How Lock Toggle Can Improve Security and Save Money

July 3, 2017
Toggle locks offer the ability for users to locks and unlock without second credential override

Access control systems are a core component of a physical security strategy and one of the reasons for this is the ongoing evolution of the technology to keep pace with the changing needs of the market. Today’s access control systems offer both efficiency and convenience in an integrated package that can now even control wireless door hardware as part of the broad spectrum of ways in which access control can be implemented.

For example, intelligent controllers designed with a lock toggle feature allow users to lock and unlock doors without a second credential to override pre-set schedules. In addition to the efficiency and convenience delivered with lock toggle, another notable impact from the new generation of access control technology related to wireless door hardware can be linked to improved security and lower costs.


Toggle locks permits users to circumvent pre-set locking/unlocking schedules and lock or unlock a door equipped with a standard standalone wireless lock, as required at the time. Conventionally two cards were required, one to open the door and a second card to allow the user to toggle the lock to engage or disengage the lockset. The vulnerability in this method is quickly evident with lost cards that must be replaced, a mistaken double presentation and the increased potential for theft. Conventional systems are also not typically designed to revert to the locking position if the user forgets to present the card and toggle the lock back to its pre-set condition.

Newer access control systems are designed to remove many of these security and economic issues. The software-based lock toggle feature only requires a single card to lock or unlock a door as required, eliminating the problem for the user of having to carry two cards and remembers which is used for which action. To lock or unlock a pre-programmed door, the user need only present the card to the reader and toggle the REX (inside) handle down twice.


Operational costs are affected when administrators are required to continually react and respond to requests to override the status of a door. For example, at a school, internal classroom doors are scheduled to be unlocked from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.. However, if a teacher wishes to leave the building for lunch and wants to lock his or her individual classroom, typically the access control operator would need to be notified to manually override the setting, or a second credential would need to be presented to lock and unlock the door. With a lock toggle software-based feature, the teacher simply presents their credential to the reader, and within five seconds the teacher turns the inside handle twice. The door is now locked. Upon return the teacher presents the card and again turns the inside handle twice. The door is now unlocked and back on schedule.

The same scenario applies to university campuses where reacting and responding to requests to override the status of hundreds of doors to classrooms, labs, storage areas and so on could escalate operational costs – and increase vulnerabilities. Add to this the cost of maintaining two sets of identification cards and training and the costs quickly mount up.


Increasingly, locksmiths are installing wireless locksets as organizations upgrade their access control operation and, as many school campuses already have a locksmith on board, there are no additional installation fees. The ease of installation also increases the flexibility of where and how wireless locks can be deployed. Lock toggle capability is easily added to storage closet or temporary meeting room doors from the access control controller.

The lock toggle feature is available from Sielox and is another innovative solution combining Sielox core products and their OEM Partner Allegion. The company's 1700 Intelligent Controller fully integrates with Schlage AD, NDE and LE wireless locks.

Karen Evans is the CEO of Sielox LLC. For more information on Sielox, visit