All you need to know about the key card lock battery


As the battery powered door lock, the battery of the key card lock is always a important topic to talk about.If you are a newbie of key card lock you should learn more of them.

Alkaline Cell battery is the only option

Electronic key card lock’s power consume is much more bigger than the clock or remote. No matter AA size or AAA size used in lock, the Alkaline type batteries should be only option.
The zinc-carbon battery can not keep lock running over 2-3 months and alkaline can last 10-15 months.
And you can not mix use the old and new batteries, just like the other battery powered appliances.

Retail Packaging battery or ‘Replacement battery’

‘Replacement battery’ is a sealed battery pack that separately sold, packing and shippment to hotels.It is very popular in North america due to it provide convenience to hotels and it already becomes another business except the lock.

Some models hotel lock of the TOP 5 hotel lock brands (likes vingcard and kaba) compatible only ‘replacement battery’ due to there is no contacts of normal battery inside the lock at all.
For these models hotel can not buy and use the regular retail packaging batteries.
You should consider this matter before buying the lock.

How to replace batteries on key card lock

How to replace batteries on a key card lock it depends on how the lock was designed.The good design makes replacing easy but bad design make it likes a nightmare.
Also, the appearance of parts which contains battery is also important, to give a beautiful look.

That’s look over the popular designs wordwide.

Outside the room

Battery locates on the outside of the room is a good design and I like it.
When there is no power on the lock, replacing battery could be done immediately and directly. There is not a step ‘open the door by using a key’.
But in many africa and asia countries, people will have concern of the battery security on this design.
In the north america there is completely no concern like that.

Appearance-✪✪✪✪✪ Good look due to the battery tray is invisable
Easy-✪✪✪✪✪ just 1 screw release before see battery
Security-✪✪ the battery outside room is not security enough in worldwide range.

Inside the Door

This idea came from great chinese people because I never saw this design appear on a non-chinese brand.The biggest flaw of it is you have to drill an extra longger pocket on the door . It takes additional working time and probable higher cost than drilling a normal size pocket.
Appearance-✪✪✪✪ Good look due to the battery tray is invisable
Easy-✪✪✪ It requires release total 3 screws and take off the face plate before get the battery.
Security-✪✪✪ the face plate uses only Philips head screw which could be opened easily.But to open it the door must be kept un-closed, it protect battery security a little.


Inside the Room

The battery inside room is the most popular designed position especially in asia. There are a lots of locks put the battery in the lock part inside the room.
But in my opinion the design solution should consider much more issues, which could happen inside the room.

Inside room Type-I.Battery(holder) fixed on bracket and covered by a lid

This is the vingcard classic lock’s unique design of changing battery. It has a very long history since the magstripe card lock times.
Appearance-✪ very ugly in view, it is not vingcard’s fault because many years ago designed.
Easy-✪✪✪ just 1 screw release before get the battery
Security-✪✪ need a proper size philips screw driver to open it


Inside room Type-II.Battery pack or holder fixed on a plate board, behind the back panel (Escutcheon inside).

KABA and Miwa’s some models uses this design. You should firstly open the back cover before you can see the battery.

Appearance-✪✪✪✪✪ Good look
Easy-✪✪✪✪ although there are 2 screws to release and a cover to be removed before see the battery, but it does not effect to the whole lock installation.It is easy to recover it.
Security-✪✪ philips head screws, it is not complicated to open illegally


Inside room Type-III.Battery holder fixed together with the panel.

This is an very old design in about year 2005. The battery holder is invisable but also hard to take out and recover.
Appearance-✪✪✪✪✪ perfect look,battery tray could not be awared at all from outside
Easy-✪ it’s very complicated take the battery holder out and recover it.

Inside room Type-IV.Battery(holder) contained in a lid .

A clumsy reproduction of the vingcard classic design. And it is same ugly look, and the worse matter is- the battery could not be hold firmly in this design!
When the door been closed hardly the whole lid may drop off.
Appearance-✪ ugly view
Easy-✪✪✪ it’s easy to take away the battery lid but you have to take out battery inside from it.
Security-✪✪ need a proper size philips screw driver to open it

Inside room Type-V. Battery tray integrated with lock panel

A very lazy design that expose the battery and cover directly to guys who stay inside hotel room. For home use lock(e.g. finger lock, digital lock) there is no problem but for hotel this is a very un-professional design. The designer don’t understand the differences between hotel room and home room.
And this cover is usually made by a very thin plastic in a different color with the lock’s.
When it is take away it may accidentally fall on the ground and be broken or crushed.
Only very new born brand will do like this.
Appearance-✪ an obvious cover on the rear of the lock, with notch around it
Easy-✪✪✪✪✪ the only saving grace is easy get battery out.
Security-✪ it can be opened even without need a screwdriver.

Inside room Type-VI.Pop-up battery tray

This is a very user-focus design. It has good both security,operability and pretty look.The only flaw is high cost in producing.
KAHN Hotel Lock Pro’s unique design in 2017.
Appearance-✪✪✪✪✪ invisable battery tray.
Easy-✪✪✪✪✪ just 1 screw release before get the battery
Security-✪✪✪✪✪ use a trox screw on the top which is much more safe than common philips head


Battery life

Normally 8-10 months is an acceptable life time for a group brand new batteries.The longger the better but normally could not over 24months on key card locks.

What decide battery using life?

Many factors effect the using life.

  • Frequency of door locks opened per day.
    Battery’s power 80% was consumed in door opening,the buzzer, the motor and the MCU running needs power. The more openings the fast power run out.

  • Temperature
    The lock should be used under a normal temperature(10-35 degree), the extreme temperature will effect the battery performance.

  • Locks design
    Some brand likes KABA uses low power design it requires onlly 3pcs AA batteries.

  • New functions
    Be carefull the new functions on key card locks, especially the bluetooth and network functions (no matter wifi,2.4G or zigbee). They can run out a group batteries in 6 months.They are not really saving power as it shown on datasheet.
    Most of these techniques look fresh but are little practical use in a hotel.



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