Deeply Discounted Access Control (Vanderbilt)

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 22, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Lower cost cameras are increasingly the norm, but access control systems have not seen as much price drop.

Now, a new line aims to deliver deep discounts off traditional access control pricing.

Two years ago, IR sold off BrightBlue. Now, the company behind it is introducing a new line, Lite Blue.

In this note, we examine Vanderbilt Industries Lite Blue platform [link no longer available], its features, limitations and pricing, comparing it to Interlogix and Honeywell offerings.

System Overview

Vanderbillt Lite Blue is an offshoot of the company's Bright Blue offering. While functionality and architecture is essentially the same between the platforms, the number of supported doors is limited to eight, and pricing will be deeply discounted.

Key details include:

  • Eight Doors Max: Lite Blue is hard-capped at no more than (8) single door controllers. This essentially limits the platform to a single site, small commercial end user.
  • Browser Management Client: Like Bright Blue, the main panel is connected to ethernet and a webserver hosts the main interface. No additional software is needed to manage system hardware or cardholders:

  • Limited Integrations: Lite Blue's video integration potential is limited to Vanderbilt's line of 4/8 Channel DVR [link no longer available]s and has no ability to integrate with outside fire, intrusion, or report based systems like Time & Attendance.
  • 'Mercury Authentic': Lite Blue's hardware is part of the Mercury Security portfolio, whose standard firmware potentially can be used by other management platforms without requiring 'forklift' replacement of controller/ reader interface hardware.
  • License Only Upgrade: Should a Lite Blue system grow beyond the 8 door maximum, the existing system can be upgraded to the 32 door maximum Bright Blue system through purchasing an additional license.

Comparative Price

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The strongest attribute of Lite Blue is low cost. While 'official MSRP' will be announced at ASIS, Vanderbilt tells us "Lite Blue MSRP will be less than 50% of Bright Blue's MSRP."

Pricing for the main panel (MBB) will have an expected MSRP of less than $1135 and the door controllers (RI) will list less than $175 each. For a full eight-door system, Lite Blue will MSRP for less than $2600.

Minor Distribution

Before Vanderbilt acquired Ingersoll-Rand's spun-off Bright Blue and SMS access platforms, distribution was through national security distributors like ADI and Anixter.

However, Vanderbilt's current US distribution is primarily through smaller regional distributors and installing dealers rather than large multi-national distributors. While no special training or certifications are needed to purchase Lite Blue, limited regional availability may prevent adoption.

Competitive Comparison

Lite Blue will likely be significantly less than notable mainstream competitor's small scale offerings, such as:

  • Interlogix TruPortal (Lenel goEntry): While also panel based, TruPortal supports a much larger total of doors (up to 64) and more versatile integrations, including wireless locks from Assa and Schlage. Surveillance integrations are limited to Interlogix cameras. The system is scalable in two or six door modules, with an eight door configuration MSRP costing ~$5200.
  • Honeywell's NetAXS-123: A popular option in the small access system category is NetAXS, and while expandable up to 124 doors [link no longer available], its minimal integration options are most appealing for systems with less than 16 doors. Supported credential formats are basic, video integration is limited to 3 camera NetAXS expansion modules [link no longer available]. Typical eight-door systems will MSRP around ~$3500.

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