We live in a world of convenience where access to anything is just a tap away. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for building access. At ButterflyMX, we’re changing that. Our goal is to provide secure, convenient, and affordable property access — all from a smartphone.

And convenient access shouldn’t stop at your front door, which is why we’ve expanded it throughout the whole building, including access to elevators


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How do elevator controls work?

Elevator controls are used in buildings with an elevator that’s locked until a resident or authorized personnel authenticates their access permissions with a keyfob or other type of ID.

The ButterflyMX elevator control system (ECS) is a connected system of relays that seamlessly integrates with the ButterflyMX video intercom or access control system, eliminating the need for an additional authentication step at the elevator.


There are two main ways that buildings typically want to manage their elevators:

  • Universal lockout scheme: The elevator needs to be unlocked to be used but users have access to every floor.
  • Floor-by-floor lockout scheme: Restricts users to be able to access only a single floor


The elevator control system also allows for selective control of different elevators within a building, also known as zoned elevator controls


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ButterflyMX products that work with elevator controls

There are two ButterflyMX products that enhance elevator controls, including: 

  1. Video intercoms
  2. Access control system readers


1. Video intercoms

The video intercom, situated at the building’s front entrance, uses various methods to allow both residents and their guests into the building. This includes swipe-to-open from the mobile app, virtual keys, PIN codes, and more.

When paired with the elevator controls, the video intercom that grants building access simultaneously unlocks the elevator for the floor where the resident lives. Now, guests can simply get into the elevator and go up to the resident’s floor without needing the resident to leave their apartment to unlock the elevator for them.


2. Access control system readers

Alternatively, the elevator control system can also be paired with the access control system readers. By adding a reader in the elevator cab and enabling key fobs, PINs, or the swipe-to-open feature in the ButterflyMX mobile app, only authorized individuals with building access can unlock the elevator and reach the appropriate floor. Additionally, residents never have to worry about having to personally unlock the elevator for their guests and visitors.


Access elevator with keypad door entry system


How to set up the elevator control system

Since each building is unique and requires tailored solutions to meet its specific requirements, we developed two elevator hardware options designed to cater to each building’s elevator needs:

  • Small elevator control system. The small elevator control system contains 8 relays and can support up to 8 floors.
  • Large elevator control system. The larger elevator control system, or rack-mountable system, contains 8 boards and can control up to 64 floors


The elevator controls hardware is designed to stack in a server rack, where each server rack can support up to 8 printed circuit boards (PCBs) that contain 8 relays each, with a limitation depending on the power source.

When using Power over Ethernet (PoE) for power, one of the rack spaces needs to be reserved for an additional power supply in order to power boards 6 and 7 (1-5 can be powered through PoE). Therefore, the maximum number of boards that can be supported per rack is 7, for a total of 56 floors per rack.

Note: We can support multiple server racks depending on the configuration and desired setup of the building.

The remainder of the setup varies based on which ButterflyMX product you’re connecting the elevator controls hardware to: 


How to set up the ECS with a video intercom

If you’ve already installed the video intercom, setting it up with the ECS is simple. The ButterflyMX elevator control system and video intercom utilize cloud-based technology, enabling a seamless connection without requiring a physical link.

To establish the connection, the device must simply be connected to the same network as the building’s ButterflyMX video intercom. Specifically, the ECS device and the video intercom must share the same subnet.

Once you’ve completed the physical installation, you’ll need to contact our support team who handles the back-end setup.


How to set up the ECS with an access control system

To integrate the elevator control system seamlessly with the access control system, you’ll need the assistance of an elevator controller expert. By partnering with a licensed elevator expert, you can guarantee a seamless and effective installation directly to the elevator controller, enabling full utilization of the elevator control system features.

Once the installation is completed, you’ll need to contact our support team who handles the back-end setup.


Managing the elevator control system

Once installed, the elevator control system is managed through our online dashboard: the ButterflyMX OS, which is only accessible to building admins. Through the online dashboard, property managers can view activity logs and manage access permissions from anywhere.


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Meredith Murray

My passion lies at the intersection of real estate & technology. Brooklynite always.