Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors detect and measure physical objects or quantities by emitting a field or beam of electromagnetic radiation, an object is detected by measuring alterations in the return signal. There are 3 main types of photoelectric sensors which provide reliable detection, these are through-beam, retro-reflective and diffuse. The basic function of each is to detect the presence or absence of objects or measure the distance to the object.RS Components offer an extensive selection of photoelectric sensors for use various industrial applications. Our high-quality products are supplied from leading brands including Omron, Sick, Pepperl + Fuchs Telemecanique Sensors Baumer, Banner and of course RS PRO. You can learn more in our complete guide to photoelectric sensors.

Through-beam Sensors

Through-beam sensors (aka thru-beam) rely on two separate housings, one for the transmitter and one for the receiver, with the transmitter providing a continuous beam of light to the receiver. Each time an object passes through the beam this interrupts the signal between the transmitter and receiver, which in turn causes the receiver to send an electrical signal to the output. Through-beam sensors are suited to long-distance sensing and can detect almost any object, irrespective of colour or angular motion.

Retro-reflective Sensors

Retro-reflective photoelectric sensors (retroreflective) have both the transmitter and receiver contained within the same housing but require a reflector opposite to the sensor. The reflector bounces the light beam back to the transmitter until an object breaks the beam. Objects which are highly reflective such as aluminium require sensors with polarising filters. The filter allows the sensor to acknowledge that the reflected light from reflecting materials is different from the reflector.

Diffuse Sensors

Diffuse sensors (proximity sensor) are easier to install as only one device must be mounted. This is because the transmitter and receiver are contained within one housing. Diffuse sensors use the reflection from the target object within a predetermined sensing range. The transmitter sends out a continuous beam of light, once this hits the target it is diffused in all directions, a part of this light is reflected and recognised by the receiver, the receiver then sends an electrical signal to the output.A special type of diffused mode is background suppression which enables the user to precisely control the sensing range.

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Description Price Sensor Style Detection Type Detection Range Output Type Electrical Connection Switching Mode Maximum AC Voltage Communication Protocol Maximum DC Voltage Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface
RS Stock No. 444-3619
Mfr. Part No.XUX0ARCTT16
£159.00
Each
Units
Block Multimode 1.3 m, 2 m, 11 m, 40 m Relay 5-Terminal Screw - 240V - 240V - Infrared IP65, IP67 3 A, 500 mA -
RS Stock No. 729-5117
BrandRS PRO
£61.13
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 50 mm → 7 m PNP 4-Wire Cable 2 m - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 289-2491
Mfr. Part No.WL150-P430
BrandSick
£109.74
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 2.4 m PNP M8 4 Pin Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 374-2044
Mfr. Part No.E3ZR86
BrandOmron
£80.95
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 100 mm → 4 m PNP M8 4 Pin Connector - - - 26.4V - LED IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 444-3451
Mfr. Part No.XUB0BPSNM12
£87.00
Each
Units
Barrel Multimode 120 mm → 15 m PNP M12 4 Pin Connector - - - 24V - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 288-9805
Mfr. Part No.WT150-P460
BrandSick
£136.22
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 2 mm → 100 mm PNP M8 4 Pin Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 358-7926
Mfr. Part No.WL260-R270
BrandSick
£153.25
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 100 mm → 15 m Relay 5-Terminal Screw - 240V - 30V - LED IP67 3 A -
RS Stock No. 122-0713
Mfr. Part No.WL100-2P4439
BrandSick
£72.84
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 10 mm → 7.2 m PNP M8 4 Pin Connector - - - 30V M8 Connector LED IP67 30 mA -
RS Stock No. 739-6673
Mfr. Part No.O1D100
£321.31
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 200 mm → 10 m PNP M12 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP67 200 mA -
RS Stock No. 256-433
Mfr. Part No.E3JMR4M4G
BrandOmron
£115.00
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 4 m Relay 5-Terminal Screw - 250V - 5V - LED IP66 3 A -
RS Stock No. 512-4640
Mfr. Part No.XUK1ARCNL2
£94.00
Each
Units
Compact Retroreflective 7 m Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m - 240V - 240V - Infrared IP65 3 A -
RS Stock No. 729-5113
BrandRS PRO
£61.13
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 50 mm → 7 m PNP M12 4 Pin Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 729-5107
BrandRS PRO
£58.45
Each
Units
Barrel Background Suppression 1 mm → 140 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2 m - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 256-405
BrandRS PRO
£81.56
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm PNP M12 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 444-3530
Mfr. Part No.XUK0AKSAM12
£111.00
Each
Units
Compact Through Beam (Emitter) 280 mm → 30 m NPN/PNP M12 4 Pin Connector - - - 24V - Infrared IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 617-0694
Mfr. Part No.E3Z-LL86
BrandOmron
£128.60
Each
Units
Block Background Suppression 20 mm → 300 mm PNP M8 4 Pin Connector - - - 26.4V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 458-828
Mfr. Part No.WL12-3P2431
BrandSick
£151.36
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 7 m PNP M12 4 Pin Connector - - - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 360-0451
Mfr. Part No.WT24-2R210
BrandSick
£291.37
Each
Units
- - - Relay - - - - - - LED IP69 - -
RS Stock No. 770-7008
Mfr. Part No.WL250-2R1531
BrandSick
£130.55
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 100 mm → 15 m Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m - 240V - 240V - LED IP67 - -
RS Stock No. 420-473
Mfr. Part No.E3SAR86
BrandOmron
£168.50
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 100 mm → 2 m PNP M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -