often overlooked, yet they are the silent guardians that stand between security and vulnerability. Electronic access control latches are more than simple door-opening mechanisms; they are a vital part of a robust access control system, ensuring secure, controlled access to protected areas. They offer a line of defense against unauthorized entry, providing peace of mind and fortifying our premises. This post aims to shed light on the workings, installation, pros, and cons of common types of latching technologies.

  1. Electric Strikes:
    Latching Technologies in Access Control Electronic Door Latch

Application: Electric strikes are commonly used in access control systems for various applications, including commercial buildings, offices, institutions, and residential settings.
Operation: Electric strikes are installed on the door frame, adjacent to the locking mechanism. When an electric current is applied, the strike plate releases the latch, allowing the door to be opened.

  • Pros of Electric Strikes:
    • Versatility: Electric strikes are compatible with different types of locks, including cylindrical locks, mortise locks, and rim exit devices. They can be installed on both inward and outward opening doors.
    • Convenience: Electric strikes enable remote access control management, eliminating the need for physical keys. They can be integrated with access control systems, allowing authorized personnel to grant or deny access from a centralized location.
    • Fail-Secure/Fail-Safe Options: Electric strikes can be configured as either fail-secure or fail-safe. Fail-secure strikes remain locked when power is lost, ensuring security during power outages. Fail-safe strikes unlock when power is lost, allowing for safe egress during emergencies.
  • Cons of Electric Strikes:
    • Holding Strength: Electric strikes may have limited holding strength compared to other latching technologies, which could make them susceptible to forceful entry attempts. However, some electric strikes are designed to provide enhanced holding force.
    • Power Dependency: Electric strikes require a continuous power supply to maintain their functionality. Backup power sources or battery backup systems are necessary to ensure uninterrupted access control in the event of a power outage.
    • Installation Considerations: Proper installation of electric strikes is crucial for optimal performance. The strike plate should align accurately with the latch, ensuring smooth operation. Some door frames may require modification to accommodate the electric strike.
  1. Surface Mount Electric Strikes: Reliable and Versatile Access Control

Application: Surface mount electric strikes are an excellent choice for a multitude of applications. From commercial settings like offices and retail outlets to institutional environments like schools and hospitals, their versatility makes them a reliable security feature. Their easy installation also makes them ideal for structures where the door frame cannot be extensively modified, such as historical or heritage buildings.
Operation: Surface mount electric strikes, much like their traditional counterparts, operate by releasing a strike plate upon the application of an electric current. This release allows for the smooth opening of the door without turning the handle, permitting access. When connected to a comprehensive access control system, they can provide the necessary authorization credentials for access.


  • Pros of Surface Mount Electric Strikes
    • Ease of Installation: Unlike other electric strikes that may require a considerable amount of cutting or chiseling into the door frame, surface mount electric strikes sit directly on the frame. This less invasive process is particularly advantageous for doors with thin or delicate frames where extensive modifications are not suitable.
    • Versatility: Surface mount electric strikes display impressive versatility, showing compatibility with numerous types of locks, including cylindrical locks, mortise locks, and rim exit devices. Moreover, they can be used for both inward and outward swinging doors, reinforcing their broad applicability.
    • Fail-Secure/Fail-Safe Options: In a similar fashion to other electric strikes, surface mount strikes can be configured either as fail-secure, remaining locked during power loss, or fail-safe, unlocking when power is lost. This feature offers adaptability, allowing for the selection of the most suitable option based on security requirements.


  • Cons of Surface Mount Electric Strikes
    • Holding Strength: While surface mount electric strikes generally offer satisfactory holding strength, they may be less robust compared to other latching technologies. In settings requiring superior security against forceful entry attempts, other options may be more appropriate.
    • Power Dependency: As with all electric strikes, surface mount models depend on a constant power supply for functionality. Therefore, a reliable backup power solution or battery system is necessary to guarantee uninterrupted access control during potential power outages.
    • Installation Precision: Despite their easier installation process, surface mount electric strikes still require careful positioning. Precise alignment with the latch is necessary to ensure efficient operation and prevent potential issues.
  1. Magnetic Locks:

Application: Magnetic locks, also known as electromagnetic locks or maglocks, are widely used in access control systems for various applications, including high-security environments such as government buildings, banks, data centers, and commercial facilities.
Operation: Magnetic locks consist of an electromagnet mounted on the door frame and an armature plate attached to the door. When the power is applied, the electromagnet generates a magnetic field that holds the armature plate, effectively latching the door.


  • Pros of Magnetic Locks:
    • High Holding Force: Magnetic locks offer a high level of holding force, providing robust security. They are resistant to physical force and can withstand attempts of forced entry.
    • No Moving Parts: Magnetic locks have a relatively simple design with few moving parts, resulting in increased durability, reduced wear and tear, and minimal maintenance requirements.
    • Quick and Silent Operation: Magnetic locks provide rapid locking and unlocking, ensuring efficient passage through the door. They operate silently, which can be advantageous in noise-sensitive environments.
  • Cons of Magnetic Locks:
    • Power Dependency: Magnetic locks require a continuous power supply to maintain their holding force. In the event of a power outage, backup power systems such as uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) or battery backups are necessary to ensure uninterrupted access control.
    • Incompatibility with Swing-Out Doors: Magnetic locks are not suitable for doors that swing outwards. Their magnetic force would be applied in the opposite direction, preventing effective latching. For swing-out doors, alternative latching technologies such as electric strikes may be more appropriate.
  1. Electric Bolts:

Application: Electric bolts are commonly used in access control systems for applications that require high-security locking, such as server rooms, restricted areas, safes, and vaults. They are often used in conjunction with other locking mechanisms.
Operation: Electric bolts consist of a locking bolt mechanism installed within the door frame and a strike plate mounted on the door. When the electric current is applied, the bolt extends or retracts, securely latching or releasing the door.

  • Pros of Electric Bolts:
    • Enhanced Security: Electric bolts provide robust security due to their design and construction. They are resistant to forced entry attempts, providing a high level of protection for valuable assets or sensitive areas.
    • Compact and Concealed: Electric bolts can be installed within the door frame, keeping them hidden and providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. This can be advantageous in applications where aesthetics are a concern.
    • Versatility: Electric bolts can be used with different types of doors, including wooden, metal, or glass doors, making them versatile for various access control requirements.
  • Cons of Electric Bolts:
    • Installation Considerations: Proper installation of electric bolts is crucial for their optimal performance. The alignment of the bolt and strike plate must be precise to ensure smooth and reliable operation.
    • Mechanical Wear: Electric bolts contain moving components that may experience mechanical wear over time. Regular inspection, lubrication, and maintenance are important to ensure their longevity and reliable operation.
    • Additional Latching Mechanism: Electric bolts are typically used in combination with other latching mechanisms, such as electric strikes or magnetic locks. This adds complexity to the installation process and may require additional hardware and wiring.
  1. Relay-Style Locks:Relay Door Lock

Application: Relay-style locks are primarily used in electric gates and automatic doors for controlling access to residential properties, commercial buildings, parking areas, and other restricted areas.
Operation: Relay-style locks utilize an electromagnetic relay as the primary mechanism to control the locking and unlocking of the gate or door. When the relay is energized, it triggers the release of the lock, allowing the gate or door to open.

  • Pros of Relay-Style Locks:
    • Security: Relay-style locks offer a higher level of security compared to traditional mechanical locks, as they are less prone to picking or tampering.
    • Integration: These locks can be easily integrated into access control systems, allowing for seamless integration with other security components like keypads, card readers, or biometric scanners.
    • Convenience: Relay-style locks provide convenience by allowing remote operation, eliminating the need for physical keys, and enabling centralized access control management.
    • Versatility: They can be used with various types of electric gates and automatic doors, including sliding gates, swing gates, garage doors, and pedestrian doors.
  • Cons of Relay-Style Locks:
    • Power Dependency: Relay-style locks require a continuous power supply to maintain their functionality. In the event of a power outage, backup power sources or battery backup systems are necessary to ensure uninterrupted access control.
    • Vulnerability to Power Surge: Relay-style locks may be susceptible to damage from power surges or electrical disturbances. Proper surge protection and electrical grounding are essential to mitigate this risk.
    • Installation and Maintenance: Proper installation and regular maintenance are crucial for reliable operation. The wiring, connections, and mounting of the relay-style locks should be done correctly to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Additional Features found with Access Control Latching Technologies:

Anti-Tailgating: Relay-style locks can be combined with additional sensors or devices to prevent unauthorized individuals from tailgating, which involves an unauthorized person following an authorized person through a gate or door.

Remote Access: Relay-style locks can be remotely controlled and monitored, allowing authorized personnel to grant or deny access from a centralized location.

Integration with Security Systems: Relay-style locks can integrate with other security systems such as CCTV cameras or alarm systems to enhance overall security and monitoring capabilities.

Access Control System Integration: Centralized control and management can be applied to any of the listed latching technologies. They can be combined with other access control components such as card readers, keypads, or biometric scanners.

Monitoring and Feedback: Electric Latches can be equipped with monitoring features, providing feedback on the status of the lock, such as whether it is locked or unlocked.

Understanding the different latching technologies is essential when designing an effective access control system. Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them should be based on specific requirements and security needs. While magnetic locks offer robust, low-maintenance security, pin latch systems provide discreet protection for glass doors. No cut strikes, on the other hand, offer cost-effective, easy installation, and biometric latching systems represent the future of high-tech, personalized security.

As the world of security continues to evolve, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest latching technologies. When it comes to securing your premises, remember that every lock, strike, and latch serves a purpose, and the best access control system is one that uses the right combination of technologies to meet your unique security needs.

Logic Fortress: Your Partner in Access Control Latching Technologies

Are you ready to elevate the security of your premises with advanced access control latching technologies? Look no further than Logic Fortress! As a trusted provider of cutting-edge security solutions, we offer a comprehensive range of latching technologies to safeguard your valuable assets and protect your sensitive areas.

Our team of experts understands the critical role that latching technologies play in access control systems. Whether you require electric strikes for versatile and convenient access management, magnetic locks for high-security environments, electric bolts for enhanced protection, or relay-style locks for seamless integration with electric gates and automatic doors, we have the expertise to guide you toward the optimal solution for your specific needs.

With Logic Fortress, you can expect:dns logo

Expert guidance: Our experienced professionals will assess your security requirements and recommend the most suitable latching technologies to meet your needs.

Quality products: We partner with trusted manufacturers to ensure that our latching technologies are of the highest quality, reliability, and durability.

Seamless integration: Our solutions seamlessly integrate with access control systems, enabling centralized management and control of your security infrastructure.

Customized solutions: We understand that every facility has unique security challenges. That’s why we tailor our solutions to your specific requirements, ensuring maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

Timely installation and support: Our skilled technicians will handle the installation process efficiently and provide ongoing support to ensure the optimal performance of your access control system.

Take the next step toward fortifying your security infrastructure. Contact Logic Fortress today to learn more about our access control latching technologies. Let us be your partner in safeguarding your premises and ensuring peace of mind for you and your organization.

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