Difference Between Residential and Commercial Gate Openers

Looking to invest in a gate opener system? Researching gate openers can be overwhelming. There are many brands, each with several gate opener series and models, further distinguished by features and capabilities. Larger “gate openers" subcategories include swing, slide, and barrier arm gate openers and door openers. These subcategories are divided into residential, commercial, and sometimes industrial gate openers. Swing gates, slide gates, barrier arm gates, and door openers are appropriately named for the type of gate they can open and close, whether it pivots or, in a way, rolls. Residential, commercial, and industrial refer to the application of the gate opener system, where it will be installed, and how it will be used. However, several other differences exist between residential and commercial gate opener systems. LiftMaster produces reliable and smooth operating swing, slide, and barrier arm gate opener systems; let’s investigate what differentiates a residential and commercial gate opener.

What is the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Gate Openers?

There are several differences between residential and commercial gate opener systems. As mentioned before, the obvious difference is in the application, how and where the opener system is used. But what does that mean exactly? Let’s break it down.

Gate Opener Applications

Residential Gate Opener Application

The official definition of a residential vehicular gate operator, as stated in the UL 325 Safety Standards, is: "A vehicular gate operator or system intended for use in garages or parking areas associated with a residence of one to four single families." Residential gate operators are available as swing or slide gate opener systems. These units are designed to be installed at individual homes or small residential complexes where few residents use the gate throughout the day. These gate openers tend to be less costly and will have lesser capabilities, including the size and weight of the gate and the number of cycle duties it can handle.

Residential Gate Opener

Commercial Gate Opener Application

The definition of commercial vehicle gate opener, as stated in the UL325 Safety Standards, is: "A vehicular gate operator or system intended for use in a commercial location or building such as a multi-family housing unit (five or more single-family units), hotels, garages, retail store, or other buildings accessible by or servicing the general public." Commercial gate openers are available as swing, slide, or barrier arm gates. LiftMaster also has a line of heavy-duty commercial gate openers, sometimes called industrial gate opener systems. Commercial gate openers are designed for larger and heavier gates and can run significantly more daily cycles.

Commercial Gate Opener

Gate Opener Operating Capacity & Capabilities

Residential Gate Opener Capabilities

LiftMaster residential gate openers can operate up to 250 daily cycles, though many are limited to around 100 cycles. Residential gate openers can support and open gates of up to 16 feet and 1000 lbs.

Commercial Gate Opener Capabilities

LiftMaster commercial gate openers can cycle 250 times daily, 300 times daily, or continuously, depending on the model. Commercial gate openers can support and open gates of up to 22 feet and 4500 lbs.

Gate Opener Systems Price & Materials

Residential Gate Opener Price & Materials

The price of LiftMaster residential gate openers is less than that of a commercial gate opener because materials differ. Residential gate openers do not require the heaviest duty of materials to operate. By exchanging solid, expensive, and excessive parts for strong and capable plastic parts, you save money on a product that will have the same effect for its designed purpose.

Commercial Gate Opener Price & Materials

The price of LiftMaster commercial gate openers is slightly higher because the unit requires stronger materials to operate. Durable plastic parts are more than capable of handling the operation of residential gate openers. However, to handle much larger and heavier gates for significantly more cycles, the cost of materials for a commercial gate opener will be reflected in the price.

The long-term investment of a gate opener will also be reflected in its power consumption. A commercial gate opener will consume much more power to operate and move a large, heavy gate. There is no need to purchase a commercial gate opener system in a residential setting.

Gate Opener Safety Requirements

All gate openers, residential, commercial, swing, slide, and barrier arms of all classes must have primary and secondary safety protection methods. The difference between residential and commercial gate opener safety requirements is that commercial gate opener systems must have entrapment zone protection devices if the operator is not controlled by constant pressure or 3-button control stations.

You can find more information about UL 325 Safety Standards here.

If you have any questions regarding the right gate opener system for you, please visit our Resources Hub for more informational and instructional content or reach out to our sales representatives.

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