UniFi Access (UA) is a POE-powered door access control system that supports your electric bolts and strikes, magnetic locks, motion sensors, push buttons, alarms, and other 12V access accessories. With your Unifi Access controller, you can also conveniently manage users, visitors, schedules, and access policies.
This article will introduce your primary UniFi Access system elements, as well as detail the processes for wiring them, setting up your UniFi Access controller, and adding devices to your UniFi Access deployment. In this article, you'll find the following sections:
- UniFi Access overview
- Setup requirements
- Wiring the UniFi Access devices
- Setting up the UniFi Access controller and adding devices
- Frequently asked questions
UniFi Access overview
The UniFi Access system consists of four elements:
- UA Controller: The control center for your Access system, hosted on the UniFi Dream Machine Pro (UDM-Pro). Your UA controller is easily upgradable and offers a host of features that simplify access policymaking as well as personnel, space, and device management.
- UA-Hub: A secure I/O hub that authenticates inputs registered by your Access readers (UA-Pro & UA-Lite), push buttons, and sensors. Your UA Hub can also control door locks, alarms, and motorized door openers.
- UA-Pro and UA-Lite: The Access system's card or motion reading devices that unlock doors with a swipe of an NFC card or NFC-enabled mobile phone. Please refer to the Current and Future Access Modes section below for more information on current and future access methods.
- UA-Card: A NFC card that is specific to your Access system and encrypted with a special algorithm that cannot be replicated, unlike other NFC cards. Your Access system will support any NFC card, so you can retain your current access cards.
Currently, your Access system supports two access modes:
- NFC Mode: Physical cards, NFC-enabled mobile phones, and analog cards for electronic bracelets are supported. Doors are unlocked after a card swipe and a successful identity verification.
- Hand Wave Mode: Doors are unlocked after waving your hand near the UA Lite reader. Since this mode does not require identity verification, it is recommended for installations within your premises.
- (currently UA-Pro only) PIN code: Doors can be unlocked by PIN codes assigned to specific users. For more information, see UniFi Access - Assign, use, and manage PIN codes.
In the future, your UA system will be able to unlock doors via intercom and mobile app.
Since the UniFi Access setup process includes registering the Admin NFC card, it can only be performed by someone that holds the Owner, Super Admin or Limited Admin roles in the UniFi OS hosted in the UDM-Pro.
Connection and role requirements
Before setting up your Unifi Access system, please ensure that:
- The UA-Hub and UDM-Pro are connected to the same local network.
- The UA-Pro and UA-Lite are plugged into the UA-Hub.
- You hold an Owner, Super Admin, or Limited Admin role in the UniFi OS of your UDM-Pro
- UA-Hub, UA-Pro, and UA-Lite
- Network cables which support PoE (network cable of Cat5E quality or higher)
- 18-22AWG cable. Two tested cable recommendations are:
Note that the UA setup process requires the registration of an Admin NFC card, which can only be performed by users with one of these roles.
Wiring the UniFi Access devices
When wiring the UniFi Access devices, keep in mind that the UA-Hub supports 12V at 1A.
For any installation with a 24V lock, use an external power supply and follow the Quick Start Guide instructions for connecting devices to an external power supply.
The image below displays a typical UniFi Access setup with two UA-Hubs managing two doors.
For a detailed UniFi Access installation guide, watch the Hub & Reader Installation video or follow the steps below:
1. Connect the UA-Hub to your local network with an Ethernet cable via the “PoE In” port
Please follow the instructions on the UA-Hub Wiring section of the Quick Start Guide.
2. Configure the switch port for UA-Hub
Ensure the switch port for the UA-Hub is configured for the same network segment or VLAN as the UniFi OS Access controller and that it supports POE+, POE++.
3. Connect the UA-Pro, UA-Lite, and/or a UniFi camera to the UA-Hub port with the matching icon
We recommend connecting these devices to the UA-Hub before launching the setup wizard on the UniFi Access Controller.
If you connect them after the setup wizard is launched, you will need to manually map the UA-Pro/UA-Lite to their respective UA-Hubs.
4. Reference the Quick Start Guide to connect third-party devices
Check the instructions on the Quick Start Guide to connect third-party motion sensors, magnetic locks and push buttons as needed.
Not all the connections mentioned are necessary. Only follow the instructions for the connection type needed in your specific deployment.
Setting up the UniFi Access controller and adding devices
For detailed Unifi Access Controller setup instructions, see UniFi Access - Set up the UniFi Access Controller.
If you're starting with a new UDM-Pro, follow the device's Quick Start Guide or see UniFi - UDM: How to Set Up a Dream Machine for more information about setting it up.
Frequently asked questions
Does UniFi Access support IPv6?
Your UA system supports IPv4 at the moment, but will support IPv6 in the near future.
Can I use a single UA-Hub to manage multiple doors?
A single UA-Hub can only manage a single door. For multiple doors, multiple UA-Hub devices are required.
What is a relay?
Relays are your UA-Hub's input and outputs, including:
- Input Relay Types: REL, REX, REN, and DPS
- Output Relay Types: Lock and AUX relays
Can I use dry relay instead of powered relay?
The UA-Hub's power relay supports 12V. However, you can also use dry relay as well if you want to use external power supply to their lock.
Do I need to purchase specific maglocks to use UniFi Access?
The UA-Hub should work with most maglocks on the market. However, your chosen maglock must support 12V and its maximum current shouldn't exceed 1A. In this case, the power lock relay will be used, and you will not need an external power supply.
If your maglock is 24V, you can still use the lock dry relay on the UA-Hub with an external power supply. If you don't want to power your maglock with an external adapter, though, you can use the UA-Hub's power lock relay.
Can I connect the UA-Pro and UA-Lite directly to a PoE switch instead of the UA-Hub?
The communication between the access readers and the hub is proprietary communication and we have special security in place. So for security reasons, we do not allow the UA-Pro or UA-Lite to work if they are connected directly to an UniFi Switch.
Does UniFi Access have emergency-specific functionality for events like fires, lockdowns, and evacuations?
The fire panel can bypass the UA-Hub by being wired directly to your electric or magnetic locks, allowing it to lock and unlock doors. The UA-Hub and UniFi Access Controller do not have to be functional to do this.
Alternatively, the fire panel can also connect to the UA-Hub's REL input. Once connected, the door(s) will unlock. It requires UA-Hub to be powered and functional
Once your Access Controller is set up and all related devices are connected, you can configure emergency lockdown and evacuation settings in the controller interface. For more information, see UniFi Access - Emergency lockdowns and evacuations.
For all other inquiries related to situational emergency protocol, please consult your local authorities regarding regulations and compliance standards.
Do I need a hard drive (HDD) installed on my UDM-Pro in order to save clips recorded by the UA-Pro?
An HDD is required to store video clips if you are using UniFi Access Controller Version 1.3.23+1903 or later. For more details about this controller release, see our Community post.
How can I factory-reset my UA-Hub?
With a pin, press and hold the Reset button, located on the device's front panel, for several seconds until the status light begins to flash. The UA-Hub will revert to factory settings, but will still be managed by your UniFi Access Controller.
To remove the UA-Hub from your Access Controller's managed device roster, open the UA-Hub's detail panel and click Forget. This will reset the UA-Hub and its connected devices, as well as remove said devices from the Access Controller's managed device roster.
What are the UA-Hub's power requirements, and will these change depending on the number of connected devices and relays?
We strongly recommend using a PoE++ (802.3bt) power source for the UA-Hub.
The power consumption of the UA-Hub will range between 3-6W, while the consumption of the UA-Pro or UA-Lite will range between 2-6W. Users should also check the power consumption of their third-party relays (e.g., electric locks, motion sensors), which can reach up to 12W.
Using a PoE++ power source with a maximum output of 60W will allow the UA-Hub to operate comfortably under the limit. Users can also use a PoE+ power source with a max output of 30W, but they could face overconsumption issues when connecting multiple energy-intensive devices.
Will UniFi Access remain operational during a power outage?
Yes, the UA-Hub can operate offline without the UniFi Access Controller. The UA-Hub's power is supplied by either an UniFi Switch PoE++ or a Ubiquiti PoE Adapter. As an added power contingency, an UniFi Switch can also be backed up by a Universal Power Supply (UPS).
Alternatively, you can physically wire locks to be fail-safe or fail-secure, and set doors to be locked or unlocked during a power outage.
Does UniFi Access support key fobs?
Additionally to NFC cards, the UniFi Access supports third-party key fobs as long as it supports standard 13.56Mhz NFC.