Electronic door locks: selection and device features

Recommendation points

The article will tell you about the designs of electronic locks available on the market, from it you will learn the principle of operation of locking mechanisms, the types of electronic locks control systems used. Reading will help you make the right choice of an electronic lock.

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

The use of electromagnets and servo drives has changed the concept of locks. A new generation of locking mechanisms uses an electrical impulse (usually 12 VDC) to move the bolt or create downforce. This made it possible to use electromechanical locks in the locking part of the door, which differ in design from classical mechanical locks, which in general increases the security of the home from the penetration of unauthorized persons.

With the help of microprocessor control systems associated with electromagnetic or electromechanical locks, access to the room for a certain circle of people is easily organized, the door locking mechanism is remotely controlled or the door is opened without a classic key. All this is almost impossible to implement on the basis of standard mechanical locks..

Due to the simplicity of their design, electromagnetic and electromechanical locks are able to withstand tens of thousands of opening-closing cycles without failures, which is beyond the power of conventional mechanical locks..

According to the principle of organization of the locking mechanism, modern electromechanical locks can be conditionally divided into the following main groups:

  1. Electromagnetic locks.
  2. Electric transom locks.
  3. Invisible locks.
  4. Electromotor locks.
  5. Electric latches.
  6. Electromechanical locks.

According to the control systems installed in them, locks can be conditionally divided into four types.


Electronic door locks: selection and device features

These systems can recognize both specialized key fobs and work on standard frequencies of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth networks. In the latter version, a standard tablet or smartphone can be used as a “key”.

Code keyboards

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

The simplest and most common technical solution for electronic lock control systems. To activate the lock mechanism, it is enough to enter a certain code, so there is no need for additional purchase of various types of keys.

The main “disease” of this control system is the erroneous actuation or non-actuation of the keys of the digital console, which is associated with the peculiarities of its design. Over time, the contact plates oxidize and may not close the contact or distort the applied signal, which leads to erroneous operation of the buttons. Therefore, all locks with code keypads need regular maintenance..

Contact Key Controllers

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

One of the most common solutions on the market for electronic locks. The lock allows you to store a certain number of contact keys in the memory, made in the form of a keychain or a plastic card with a magnetic tape. The system has a high degree of reliability.

Proximity Key Controllers

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

This system allows you to work with special radio-magnetic cards, which are triggered remotely (at a distance of 10-15 cm from the reader).

Electronic lock combining control by means of a code, a contact key and a remote keyfob

Let’s consider in detail all types of electronic locks, their advantages and disadvantages.

Electromagnetic locks

Electromagnetic locks are less similar to classic mechanical locks than all other electronic locks. They consist of three main parts:

  1. Electromagnet plates.
  2. Mating metal plate.
  3. Control systems.

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

These electronic locks are widely used as a locking mechanism on metal driveways. The microprocessor system that controls them operates both in the intercom mode (reads and processes information from the keyboard and remote handsets), and analyzes information from the contact keys.


Due to the high reliability of the electromagnetic lock in combination with a significant force of attraction of the plate to the lock (50–500 kg), such a door guarantees a sufficient degree of protection of the premises from third-party intrusion. Installed electromagnets and the street part of the electronic lock control system are protected from moisture, which increases their reliability.

Electromagnetic lock 230 kg

After disconnecting from the mains, electromagnetic locks can work for a short time from a battery connected to the control system. After the battery is discharged, the electromagnetic lock will automatically open.


The disadvantage of this system is the weak noise immunity of the communication lines of the control system with the feedback tubes installed in each apartment, which can lead to the failure of the entire system during a severe thunderstorm..

Self-repair and installation of this system is rarely done, since it includes the implementation of a large amount of installation work with the subsequent adjustment of the control system.

Electric transom locks

This type of locks is similar in appearance to the classic mechanical bolt lock. It can be completed with various control systems, which ensures its versatility.

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

The system includes an electromagnetic wire of the bolt, which can be used to open and close the door. Some models, thanks to the built-in spring return mechanisms, provide automatic closing or opening of the lock in case of power failure.


Electromagnetic mechanisms installed in these locks have high reliability, significantly exceeding mechanical locks of the same class. A number of models are equipped with a door status monitoring system, which eliminates the spontaneous operation of the locking mechanism in its open state.

All models are easy to install and configure, installation and maintenance work does not require special knowledge, which has led to their high popularity.


Inability to open the door in the absence of power supply to the lock.

Since this lock consists of an electromagnet, return springs and an electronic control system, its repair is reduced to checking the operation of the magnet and the condition of the springs, and maintenance is limited to lubrication of moving parts and replacement of bushings and return springs. When the lock is equipped with a control system that works with proximity keys or with radio control, they can be used as “invisible”.

Invisible locks

This type of lock is specially designed for concealed installation. Both electronic transom locks and compact latches can be used as these locks. Invisible locks can be installed in different parts of the door leaf, or built into standard mechanical locks, which significantly increases their resistance to burglary.

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

The complete set with the lock is supplied with a control system that reads out the signals transmitted over the radio channel. Radio networks can be used as a signal source for opening and closing the electronic lock.

The lock is powered from a separate power supply unit (usually 12 or 5 V DC). For independent power supply of the lock during a power outage, auxiliary battery power supplies are used. When buying an invisible lock, you need to pay attention to the state of the locking tongue, the best option is when the tongue is initially retracted.

Important: if there is a prolonged power failure, the self-closing lock will not be able to open.


This lock is quite simple in its design and contains a minimum number of working units, which makes it easy to configure and, if necessary, repaired.


Cannot be used as a separate locking mechanism due to the simplicity of the design.

Electromotor locks

This type of locks does not differ in its capabilities from electric transom locks. Its main difference is the use of a compact electric motor to move the locking mechanism.

Electronic door locks: selection and device features

A feature of some locks that use an electric motor as a driving element is their integration into a single control unit. Control units can process information both from the keypad and from different types of key fobs.

These electromotive locks are installed directly on classic mechanical locks with a cylindrical cylinder. With their help, you can easily and with minimal expenditure of time and effort re-equip a classic mechanical lock, replacing the usual lock cylinder with an electromotor.

An example of an electromotor stealth lock


Low power consumption and, as a result, the possibility of long-term operation when powered by classic finger batteries.


The use of code keypads limits the period of trouble-free operation of the device.

Electromechanical locks

This type of locks combines the capabilities of electric and mechanical locks at the same time, in other words, a door equipped with this lock can be opened using an electrical impulse from the control system and using a conventional key..

Electronic door locks: selection and device features


The main advantage is the ability to open the door remotely.


This lock alone cannot provide sufficient protection against burglary; therefore, additional mechanical locks must be used together with it..

The disadvantages also include the complexity of the mechanism, requiring regular maintenance, including the care of the locking mechanism controlled by a mechanical and electrical drive..

The principle of operation of an electromechanical lock

Ready-made solutions based on electronic locks of various types:

Manufacturer, lock type Locking mechanism type Lock body type Control Price, rub.
ATIS LOCK electronic lock on contact keys electromagnet and mechanical key overhead remote from intercom, contact key fob 4000
ATIS AM 280 electronic lock on key chains electromagnet mortise remote from intercom, radio key-fob 4000
Electric bolt lock AB700A on key chains electromagnet mortise remote from intercom, radio key-fob 4200
ATIS AM 280 electronic lock on cards electromagnet mortise remote from intercom, card 4600
Universal coded electronic lock AM 280 electromagnet mortise code keypad, magnetic key fobs, cards 5730
Motor electromechanical lock “Dori-4” Classic electromotive overhead code keypad 9370

Thanks to a simple combination of electric locks with various types of control systems, it is possible to form an access system of any complexity, providing a high level of burglary protection.

The possibility of remote opening or processing by the control system of wireless radio signals of various frequencies and the simplicity of design are the main advantages of electronic locks over mechanical ones. The simplicity of the design of the actuators and the versatility of control systems increase the reliability of systems built on their basis.

Rate article
Tips on any topic from experts
Add comment

By clicking the "Submit comment" button, I consent to the processing of personal data and accept privacy policy