Over the years more intelligent devices were developed, and now most of the intelligence is located at the reader near the door. The latest IP door readers make use of the Ethernet PoE network and are very easy to install. This article reviews the pros and cons of both systems and compares the cost of installation.
We have used a 6 reader system as an example. Let’s start with the cost comparison. First we looked at the older centralized system with control panel. I’m leaving out the cost for door locks, sensors and Rex buttons
Cost for the Equipment consists of the readers and the central box with power supply.
Each door requires a door controller and a prox card reader.
6 - Door controllers = $510 x 6 = $3060
6 - Prox readers = 194 x 6 = $1164
The central control box and power supply is required:
1- Site Controller $568
1- Software $768 (This can be a lot higher depending on company)
1- Power supply $495
Grand Total for equipment and software - $ 10,985
Traditional 18-2 or composite wiring from the panel to the reader can range from $0.90 to $1.30 per foot. Assuming the 6 readers average 50 feet from the panel at minimum wiring cost will be $270
Installation is a variable because it depends on the prep work for mounting panel enclosure, distance from the central box, the type of walls and ceilings, and other physical considerations in the building. It goes without saying that multi-building installation adds to the complexity. We used the labor costs at one installation which required about 5 days at about $1000 per day = $5000
Total cost for the system is $16,255.00
IP Reader System
The new all-in-one Isonas door access reader-controller connects right to the network and doesn’t use a central control box. The credential database is entered into a computer running Crystal Matrix software. All this information is downloaded to each of the readers so even if the network goes down, the reader can still control entry.
Door access control reader-controller $700 x 6 = $4200
Software is free unless you need web based control = $500
8 port network switch with PoE support = $200
Total equipment is $4900
Cat 5/6 wiring from the network switch to the reader-controller is about 0.30 per foot. Assuming the 6 doors average 50 feet from the network switch the wiring cost will be $90.00
Labor cost is again somewhat variable but since there are fewer devices to configure and install at the door physical installation is simplified. As for electrical work, since wiring of the reader-controller to the door strike is contained at the door and PoE supplies power to the lock, we have cut out the need for wiring back to one central point. Thus labor costs are much less. Typically an install requires ½ the time and resources to install so 3 days at $1000 per day is $3000 for labor.
The total system cost is then $7,990.
The classic system has been around for many years so there are many experienced licensed electricians available
IP Reader System
Since the new IP systems use computer networks, a new breed of installers with network and computer expertise is required. The good news is that this can be an in-house self-installation for many organizations that have an IT staff. They have been running the network wire to computers so they have no problem connecting to the same RJ45 connections that are used by computers. The only things they may need help with are installation of the electric locks. In this case they can bring in locksmiths who are familiar with these types of locks. The locksmith installs the electric lock and wires to the pigtail of the reader.
Integration with other systems
Since the IP access control uses the network it's very easy to integrate into an IP camera system. By connecting Intercoms to the IP camera, a remote person can manually release the door. The audio connections go through the camera and find their way back to the safety station that's running Video Management Software. When the call button is pushed on the intercom the safety station is notified by an alarm sound, and the safety officer can see and talk to the person at the door. They can then unlock the door by pushing a button on their computer screen.
Deployment across a Campus
IP systems have another major advantage. They can be deployed anywhere you have a network connection, so if you have multiple buildings connected over a LAN or WAN the IP system can make use of this network and easily communicate to the central control software on a computer in one of the buildings.
Network attached IP door access systems are very easy to install and have excellent flexibility. They can be located across the campus or across the city as long as you have a network connection.
If you need help defining your door access control system, please contact us at 1-800-431-1658 (in the USA) or + 914-944-3425 or use our contact form.