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  Program 4

EEH1HRB - Electrified Hardware: Basic Components, Specification and Coordination Process

DHI CEP Program #10-1116



Part 1 - General Information

Part 2 - Specifying Hardware

Part 3 - Critical Selection Issues


<< Glossary of Terms >>


Part 1 - General Information

It is important to specify electrified hardware for the following six reasons:

  • Security: hospital drug storage rooms
  • Access control: weight room at an apartment complex
  • Audit trail: room entrant registration in case of theft
  • ADA requirements: automatic door openers
  • Remote operation: in case of school lockdown
  • Convenience: quickly open and close exterior doors

Basic Components of Electrified Hardware
There are four basic components to electrical circuits, including the power source, conductor, switch and load.

  1. Power Source
    The power source may come from either the primary line or from a secondary source, such as a transformer or a power supply. A majority of electrified hardware is considered "low voltage." Equipment generally requires 48 volts or less to function, with an average of 24 volts (AC or DC). Certain products, including low energy auto-operators and wall magnets, need 120 volts (AC) to operate.

    Every load has an operating voltage and current rating. The output current (AMPs) must adequately supply power to the system's total load. The output voltage must equal to the load's voltage.

    A filtered and regulated power supply consists of four parts. First, the transformer reduces voltage from line to low (where the starting input is 120 VAC). Next, the rectifier converts AC to DC. Third, the filter (capacitor) stores and cleans the current. Lastly, the regulator (diode) maintains constant output to eliminate spikes in the voltage. The final output totals 24 VCD.

  2. Conductor
    The conductor is a wire that provides the conductive path through which energy flows. It connects the other elements in the process, forming the circuit. In terms of swinging doors, power transfers, electric hinges and pivots act as conductors by running electricity from the frame to mounted electrified parts.

    It is important to consider the line/load drop when dealing with conductors. The distance between power supply and the load, or the object performing work, determines the necessary wire gauge. Electric hinges must have adequate wires to be tied to electrified devices (i.e., 6-wire/ 8-wire).

  3. Switch
    The switch, or control, is used to interrupt the flow of electricity to the circuit. Switches are used to open and close or continue and break circuits. They also control locks and activate monitoring devices. Examples of switches include push buttons, key switches and biometric readers.

    Switches allow two types of contact. Maintained contact, provided by key switches, permits a constant stream of power between the switch and device. Maintained contact is used when activating electrified, dogging powered, exit devices during an office's business hours. Momentary contact, provided by push buttons, temporarily delivers power to the device. Receptionists execute momentary contact when using push buttons to allow visitors' entry.

  4. Load
    The load is the object that performs the work when electricity is applied. Types of loads include electrified locksets, electrified exit devices, electric strikes, magnet locks and electric closers.


Upon submission, results of your evaluation will be displayed with the correct answers shown in red.

  1. What is a reason not to specify electrified hardware?
    Access control .

  2. Which one of the following is part of the four basic components of electrical circuits?

  3. Electrified hardware equipment generally requires _______ volts?

  4. Switches allow for two types of contact. Which of the following is not included?