Mobile access and touchless entry
Lenel’s mobile solutions, called BlueDiamond, are one of the newer additions to the product line. The BlueDiamond readers are the only Lenel door readers that work with the mobile app-based entry, so existing Lenel readers will not support smartphone credentials. Like Openpath, Lenel’s BlueDiamond readers also support prox cards and smart cards for backwards compatibility with older systems.
The mobile system is managed through the Lenel OnGuard software. Depending on the software version installed, you may still have limited cloud-based management capabilities. Once new users are set up in the OnGuard system, they can download the app to activate their credentials, and tap to unlock when near a reader. Openpath offers a similar experience, but the fully cloud-based platform means all administrators have remote access to the management system, so they can add or revoke new users at any time, from anywhere.
While Lenel does offer “hands-free” access methods, they require some initial setup from the user. In order to use the feature, users need to either enable pre-configured travel routes and commonly used entries in the app, or register a specific read-range distance for each entry. With Openpath, touchless access is enabled on the administrator side with a single click, with no extra work for the end user. Openpath’s Wave to Unlock feature also provides additional security by having users show intent to unlock, minimizing the chance for an accidental unlock and potential security threat. Lenel’s mobile readers use Bluetooth (BLE) signals to unlock. In comparison, Openpath uses a patented Triple Unlock technology, which simultaneously races Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular data signals for a faster, more reliable unlocking experience.
Another advantage to Openpath over Lenel access control systems is the ability to send digital guest passes. Lenel users will still need to escort guests in person, or give them a temporary card credential to use on the premises. With Openpath, users can create customized visitor credentials in the app, setting specific time ranges and permissions, and send them via email or SMS to guests. This feature lets visitors open the door using their phone, without having to download the Openpath app.
Door readers and controller hardware
Looking at the different hardware options in this Lenel access control review, the company has a few product ranges designed for various applications. However, only certain readers Lenel sells support mobile credentials, and others are designed to only work with proximity key cards. If you choose readers that only support the credentials you use right now, that same hardware may be obsolete in a few years—a very costly mistake. Nobody wants to have to replace their entire deployment after a year in order to have the best protection available.
A better option for your building’s physical security is to install a system with a future-proof product line. Openpath Smart Readers and Smart Hubs are designed to be multifunctional, and support all credential types on the same system. Another benefit to a system like Openpath is that it’s backwards compatible with legacy systems, giving you added flexibility and cost savings. Lenel’s access control systems are only backwards compatible with Mercury controllers, meaning you’ll also have to replace the backend hardware if your existing system is made by anyone else.
Lenel currently does not offer any video security products, requiring customers to purchase and install third-party cameras, and license additional Lenel software in order to integrate the video surveillance system. Not only is this costly, cumbersome, it’s not a future-proof or flexible option. Access control door readers with a built-in camera are a smarter option for getting visual verification of access events at the door. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro solves this problem with a built-in, high-definition camera for a smarter edge device that does more with less investment.
Another consideration when comparing Lenel’s access control hardware is the flexibility to connect other systems. Lenel’s hardware limits the number of inputs and outputs, meaning you’ll have to pick and choose what’s most important. Openpath is more flexible, with more than twice as many configurable inputs and outputs to support a wide range of additional sensors, readers, and other security hardware. Plus, the plug-and-play design means installation is quick and efficient with Openpath.
For many modern spaces, aesthetics is a deciding factor in choosing new technology, and the bulky brick-like access control readers offered by legacy providers just don’t cut it anymore. Your access control shouldn’t take away from the sleek, sophisticated look of your building. Openpath’s multi-technology Smart Readers are award-winning for design, and can mount flush with the wall for a streamlined finish. The slim 11mm profile easily fits any space, and comes in both Standard and Mullion for tight areas like hallways. Openpath’s Pro Series Video Readers also feature a slim, sleek look, and can be adjusted for the best viewing angle during installation.