Door Access Control Wiring Diagram: Definitive Guide & Sample

When securing a facility, the devil is in the details, especially within the veins of your access control system—its wiring. Properly wired systems are the lifeline of secure, reliable access control. It ensures doors open for the right people and stays close to all others.

This introduction to door access control wiring diagram underscores the necessity of precision and understanding the cabling that keeps your security failproof.

Door Access Control System Wiring Diagram Explained

Access Control Access Door Lock

At the heart of any secure access control system is a meticulously designed wiring diagram. This blueprint details every connection, from power sources, including external power supply, to door hardware, ensuring seamless integration and operation.

Recognizing each component’s role and how they interconnect is crucial—down to the last wire. The wiring diagram shows how many doors are there in the setup.

It also details the configuration of magnetic locks, card readers, biometric readers, the network switch, the power supply, the exit button, and other main components.

It’s the map that guides installers and technicians to safeguard the efficacy of your security protocols.

How is an Access Control System Wired?

Wiring an access control system [1] is a systematic process that requires attention to electrical paths, signal integrity, and secure connections.

It begins with the control panel, branches out to each access point, and interlinks devices like card readers, electric locks, and exit buttons.

Each wire serves a purpose, and each connection is pivotal. Mastery of this wiry labyrinth is essential for a system that reacts with precision at the swipe of a card.

Standard Door Access Control Wiring Setup

Door Access Control Wiring Setup

Types of Access Control Cables

The success of an access control system lies not only in the electronic components but also in the choice of cabling. Different cables serve various purposes, from power supply to data transfer, and understanding each type is key to a reliable setup.

Basic Low Voltage Power Cable for Access Control

Smart Door Lock Wirings

It is the workhorse cable of access control systems, providing power to devices like electronic locks and readers.

It typically includes 18 to 22 AWG wires and is chosen for its balance of flexibility and power handling, ensuring that devices operate smoothly without interruption.

Low Voltage Access Control Cabling

Characterized by its durability and signal consistency, low-voltage cabling is crucial for transmitting commands and statuses between system components.

Installers must route these cables away from high-voltage lines to prevent interference, ensuring that access control devices communicate effectively.

Access Control Composite Cable

Composite cables bundle multiple wire types into one sheath, allowing for the transmission of power, data, and sometimes even audio/video signals.

They simplify installation by reducing the number of separate cables needed and are ideal for complex systems that require multiple functions from each access point.

Network Cable – CAT6 for IP and POE Devices

CAT6 cables are the veins of IP-based access control systems, carrying data and power over Ethernet (PoE) to devices.

They are preferred for their high-speed data transfer rates and PoE capability, simplifying wiring by combining power and data in one cable. Proper installation is key to prevent packet loss and ensure system integrity.

Comparative Analysis of Different Low Voltage Cables


Understanding the subtleties between various low-voltage cables can dictate the efficiency and functionality of an access control system.

1. 18/2: This standard cable, comprising two 18 gauge wires, is typically used for powering basic access control hardware. It’s robust for most door controllers and locking mechanisms, balancing energy efficiency with ample current capacity.

2. 18/6: Featuring six 18 gauge wires, this cable supports more complex systems that require multiple power paths or signal transmissions. Its versatility makes it a go-to for multi-faceted installations, and it’s commonly paired with advanced door hardware that necessitates additional connections for status sensors or request-to-exit signals.

3. 22/4: With four 22 gauge wires, it is slightly thinner and more pliable, making it suitable for systems where cable flexibility is necessary, like in tighter conduits or intricate entry points. It’s often used for reader-to-panel connections where less power is required.

4. 24/2: This cable contains two 24 gauge wires and is often reserved for low-power applications or signal transfer in compact devices. Its small diameter is advantageous for installations with limited space and for devices that need minimal power, such as some types of sensors or smaller keypads.


How many wires does a card reader need?

Typically, a card reader requires a minimum of six wires: two for power, two for data transmission, and two for connecting to the door controller. Some readers may require additional wires for LED indicators or other functionalities.

How do you connect a door access control system?

Connecting a door access system involves wiring the card reader and other peripherals to the control panel, which then connects to the power supply and computer system for programming and monitoring. It’s essential to follow a detailed wiring diagram specific to the system being installed.

What kind of wire do you use for a mag lock?

An electric strike or magnetic lock typically uses an 18/2 wire, which provides sufficient power to ensure reliable operation.

The gauge can handle the current required by most mag locks, but always check the specifications of the specific lock to confirm.

How does a door access system work?

A door access control system validates entered credentials—such as key cards, fobs, codes, or biometrics—against a database.

Upon a match, the system triggers a release mechanism, often an electric strike or magnetic lock, to open the door. The system logs each entry attempt, providing a secure and traceable way to manage access to a facility.


Mastering access control wiring diagrams is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness and reliability of your security system [2].

Proper wiring not only powers the system but also facilitates seamless communication between its components, safeguarding your premises. For those looking to delve deeper or in need of expert guidance, additional resources are invaluable.

Ready to secure your space with precision? Reach out to Safe & Sound Security.

Our seasoned professionals are here to provide tailored assistance or a free quote, ensuring your peace of mind with every lock and key. Contact us today to enhance your property’s safety and control.



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