Electronic Door Lock – the Bed and Breakfast access solution.
With so many new Electronic and Digital Locking Devices coming on to the market, and there being so little information regarding the quality, practicality and “best fit for purpose” of these locks, it is apparent that there needs to be more public information regarding this category of product, as the current situation is very much “buyer beware!”
What has prompted this review is that I had an Installer come to me last week and he was pulling his hair out. He had been presented with a number of Stand Alone, Battery Operated, Digital Locks by his client. Now these Digital Locks were not in-expensive items, but they were cheap in construction. Electronics aside, the mechanically aspects of these lock were really poor. For starters, the Mortise had a 19 mm Case thickness [which means a 20 mm Mortise] that is, in a 38 mm Veneered Door. After which he had to do 3 Hole Saw cuts per side, 2 Spade bits holes per side and a jigsaw cut to accommodate the wiring. The Door is certainly compromised. There were a number of other problems during Installation, and in hind sight, I think that this Client got very lucky in engaging that Installer. From my point of view, the construction of the Lock body itself was woeful, the Lock Case [Long Body Euro Pattern] was made of paper thin mild-steel that will certainly deform if any pressure is applied to the lock. I think the Importers decision not to “Brand” the lock was very wise, as it will almost certainly fail in the foreseeable future.
So what Digital Lock would have been the better decision?
To my mind, the dormakaba KABA EF680 Digital Door Lock was the appropriate choice. This is a really clever and quality item, that is made by a reputable lock manufacturer who understands that Electronics aside, that “Mechanical integrity” is the basic starting point of a lock. The Kaba EF680 utilizes a KABA MS2 Series, which is an Australian Standard Pattern Architectural Mortise Lock. This item also has a current Fire Rating Certificate for a 2-hour E-core door [valid til 7/3/22], so you can rest assured it’s been put through the wringer prior to its market release. And importantly, dormakaba have branded the item as one of their own. Note that this is a “Stand Alone Unit” that needs no expensive wiring.
Where this product really comes into its own is for the Short-term Holiday Rental Market [Bed and Breakfast, Air BnB and Casual Accommodation Apartment Rentals]. The EF680 Digital Lock utilizes a number of platform options for its access and management control; Illuminated Digital Control [6-12-digit codes], RFID Cards [up to 100], Bluetooth iOS & Android Apps [optional Audit Trail] and Mechanical Key Over-ride. However, the best feature of the EF680 Digital Electronic Lock is that the Controller can share “Time-Sensitive” PIN Codes with their guests via text or email. This means you can allow or deny access to a Tenant within your nominated time parameters and the lock will up-date automatically as per your instructions.
The normal operation dormakaba KABA EF680 is that the Internal Handle is always free passage and the locking device engages or dis-engages the External Lever. There is also a Passage function on the Lock, which when switched on, permanently engages the External Door Handle. The Lock has numerous other features. Probably the only draw-back of the EF680 Digital Electronic Lock is that it should be used in Internal Conditions that are under cover, as Electronics do not work well around moisture, but this a common draw-back of all Electronic Locks. If you do need Electronic Access for External Conditions, you’ll need to go down the Electronic Latch route. [A discussion for another day]
The Kaba EF680 is definitely worthy of your own appraisal; as such, I have one on display in my Showroom at Artistic Hardware, 3 Park Lane, Frankston. Phone – 03 9783 3305.