Batteries: Going, Going……STILL Going


Electronic Keyless Locks. Convenience, Security, Quality, Durability and Long-Lasting battery life. Wait. What? Long-lasting battery life? To the reader not familiar with my electronic locks you may think I’ve lost it.

I get it. You’ve tried electronic cabinet locks–maybe you have even deployed thousands over the years. And your experience with battery life has been dismal. Not to mention vandalism of batteries, access challenges due to failed batteries, corroded batteries and other nightmares.

Yet, I am convinced Lowe & Fletcher battery-operated keyless locks remain your best choice for healthcare, education, office, and other storage/casework/locker security.

Why? How are we different from all the rest? Good Questions. Here is what sets Lowe & Fletcher keyless locks apart.

Take that nice shiny digital lock with a similar sounding brand name and compare it to my Lowe & Fletcher lock and you’ll find it’s rated for 1/6 the battery life of my comparable lock. Yes, conceivably, you could replace those batteries six times before you will ever replace batteries on a Lowe & Fletcher lock. That’s a lot of labor dollars and a goodly sum in battery costs as well–especially when you are managing 500 locks in patient exam rooms or on your fitness center lockers.

You see, here are some major battery-related differences between Lowe & Fletcher and competing locks.

♦We design our products with our own engineering teams who work in our own factories in areas of the globe known for quality–the United States, England, Belgium, France, Germany, and elsewhere. Not a one of our factories are contracted facilities or located in China, Mexico, or other areas that often have quality challenges.

♦We have our own PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturing line which allows us to design boards with programming and operational features that contribute to our superior battery life.

Our own staff conduct rigorous cycle testing of battery life and how to maximize it compared to competing locks–competitor locks that sometimes are using TWICE the number of batteries as our locks and still get only 1/6 the battery life!

♦Additionally, our manufacturing efficiencies ensure our locks don’t sit in storage for long–meaning batteries have more stored power for initial lock use than units being imported from contracted factories. We have seen competitor locks in storage/shipping containers for 18 months before ever being shipped to a hospital, casino, or fitness center. In that instance your project is not receiving fresh batteries from the start.

The points above all directly deal with battery-life. Yet other battery-related frustrations exist. Some competing keyless locks use additional battery-powered devices to operate features of their locks–so now you need a second device, with a different type of battery just to program or manage your keyless lock. Oh, and that second device–yes, it is an additional cost, and often more expensive than the lock it opens.

Other competing locks use a separate type of battery to address dead batteries in their lock and “jump” the lock–which works if you have that other type of battery readily available, it’s fresh and charged, and the existing batteries in the lock haven’t corroded and can still pass power to the lock motor–if not, well, a hammer or pry bar will likely be used to access the locker contents and then your fitness center customer (the one standing there with a towel around his waist) can get into his failed locker.

Some competing locks put the battery compartments on the outside of the lock–right where college kids or others looking to help themselves can access them–by simply popping out Phillips or similar screws. Then you have a non-functioning lock until it’s discovered and the vandalized batteries are replaced. If that seems like a poor security design you would be correct.

What do we do at Lowe & Fletcher on these battery-related issues? We build our keyless electronic locks with a simple override feature. A mechanical keyway in the handle that can be used (with a normal, steel cut key) to override the electronics and unlock the lock. Oh, and we include it in the cost of our lock. So, were your batteries to die in a Lowe & Fletcher lock, we make it so you can quickly insert the override key and get your customer (that one with the towel around their waist) back in touch with their belongings. The simplicity of mechanical key override provides many other features unrelated to battery life–I’ll save that for a future post.

What about vandalism of our batteries and compromising the lock? Well, it will be tough as our batteries are on the inside of the lock where they are protected from removal without first opening the lock. So, say goodbye to college kid antics and vandalism.

I get that many battery-operated locks have maybe given you headaches on projects, installs and the rigors of daily use. I am suggesting it may not be the battery aspect of the lock that is the root cause–but poor design by the lock manufacturer. Lowe & Fletcher provides up to six times the battery life of other locks, has a quick mechanical key access feature, and we protect our batteries from vandalism and tampering. If you have had bad experiences with battery-operated locks, we may be just the solution you seek.

At Lowe & Fletcher we do also have mechanical combination locks (no batteries) as we recognize a number of variables drive what style of lock will best satisfy the design, security, convenience and budget of a particular project.

My daily goal is to be a security and locking solution resource to the marketplace. Consider connecting and pulling me into your next project and let’s see how we can partner for a great end-user experience.