What are the Different Types of Electronic Locks

Thanks to more advanced forms of technology, the drawbacks that come with modern day lifestyles are reduced. One of these technologies is the invention of different types of digital locks. Nowadays, we can unlock and lock our doors without being conscious 24/7 of where we kept our keys. In fact, you can be in the office and open the door for your visitors at home.

Many of these different types of smart locks work seamlessly with homes, offices, gyms, shopping malls, and hotels, making them even more flexible. However, before you incorporate them into your door locking system, it’s important that you know them fully.

To help you with the research, digital lock company BE-TECH, a certified electronic locks manufacturer has collated the different types of electronic locks available on the market, their constructions, and their applications.

Different Types of Electronic Locks

There are different types of locking mechanisms, which involve the use of different electronic lock types. To get this large range of options and select your choice, you have to contact a reliable digital door lock factory.

Electronic Door Locks

 Electronic Door Lock
Source: Betechiot

These smart lock types are one of the mostly used electronic locks in homes today. They are operated using digital screens that need keycards, codes, or passwords for activation. Electronic door locks have an electronic control attached to them and are often used in homes, offices, and hotels.

Electronic door locks can be programmed to perform other activities and not just opening and closing of doors alone. They have the ability to keep logs that can record the date, time, and use of the lock. In fact, some electronic door locks are programmed to keep a record of how often several users enter the building.

To make their usage simpler, electronic door locks are run on batteries, and they come with a backup battery in case the main battery gets faulty.

Electronic Padlocks

Electronic Padlock
Source: Pinterest

These types of digital door locks are one of the most common and easily recognizable locks. Electronic padlocks are used to secure diverse areas like doors, chains, and gates. Electronic padlocks are available in different sizes. There are small sizes for journals and diaries, and there are bigger sizes for lockers, doors, and gates.

To get better security, you have to use stronger, bigger padlocks with a tough mechanical construction. This will make it extremely difficult for burglars to invade your privacy. There are two types of padlocks – keyed padlocks and combination padlocks.

Keyed padlocks, just as the name suggests, are unlocked and locked with keys. Furthermore, there are two forms of this type of padlock. Some of the padlocks retain the keys; the keys cannot be removed even after unlocking the padlock. The other keyed-padlock type allows you to remove the key after unlocking the padlock.

Combination padlocks, on the other hand, don’t make use of keys. They have digits and letters on them. The user creates a security combination with these digits and letters. These types of padlocks are only opened when the combination is arranged in the correct order, which is why they are more secure than the keyed padlocks. As long as the combination is difficult to guess, intruders will find it difficult to decode.

Electronic Deadbolts and Latches

Electronic deadbolts and latches are commonly used on external doors. They have extremely strong security and they can only be operated using the right key. There are several forms of electronic deadbolts and latches. They are single deadbolt, double deadbolt, vertical deadbolt, and lockable thumbturn deadbolt.

The single deadbolt has one cylinder and it can only be locked from the outside of the door. To open the door from the inside, the doorknob will be simply rotated. These types of electronic locks are very protective in emergencies, such as fire and natural disasters.

The double deadbolt has two cylinders, necessitating that there is a key for each side of the door. Access through this lock cannot be granted unless you have a key that can open it, thereby offering supreme security.

A vertical deadbolt, which is also referred to as jimmy-proof deadbolt is designed to be difficult to open. It also has a jamb bracket, making it resistant to pry open.

The lockable thumbturn deadbolt functions as a single and double deadbolt. It features an inner thumb turn and lock, as well as an exterior deadbolt that provides additional security.

Digital Fingerprint Locks

Biometric Lock
Source: Betechiot 

A biometric door lock manufacturer will tell you that digital fingerprint locks is one of them. And this is the truth as these locks encompass all the unique parts of the human body like the voice, facial recognition, retinal, and fingerprint.

Biometrics locks are not only popular in homes, but also largely used in offices. Before you can have access to these locks, your personal biometrics must be registered with the locking system. If you don’t have your biometrics, even if you try to scan yourself in, the lock won’t allow it.

This door lock system makes use of individual body parts, which is why another person can maneuver his or her way in. With the biometric locks, the security system of any building will be improved.

Furthermore, a biometric entry system will be more beneficial for firms and family to ensure that only authorized staff are allowed to access sensitive information.

Bluetooth Electronic Locks

Bluetooth Electronic Lock 1
Source: Shutterstock 

As suggested by the name, these electronic lock types use Bluetooth to control the people that are allowed to enter any door or room. Of course, to use the Bluetooth, you need a smartphone that you will put in close proximity to the Bluetooth sensor.

These types of electronic locks are commonly used in cars or establishments where many people work. They consume less power, hence the reason why some people prefer them. Also, there is a Bluetooth hotel door lock that is primarily used in hotels.

Electronic Keypad Locks

Keypad Smart Lock
Source: Shutterstock 

This is probably the most popular type of electronic lock. It does not require physical keys; all that’s needed is for you to enter a numerical code or password to open the door. Even though they tend to be more costly than other types of electronic locks, they provide high-grade security. The security system cannot be compromised unless somebody else guesses your PIN code or password right, which is why you need to use a hard-to-guess code and password.

When you enter the correct code or password, the motor in the lock will turn the locking latch, letting you open the door with the doorknob. To lock the door from the outside, all you have to do is to click on a button; no need to enter your code or password. Just as the codes and passwords are easy to set, they are easy to change. So, anytime you detect an illegal attempt on your door, you can change the entry code.

Electronic keypad locks are not suitable for people who tend to forget things easily as they will be locked outside the door if they don’t know the entry code or password.

RFID Security Locks

RFID Security Lock
Source: Shutterstock 

These security locks make use of signals from Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers to function. These locks usually come with small plastic tiles that the whole family members can use to gain access. They are so small that they can be hung on your keychain.

Once you are close to the door, the signal will be sent, and the door will be opened. What is more convenient about it is that you don’t need to be in close proximity to the door before the signal is transmitted, meaning that the door will be practically opened before getting to the doorstep.

RFID systems are very popular in business buildings as they are fairly simple to manage, especially when a lot of people are involved. Another reason why this locking mechanism is preferred is that the RFID card readers are easier to produce than physical keys. So, in the event that your card reader is misplaced or stolen, you can get another quickly.

Most times, these locks also have traditional keys and keypads to act as backups when the battery of the RFID system is exhausted.

Wifi Smart Locks

Wifi Smart Lock
Source: Betechiot 

These are types of smart locks that can be used together with your home’s wifi’s system. The beauty of this locking system is that it can be operated remotely. All you have to do is to download the app, and connect it to your lock, then you can start unlocking and locking the door through the wifi.

With wholesale wifi door locks installed in a big building like a community center, everyone can access the door, but with unique codes that must have been programmed into the door system. With the app installed on everyone’s phone, there will be fast access to locks, and the process can be tracked like the number of entries, unsuccessful logins, and battery levels.

The wifi smart lock system is very much preferred by people who want to remotely control how people, including the cleaners, technicians, dog walkers, friends, or family members enter the building.

Electronic Cabinet Locks

Electronic Cabinet Lock 1
Source: betechiot

An electronic cabinet lock is similar to a safe lock. The only difference is that most times, cabinets are designed to be bigger than safes, necessitating that they have a bigger lock that will be commensurable to the cabinet’s dimension. They can be opened and closed with several authentication methods, such as keys, wifi, Bluetooth, smartphone, etc.

These methods, including RFID cabinet locks are mostly found in offices to store files, as well as in gyms to store gymnasts’ properties while they are working out. Other places where they are used are homes, commercial centers, and warehouses. These locks offer tight security and prevent intruders from gaining access to your properties.

Electric Bolt Locks

Electric Bolt Lock 1
Source: Unsplash

Electric bolt locks are commonly found in both residential homes and commercial buildings, however, they will most likely be different products. Both versions are attached to the door, and to lock them, a bolt is sent into the jamb.

While those used in residential buildings feature motors and gears, commercial bolt locks often control the bolt using a sort of electromagnet known as solenoid. The bolt retracts when a signal is sent to the motor or solenoid, granting passage.

Electronic Keycard Locks

These are types of electronic locks that are opened by cards, rather than physical keys. The keycards are issued by the lock manufacturer after installing the batteries in the locks. These keycards are unique and are programmed to work for just one lock or all the locks in the building. These swipe card locks are common in places like offices and hotels.

The downside of these electronic lock types is that they can be easily misplaced. And if they are left behind at home, you won’t be able to access the door.

Electronic Door Knob

Electronic Door Knob
Source: Pinterest

Electronic door knobs are well-known, and in most cases, they are used with deadbolts. Nowadays, you can find them in practically every home and apartment. Just like deadbolts, they are used on external doors for optimal safety and security.

Using electronic door knobs alone doesn’t cut the mark as they are very fragile and provide lesser security. This is why they are to be used together with deadbolts on the same exterior for maximum security.

Electromagnetic Locks

Electromagnetic locks, which are sometimes called electro-maglocks, secure doors with magnetic force. They are constructed to be in two parts, with a metal plate fixed on the door, and an electronically controlled magnet that is installed in the door jamb. When an electrical current is transmitted from the control board to the magnet (through a keypad, push-button, or card), the magnet activates and pulls the metal plate, locking the door.

An advantage of this lock system is that it can be connected to the fire alarm system, and programmed to retract in the event of an alarm, allowing the people in the building to escape and leave the premises. While these locks are uncommon in residential homes, they are very popular in business settings because they require additional hardware and extensive wiring.

Electromechanical Locks

Electromechanical locks are named after their contents and the structure of their inner constructions. Electromechanical locks feature a cross section that displays a latch and gear system that can only be controlled with lock cylinders or electrical currents. They can perform as a fail-safe and a fail-secure lock.

In the fail-safe state, the door will be completely unlocked when there is a power outage or in the case of an emergency alarm. This is so because electrical current is used to keep the door closed, so lack of power stops the locking mechanism from functioning. This is beneficial in cases of emergencies as people in the building will be able to exit quickly for emergency responders to go in.

The fail-secure lock is the direct opposite of the fail-safe lock. Rather than unlocking the door when there is a power outage, it keeps the door locked. This locking mechanism ensures that your properties are safe no matter the attempt of intruders to invade by interrupting the power.

Electronic Strikes

Electric Door Strike
Source: Indiamart 

Electronic strikes feature a spring-loaded keeper that’s used to control the bolt on the lock. The lock will remain fastened unless the proper tool for entry is used. This type of lock system can be designed as a fail-safe or fail-secure lock, but it’s advisable to consider the building codes of your environment and the type of structure before choosing the option to install.

They are usually fixed on the door frame, but in the case of double doors, they are installed on the stationary door (inactive leaf). Electronic strikes are normally designed for safe evacuation purposes from a building, and will open regardless if it is a fail-secure lock.

Safe Locks

Safe locks are designed to be small, compact, and strong. They help to secure valuables that don’t have large masses. They are commonly used in homes, offices, commercial centers, and hotel locks in China and other parts of the world to store very important properties.

Authentication credentials to safe locks can be in the form of various methods, including PIN code, password, RFID, Wifi, Bluetooth, or smartphone. Only individuals with the right authentication credential can access the safe. This increases the security assurance you have in the safety of your properties.

How Does an Electronic Door Lock Work

An electronic lock, it is also a single-chip microcomputer as the core, with the corresponding hardware circuit, complete the password setting, storage, identification and display, drive the electromagnetic actuator and detect its driving current value, receive the alarm signal sent by the sensor, send data and other functions. The microcontroller receives the entered code and compares it with the password stored in the EEPROM. If the password is correct, it drives the electromagnetic actuator to unlock; if the password is incorrect, the operator is allowed to re-enter the password, up to three times. The single-chip microcomputer sends each unlocking operation and the drive current value of the electromagnetic actuator as status information to the intelligent monitor, and also sends the alarm information received from the sensor interface to the intelligent monitor as the basis for intelligent analysis.

The smart combination lock system consists of smart monitors and electronic locks. The two are placed in different places, and the intelligent monitor supplies the power required by the electronic lock and receives the alarm information and status information sent by it. The line multiplexing technology is used here, so that the power supply and information transmission share a two-core cable, which improves the reliability and safety of the system.

You can only gain access to these door lock systems when you use the right authentication method. Some of them are PIN code, passwords, RFID, Wifi, Bluetooth, and smartphone app. Basic electronic door locks are designed to feature internal control boards that know when you enter a correct entry code.

All you need is the right access code to operate them from anywhere you are. When visitors are at your home and you are at work or somewhere else, all you have to do is to unlock the door with a single click on your smartphone. Electronic door locks are made to ease the door experience of everyone.

How Safe are Electronic Door Locks

Electronic door locks are extremely safe, and they are more secure when compared to other door lock systems. They are constructed with more advanced equipment that features incredible characteristics like durability, strength, and trendiness. These locks are also made by specialized engineers with vast knowledge of the security needs of homes, offices, hotels, gyms, and other establishments.

Other Common Questions

What if the Power of the Electronic Lock Goes Out

Electronic locks are powered with batteries, meaning that if the power of the home goes off, it won’t affect the functionality of the electronic lock. However, it’s only the systems that don’t rely on electricity that will keep functioning. Some of these systems are biometrics, keypads, and Bluetooth. But other systems like wifi that involve the connectivity of the house to the locking system, won’t function.

On the other hand, if the battery power of the electronic locks is exhausted, the door will stop functioning, and only manual backup methods will function. So, it’s better to use a model that comes with an analog backup method, such as a deadbolt or physical key.

Does the Electronic Smart Lock Need to be Wired

Any battery-powered electronic smart lock does not require wiring. These types of electronic locks are more popular as they require simple installation and maintenance.

However, there are others, which are not powered by batteries that need wiring as they only get their power from electrical impulses. 


We’ve just looked at the types of electronic locks that are available for securing every building. While you install one of these, it’s important that you have a backup locking system in case of when your primary locking system doesn’t respond.

The list of the different types of locking mechanisms was collated by BE-TECH, a specialized manufacturer of smart locks in China. If you need more details or would like to purchase electronic locks, feel free to contact us.

Blogs you may be interested in:

  1. How does RFID door lock system work
  2. Bluetooth door lock buyer’s guide
  3. Main door lock types for security
  4. What is the keyless electronic door lock

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