Automatic door openers use electricity to power a motor inside the unit to open the doors. The auto opener is often referred to as an auto operator or low energy operator (read this previous blog post on the basics of auto operators). Low energy refers to the speed and force of the door opening swing. Auto openers will slowly open the door and if, during the opening swing, the door bumps into anything it can stop and reverse the swing motion. This function may depend on the manufacturer of the device. This option provides a measure of safety to individuals passing through or approaching the door.

Auto operators are most commonly used at exterior entrance doors to provide a secure closing cycle as well as allow easy entry to the public.

Auto openers are triggered by an actuator button which is located near the opening. When pressed, the actuator sends an electrical signal that tells the operator to open the door. Other electric hardware on the opening will need to be tied into the system in order to operator properly.

Actuator Button

Other options available on auto operators is a hold option function. This function is controlled by a button on the body of the operator, often a switch or button on the outside case. It can be a concealed switch if a level of security is desired.

Types of Auto Openers

Some models of auto openers are made with an electric motor that opens and closes the door. This is referred to as an electro-mechanical auto operator.

Electromechanical Opener

Other types of auto openers are built with an electric motor to open the door but utilizes a hydraulic closer body to actually close the door. These are called electro-hydraulic auto operators.

The reasons for the different models is based on the expected usage of the opening. If it is frequently used as an automatic opener then the electro-mechanical operator will provide the optimal function and durability required.

However, if the opening is not frequently used as an auto opener then the electro-hydraulic operator is the better option since it will function mainly as a closer and not as an opener. With the hydraulic closer inside it is better suited for this second application.

Double Egress

Auto openers can be installed on the push side or the pull side of the opening. If installed at an exterior door, the auto opener should be installed on the inside of the building to protect the device from weather and the elements.


Contact Beacon Commercial Door & Lock to find out which auto opener is the best option for your project. We can also assist you in troubleshooting existing operators.