If you were designing a residential access control plan from scratch

What products would you use?
Note: I’m asking about North America style.

I’m already invested in the Unifi ecosystem, so I would probably stick with it for readers and access control though if the solution was good enough, I’d consider not going with unifi.

But what hardware do you use on the doors? Ideally, one would have deadbolts that can be controlled by the access control system. I’m not aware of any that integrate with the Unifi system, though I would be open to something else as long as could figure out how to bridge between the lock and unifi in some way.

Alternatively, door strikes could be used in the door jambs. This is ugly and not sure I trust those parts against forced entry.

I used to install a lot of door magnets but those are fail safe, not fail secure. And they’re ugly.

I don’t want something that I can’t still also use a key. Like they have electric deadbolts like this:

But they can’t be opened without power.

Open to ideas…

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You can get battery backup systems. I have a couple from eBay. They are basically a power pack which you put inline, so it is charged constantly from your mains, but when there is a power outage, the battery continues to power the circuit. The period it works for depends obviously on capacity.

I have a reader for my garage roller door (which we use as a main entry to the house). The controller is has battery backup in the above manner and the roller door system itself also has a battery backup. So I can lose electricity for about 48 hours and still have access.

Anyway, just a thought which might assist you.


I also have an RFID system in my garage door, but no battery backup of any kind. The front door have a normal keyed lock.
I don’t carry keys, but I always have a few lockpick on me … So when we have power outage it’s picking time :grin:

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Looking more closely at the Unifi access system, it does not seem like a good fit for what I want. Mostly because I thought the $200 hub handled multiple doors and it does not, it only handles one door. You have to go to the $1000 enterprise hub to handle multiple doors. Yeah, no.

And even then, it’s designed for wired locks. I think I’m leaning towards zigbee deadbolts. But need readers. I don’t think I want lock-powered readers. That’s why I liked the Unifi stuff… nice readers.

I went the same route with a Zigbee deadbolt for my office space. In my situation, I needed to keep the original lock (so building maintenance would be able to access the space with their master key), so I replaced the backside of the deadbolt with a Wyze lock and paired it to Home Assistant via the Zigbee protocol.

For a reader, I just used an HID iClass reader connected to a Raspberry Pi which sends an HTTP POST to the Home Assistant API telling it to open the lock when a valid card is presented.

The whole thing is a bit hackey, but it’s been working without issue for more then a year now.


Can you give me a link to the reader you are using? Is it USB?

I’m just using a standard HF HID reader configured to read the UIDs of tags. One of these guys: HID iCLASS SE R10 900NTNNEK00000 SRD R10E R10EKNN Pigtail w/Mounting Brackets | eBay

It’s not USB but instead is a Wiegand output. I needed to get a Wiegand to RS232 adapter as well as a USB-Serial adapter to be able to read the data on the pi.

Thanks. Not what I meant but I could see how you could take “access control” to include the door itself.