Frequently Asked Questions

Comparison to Other Locks and Badge Systems

Who would want to use this lock and badge system?

Any residence or small company that wants to add electronic badge access to regular doors. The stickLabs lock is easy to install on any regular door and adding, removing and managing badge (sticker) access is easier than any other system.

How convenient is it? (Very: 0.258 seconds from wakeup to unlock)

Very convenient: It takes 0.258 seconds from wakeup to when the motor starts running to unlock. This time includes reading the NFC tag and authentication. The door can be opened very shortly after the motor starts running. The unlock motor runs for 0.5 seconds (extra long just to be safe). Even if you wait until the motor is done running, total time is 0.758 seconds.

Why are you emphasizing this unlock time?

Because most other battery-powered electronic locks are slow and inconvenient! Who wants to waste time fumbling with a phone app or bluetooth or a keycode?! The stickLabs lock is meant to be super fast and super convenient.

Most people who are used to the classic 125kHz prox cards are very disappointed with the user experience of battery-powered NFC locks. This is because prox card systems are wall-powered and have long range giving unmatched responsiveness.

At stickLabs, we have worked hard to provide a prox-like experience in a battery-powered lock.

Is it a smart lock? Can you manage access from your phone? (No)

No. The stickLabs lock is about as smart as you can get while still being a dumb lock. There is no Bluetooth or WiFi and all management uses physical sticks at the lock. From a security point-of-view, it is important to many individuals and companies to have a lock that is not connected to the internet.

Future apps and Internet of Things (IoT):

We currently have plans to use NFC tags to read access logs and manage access lists using an Android and iOS app, but this feature is not ready.

We built the electronics with the ability to use addon Bluetooth, WiFi and IoT circuit boards. We don't have any official addon boards ready to sell, but if you would like to do your own IoT circuit board integration, please contact us as we support open APIs and open-source software and hardware.

Security: How secure is it? (2 levels of security)

If older 125kHz prox technology is considered low security, we offer medium and high security solutions out of the box:

  • Medium security: Any off the shelf NFC-A or NFC-V tag.
  • High security: We have partnered with STMicroelectronics to cryptographically verify the TruST25 (PDF) digital signature on ST25T tags. Each TruST25 tag contains a digital signature verifying its unique identifier (plus a random number), hard-programmed into the silicon at the STMicro factory.

Why does it re-lock after 5 seconds? What if I want it to stay open longer?

This way you never have to worry "Did I remember to lock that door?". Even when using the 1, 8, or even 18 hour open sticks, you can rest assured that so long as the door is shut, it will eventually be locked.

What type of key does it use? Can I have my locksmith add it to my master key system?

Each lock comes with 2 physical keys that are unique to that lock. They are dual-track CNC machined keys for a wafer-style lock cylinder. The lock cylinders are not master key compatible and most american locksmiths cannot copy this type of key.

If you are a business at a commercial property, please be aware that some fire codes require a master key system. While this is a digital master key system, it does not meet the requirements of a physical master key system.

We are working on offering locks "keyed alike", but this is not currently an option.


Why is my lock blinking blue? (Need to assign master)

It is in a factory reset state and needs to have a master assigned.

Simply hold up the master stick to the lock. It will flash blue and then stop blinking.

Whats with "Touch to Wake"? Do I always have to touch it?

The short answer is if the lock isn't waking up (dim RED light) with the sticker, then "Touch to Wake" to wake up the lock.

Any sticker 1 inch or bigger can be placed on the lock and should be big enough to wake up the lock and unlock the door.

Smaller stickers (like those shown on the corner of a mobile phone) are too small to wake up the lock, so you must "Touch to Wake" first.

What if the batteries die? How do I get in the door?

Each lock comes with 2 physical keys. There is also a Micro USB port on the bottom of the exterior where you can plug in and power the lock.

What is the master stick? Does it let you in the door?

Every lock needs to have a master stick assigned. The master stick allows you to use the add and remove sticks to add and remove sticker access.

The master stick itself will not unlock the door. If you want access to all doors, simply add your sticker to all doors (Master -> Add -> Sticker).

How many access stickers can each lock hold? (324 stickers)

Each lock can hold 324 access stickers.

What happens if an access sticker gets lost or stolen? (Use Admin sticker)

You can remove access using the Admin sticker. Each sticker in the "stickerbook" comes with its own Admin sticker.

How long is battery life? (4 years at 48 unlocks/day)

Incredible battery life:

  • 9 years at 4 unlocks/day
  • 4 years at 48 unlocks/day

What if I lose the master stick? Can I factory reset without the master stick? (Yes)

If you are afraid of losing the master stick, note that you can purchase multiple master sticks and have multiple masters assigned to each lock.

If you lose the master stick, you will need to access the interior of the door using either a sticker that has access to that door or the physical key.

Remove a battery, wait 5 seconds, and re-insert the battery to reset the lock. Use the factory reset sticker within 10 seconds.

The factory reset sticker will cause the LED to blink RED/GREEN/BLUE in succession for several seconds.

In the factory reset state, the lock will blink BLUE continuously until a master stick is assigned. Simply hold up a master stick to the lock to assign the master.

Compatibility with NFC tag types (NFC-A and NFC-V)
  • Compatible with almost all off-the-shelf NFC-A (ISO 14443-A) and NFC-V (ISO 15693) tags. This includes NXP NTAG215, NTAG213, iCode SLIX, and MIFARE.
  • NOTE: MIFARE Classic cards are not supported. This is because they have a UID length of 6 bytes. Our security standards require a UID length of 7 bytes or longer.
  • Our preferred high security solution is the ST25TV tag with TruST25 digital signature.

Can it fit both a left hand and right hand door? (Yes)

Yes, each lock can be easily changed to be left-handed or right-handed.

Can I add multiple master sticks? (Yes)

Yes, add another master stick just like adding access to a sticker (Master -> Add -> New Master Stick).

What if it is unlocked for 8 hours and somebody uses an access sticker? Will it lock again in 5 seconds? (No)

No, the "8 Hr Unlock" will take precidence. The lock will stay open until the remainder of the 8 hours.

If it is unlocked for 8 hours and somebody then presents a "1 Hr Unlock" stick, the new "1 Hr Unlock" takes precidence and it will lock in 1 hour.

What type of batteries does it use? (4 AA batteries)

It requires 4 AA batteries.

What if I don't want to use a bunch of batteries? Can I use wall power and just use batteries for backup in case of a power outtage? (Yes)

The lock can be wall-powered with either Micro USB on the exterior or a "battery eliminator" on the interior.

If you would like to use wall power primarily and use batteries for a backup (in case of a power outtage), you can use Micro USB to power the lock on the exterior and use 3 AA batteries and 1 fake (short) AA battery in the battery compartment on the interior. If you have questions about this, please contact us.

We can also provide the opposite wall power/battery backup solution where wall power is on the interior and battery backup is on the exterior, but this needs to be prepared before we ship the lock. Please contact us for more details.

Advanced Usage

What happens if I'm using multiple master sticks and I lose one set?

Most small and medium sized customers should not have to worry about using multiple master sticks. If the master stick gets lost, order another set of sticks, factory reset the locks and re-add sticker access.

For those customers insisting on multiple masters, here is the scheme we suggest:

We suggest that you have one set of Master, Add, Remove sticks that is the first master stick assigned to each lock from the factory. This would be the "grandmaster", so to speak. Keep this set off-site. Use that "grandmaster" set to add more master sticks.

Each extra set of Master, Add, Remove sticks comes with a Admin sticker for the master stick and an Admin sticker for the remove stick (more on that later). Also keep these Admin stickers off-site. If a manager or administrator loses a master stick, you can use the "grandmaster" and the off-site Admin stickers to remove the lost master stick from the lock.

To be clear, the Admin sticker for the master stick can only be used to remove that master stick from the lock. If you want to add a master stick to a lock, you must use the actual master stick and not its Admin sticker.

So what's with the Admin sticker for the remove stick?

A curious user may notice that you can go to a lock and present: Master -> Add -> Remove. This adds the remove stick to the lock as a regular access sticker. You can then unlock the door with the remove stick. For the sake of completeness, we provide a Admin sticker for the remove stick so that you can remove its access in this situation.

Is it Open Source? Can I integrate it into my access control system?

The sticker lock "standard" is Open Source! Click here for our Github! All data on the NFC tags and the API for reading/writing/interfacing with sticker locks is Open Source. This means existing access control systems can easily interface and integrate sticker locks into their ecosystem.