What Is a Gate Mag Lock?

What Is a Gate Mag Lock?

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If you’re looking for a higher security locking option for a gate, you might want to consider a gate mag lock.

Let’s take a closer look at how gate mag locks work, what your access accessory options are, and what the pros and cons of this type of lock are.

What Are Gate Mag Locks?

As you might have guessed, gate mag locks, or magnetic locks as they are also known, use magnets to open and lock your gate.

However, unlike traditional magnets, these locks use electromagnets, which turn on and off depending on whether there is an electric current working on them. This means that they can be attached to a switch that can be turned on and off to lock or unlock the gate.

What Kinds of Switches do Gate Mag Locks Use?

Since mag locks are based on electromagnets, they require an on / off switch to work. This means that there can be several “triggers” or accessories used to open and close them.

Some of the more popular options to use with mag locks are intercom systems, which can have a call button at the gate and a release button at the receiver, as well as card readers, keypads and tag readers.

Often, gates that have mag locks have more than one of these options so that visitors can use an intercom, but authorized people can use their code or access card or tag.

How Are Mag Locks Wired?

Gate mag locks are wired through the gate and gate post, which means that wires are tucked out of sight. This also makes the gate more secure because it’s a lot harder to tamper with the wiring.

What Kind of Gates Can Use Gate Mag Locks?

Gate mag locks are most commonly used on swing gates and usually on pedestrian gates. There are options that can be installed on many different types of gates, though, so if you have a specific type of gate in mind and you want this kind of electronic lock installed, speak to your gate contractor or installer to find out what your options are.

Can You Retrofit a Gate with a Mag Lock?

While it is technically possible to retrofit some gates with a gate mag lock, there will probably be significant modifications required, and the labor required to do that might make it cost nearly as much as a new, purpose-built gate.

It’s also a lot easier to run the wiring for a gate with an electronic lock before you have paving or asphalt on a parking area or driveway. So the earlier you can add a mag lock to your gate and entryway security plan, the better.

Who Can Install a Gate Mag Lock?

In the fence world, there are different types of contractors, and many don’t do it all.

If you want a mag lock on an entrance gate, you probably need to talk to a commercial or high-security fence company or a company that specializes in gate automation or integrated perimeter security.

A Word of Caution

The last thing we need to mention about gate mag locks is that they do depend on electricity to work. That means that if you have a power outage or interruption, you might not be able to use the gate as intended.

Some gate mag locks do also have keys that can be used when things like this do happen, so be sure to ask your installer whether that option is available.

Not Suitable for Remote Locations

Gate mag locks – and other gate automation equipment – require a reliable power supply to work properly. This means that they are usually installed close to buildings that are connected to the electrical grid.

Installing any electronic gate equipment or access control equipment in remote places is often not feasible because providing the power the equipment requires is usually very expensive if it’s possible at all.

So if you have a remote gate that you want access control options for, you might be better off considering a mechanical-only keypad or similar options.

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