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. 510-3255
Mfr. Part No.RLK29-55/25/116-SET
£100.11
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 12 m Relay 6-Terminal Screw - 230V - 230V - LED IP67 2 A -
RS Stock No. 450-2954
Mfr. Part No.OBT200-18GM60-E5-V1
£80.72
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 891-9514
Mfr. Part No.RLK31-8-2500-IR/31/115
£60.12
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 0 → 2.5 m Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m - 240V - 240V - Infrared IP67 40 mA -
RS Stock No. 510-3249
Mfr. Part No.RLK29-55/59/116-SET
£100.11
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 12 m Relay 6-Terminal Screw - 230V - 230V - LED IP67 2 A -
RS Stock No. 229-103
Mfr. Part No.GLV18-6/73/120
£48.28
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 6.5 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 229-068
Mfr. Part No.GD18/GV18/73/120
£65.37
Each
Units
Barrel Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 20 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 124-0325
Mfr. Part No.OMT100-R100-2EP-IO-V31
£247.08
Each
Units
Block Background Suppression 40 → 100 mm NPN/PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - IO-LINK 30V 4-Pin Connector LED IP67, IP69, IP69K 100 mA IO-Link
RS Stock No. 510-3340
Mfr. Part No.VT18-8-H-120-M/40A/65B/118/128
£147.73
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 20 → 120 mm Push Pull 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA -
RS Stock No. 229-006
Mfr. Part No.GLV18-8-450/73/120
£49.51
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 450 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 450-2948
Mfr. Part No.OBT200-18GM60-E5
£80.72
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 297-5754
Mfr. Part No.RLK39-8-2000/31/40A/116
£213.10
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 2 m Relay 4-Terminal Screw - 240V - 240V - Infrared LED IP67 3 A -
RS Stock No. 229-119
Mfr. Part No.GLV18-55/115/120
£49.62
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 4 m PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 228-992
Mfr. Part No.GLV18-8-200/73/120
£49.51
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 463-8384
Mfr. Part No.RLK39-54/31/40A/116
£209.05
Each
Units
Block Retro-Reflective 7 m Relay 4-Terminal Screw - 240V - 240V - LED IP67 3 A -
RS Stock No. 229-080
Mfr. Part No.GLV18-6/115/120
£48.28
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 6.5 m PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 450-2926
Mfr. Part No.OBT200-18GM60-E4
£80.72
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 463-8390
Mfr. Part No.RLK39-54-Z/31/40A/116
£222.46
Each
Units
Block Retro-Reflective 7 m Relay 4-Terminal Screw - 240V - 240V - LED IP67 3 A -
RS Stock No. 714-1628
Mfr. Part No.ML100-55/95/102
£70.53
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 5 m NPN 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 124-0317
Mfr. Part No.OBE12M-R100-S2EP-IO-V31
£77.21
Each
Units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 0 → 12 m NPN/PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - IO-LINK 30V 4-Pin Connector LED IP67, IP69, IP69K 100 mA IO-Link
RS Stock No. 450-2932
Mfr. Part No.OBT200-18GM60-E4-V1
£80.72
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm NPN 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -