• Entrance Gates and Gate Access Systems – Buyers Guide

    Custom aluminum entrance gate with access system
    Custom aluminum slide entrance gate with secure access system.

    Entrance gates and access control systems are put in place to recognize, authenticate and authorize the entry of a person into the premises.

    Access control gate solutions can be customized for any home, residential community, business, institution, or public property.  It is best to consult with a qualified professional to determine the best access solution for your needs, but here are some things you should consider.

    Amount of traffic and frequency – Determining the amount of expected traffic and how quickly you need to move it is critical for selecting the right gate and access system to fit your application.

    Space and opening size – Most every gate will need to be custom-designed to fit the available space, application, and opening size.   Depending on the size of the opening the gate may need to slide open, others will need to swing away to open and still others will need to tilt up and out of the way to open.

    Gate operators – You need a reliable gate operator unit with a smooth start / stop operation and a commercial-grade, gear-driven transmission. Ideally, the gate opener should have a minimal footprint yet provide superior performance for any gate weight or frequency. Because it sits outside in the elements the opener should be made of high-grade, quality materials. You should also have a battery backup that will provide you access even when the power is down. Adding solar panels is an option to run your gate when accessing power is an issue.

    Types of Gates

    Gates are most often customed manufactured with corrosion-resistant, high-strength aluminum.  Skilled craftsmen and master welders can create almost any design that will fit the look of the property. Gates can be simple to very elaborate with intricate designs, logos, and artwork.  There are also a wide variety of color options available.

    Sliding Gate – Versatile and are ideal for many commercial, estate homes and premium residential communities.   Sliding gates instead of swinging open slide out of the way on a track.

    Swing Gate – Single and double swing gates are available to accommodate many applications and styles.   These gates swing away to open and back to close.  Frequently swing gates are utilized to control access for premium communities.

    Tilt Gate – Used frequently where space is at a premium where the gate tilts up and away.  Tilt gates are often used for parking garage applications.

    Barrier Arms – Often these work in conjunction with a vehicle traffic control system for commercial, industrial, gated residential communities and apartment complexes.

    Pedestrian Gate – Most often these gates are installed in conjunction with a matching vehicle gate for  a home or business to accommodate pedestrian traffic.  Frequently they are used for access to a community pool or other restricted-access areas.  Used in high a low-security situation, pedestrian gates are available with various locks and push bar options.

    Types of Access Systems

    LiftMaster CAPXLV access portal system for residential communities with live video and two-way calling capability to your smartphone.

    Access control management systems work in conjunction with entrance gates to control and track access to a residence, facility or community providing an extra layer of security for property, equipment, and personnel.   There are access systems for an individual residence or business and multi-residence systems that can accommodate up to 30,000 local codes 64,000 non-local codes.  Unique access codes can be given to visitors on a long term, limited use window or one-time basis.

    Hardware – Your hardware should be heavy duty and weather resistant.  You are likely familiar with user access that is given by entering a code, utilizing a key card, key fob, or even biometrics, like fingerprints.  Access is granted according to programmed rules in an administrative platform and keeps a history log of which cards or fobs have been used and when.  Today access for visitors can be also granted to the property by voice only, voice with still photo and live streaming functionality. More advance systems today have large, full color touch screens with built-in, wide-angle video cameras for still pictures or one-way live video streaming and two way voice to a smartphone.  The touchscreen should be visible in low light, at night and glare resistant.  For multi-tenant residential communities, the access system should have an easy to navigate searchable database to get in-touch with residents.

    Hardware Options

    • Additional external cameras to provide different views of the entrance and to capture license plate information.
    • Solar power kits for when electrical power is unavailable.
    • Expansion panels for entry points management at other access points on the property, such as, a pedestrian gate or pool entrance.

     

    Smartphone Applications (App) – Many access systems today come with an app for your smartphone where the app can be used to open or close the gate from anywhere.  From your smartphone you can grant or deny access to visitors through voice only, voice with still photo, and live one-way streaming video where you can have a two-way conversation depending on the system you select. You can also receive real-time notification when your gate has been opened or closed or has been inadvertently left open for more than a few minutes.

    Access System Connectivity – Aside from hard-wired ethernet access systems, today you can connect your entrance gate access system through a cellular network.   This allows you to place a gate and access system almost anywhere with a low-cost cellular plan.    

    Access System Administrative Portals – Today systems come with cloud-based web portals for the homeowner, property manager or business to control your access systems from your computer or  smartphone.  The platform gives you the ability to add new users, grant or deny access codes, schedule openings/closures.  The system creates an audit trail, this can be a log or there are more advanced systems that have time and date stamp photos that can be stored up to a year by the homeowner or property manager.  Businesses and Property Managers can program regular users and grant temporary access to vendors or visitors.  Homeowners or multi-family residents through the administrative portal are able to accommodate family, friends, home service contractors, lawn service, plumber, dog walkers, party guests and other visitors.  Residents can set up and safely control guest access and set up guest list for one-time, multi-day or recurring events.

    Property Manager Functionality for Multi-Resident or Business Access Systems

    • Ability to control resident smartphone application function.
    • Open and hold a gate open from anywhere with the smartphone app.
    • Close on demand (override holds).
    • Ability to take photos on demand from internal and external cameras.
    • Multiple properties can be managed from a single login on the web portal.
    • With systems that utilize the smartphone app you can eliminate the expense and need to track key cards.

    Types of Access Control Systems   

    Cipher Systems – Where access is granted using something an individual knows, such as a combination or PIN, to gain access rather than having a card or having to access an app.

    Access Control Reader – Basic readers simply read an access card/proximity key FOB access number or allow you to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for access.

    Pedestal mounted access system.

    Telephone Entry & Access Control Systems – Provides voice communication from a main entry point(s) to residents via a phone network.  Access can also be controlled by using cards, transmitters or keypads.  Comes with an easy to use account manager software.  Often a tiered call tree is set up in the system that will sequentially reach out to program telephone numbers until a contact is made, leaving fewer visitors stranded at the gate.

    Photo & Live Video Streaming – This gives the resident or business an extra level of security where you can visually see the visitor and have a two-way conversation before granting access.  Photos are also stored on the web portal and timed stamp for review later if needed.  These are often stored up to a year on the system.    The ultimate is one- way live stream allows the resident or business to see a live streaming video of the person at the gate and have a two-way conversation before deciding to grant or deny access.

    EDL / Gate Masters manufactures custom aluminum gates at its facility with its in-house design staff, master welders, and skilled craftsman.  We walk you through the whole process from design to final installation.   Our gates are as beautiful as they are strong, but more importantly, EDL / Gate Masters has the experience and technical know-how to correctly install the most sophisticated gates, operators and access systems offered today.

    Like any mechanical device, it is recommended you set up a maintenance program that will ensure years of trouble-free performance.

    We are a third generation, owned and operated company that has been in business since 1964 in South Florida.   Give us a call for a free estimate (954) 972-9300.

    Residential Entrance Gate
    An EDL/Gate Masters custom aluminum slide entrance gate provides additional safety and security.

  • 10 Reasons to install a residential access gate

    1. Security

    Criminals often choose easy targets. Installing a residential gate and access system gives a homeowner an additional layer of protection. Thieves will have a much harder time driving off with your car if you have installed a gate and access system.

    2. Gate Connectivity

    These days there are a number of ways to access your gate. Most people are familiar with a remote and a keypad, but LiftMaster gate operators offer the myQ® app for your smartphone. (more…)