Light House Storage LLC, located on an almost five-acre property in Kemah, Texas, offers month to month boat and RV storage with 24/7 access. Owner David Stovall purchased the property in October 1993, cleared and fenced half of the land, and opened the facility in December 1994. Since that time, Light House Storage has expanded to approximately 120 spaces on two-thirds of the property.
Light House Storage features a single entrance and exit gate which was originally operated by an Elite gate opener and Sentex access control system. David began with 25 remote gate openers called click cards, which he provided to his earliest customers. As the facility and its customer base expanded, he added more click cards by programming new five-digit click codes using DOS codes on a laptop connected to a Sentex controller.
Over time, however, as the business continued to grow and his laptop upgraded to later versions of Windows, David was no longer able to connect to the board, and instead had to disconnect and transport it 25 miles to the company that installed the gate and access solution to have more cards added. When he had about 75 customers at a time using click cards, Sentex moved to a Windows-based front end for the system, and he had to add a keypad to the Elite gate for new customers.
David shares, “I live 260 miles away from the facility, and typically only need to go there once a quarter. When I could no longer program the click cards myself, however, I had to drive four and a half hours to the facility, disconnect the board and then drive 25 miles to have cards added. Once the board was disconnected, I could leave the facility because of an exit loop installed on the inside of the gate, but then it would remain open until I returned and reconnected the board.”
He continues, “When I had the keypad installed, every time I needed to change the code, I had to drive to the facility to change it. While most of my renters are long-term, occasionally I let someone check out the facility for a day or need to let a vendor in for a short time, and after that I need to change the code for everyone so the temporary visitors can’t return and get in.”
Frustrated with the persistent problems with his access solution, David began looking for a smart phone app with no success. He then attempted to have his own app created, but none of the programmers he approached were able to deliver.
“I can’t express how relieved I am to have found VIZpin, and I wish I would have discovered it sooner. We are having great success with it.”
David continued his search on and off for several months, and eventually discovered VIZpin. He says, “I don’t have an office at the facility, so I don’t have wifi. VIZpin is ideal because it doesn’t require wifi or a network.” Initially, a VIZpin reader was installed on the Light House Storage gate that ran in tandem with David’s legacy system, and all new customers were granted VIZpin access.
David immediately loved that with VIZpin users he had a record of who is in the facility when, and that he no longer had to travel to the facility to change keypad codes or to manage physical click cards. Then, after 25 years of use, the legacy Sentex system died, and David’s appreciation for VIZpin soared.
In the midst of contacting all his customers who were using the legacy system to transition them to VIZpin, David comments, “I can’t imagine if I had to get in touch with customers to tell them they couldn’t access the facility at all until I got a new board installed and new click cards issued. I can’t express how grateful I am to have found VIZpin and wish I would have found it even sooner.”
Time Savings: Granting and Revoking access remotely has eliminated the need to travel to change keycodes or program click cards
Peace of Mind: Having easy access to evidence of who was in the facility and when will provide critical information should something get damaged or stolen
No Network Required: Operating the access control solution without a network or wifi enabled easy installation and management
- Compatibility: Light House is able to run a smartphone-based solution in tandem with their legacy solution as they phase them out