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.

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 Optical Technology Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current
RS Stock No. 301-606
Mfr. Part No.OPB706B
BrandOptek
€1.80
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 1.3 mm NPN - - - - - - Wire Lead Infrared - -
RS Stock No. 194-4018
Mfr. Part No.OPB608A
BrandOptek
€1.35
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 1.3 → 9.5 mm NPN - - - - - - Wire Lead Infrared - -
RS Stock No. 307-913
Mfr. Part No.OPB704
BrandOptek
€2.34
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN - - - - - - Wire Lead Infrared - -
RS Stock No. 908-7126
Mfr. Part No.OPB771TZ
BrandOptek
€7.63
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 2 → 5.6 mm TTL Wire - - - 1.8V - Wire Lead LED - 40 mA
RS Stock No. 627-6556
Mfr. Part No.OPB704W-Z
BrandOptek
€3.44
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 0.61m - - - - - - Infrared - -
RS Stock No. 908-7021
Mfr. Part No.OP506A
BrandOptek
€0.687
Each (In a Pack of 50)
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 170-0724
Mfr. Part No.OPB704W-Z
BrandOptek
€3.314
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 0.61m - - - - - - Infrared - -
RS Stock No. 908-7090
Mfr. Part No.OPB701ALZ
BrandOptek
€11.57
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 908-7110
Mfr. Part No.OPB745
BrandOptek
€3.06
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 908-7116
Mfr. Part No.OPB733TR
BrandOptek
€3.09
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 908-7087
Mfr. Part No.OPB700ALZ
BrandOptek
€10.30
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 908-7163
Mfr. Part No.OPB829DZ
BrandOptek
€3.88
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Fork) 3.2 → 8 mm Phototransistor Wire - - - 1.7V - Wire Lead LED - 50 mA
RS Stock No. 908-7129
Mfr. Part No.OPB750T
BrandOptek
€4.11
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 170-0725
Mfr. Part No.OPB715-Z
BrandOptek
€5.648
Each (In a Bag of 25)
units
Block Retroreflective 12.7 mm - - - - - 5.25V - Wire Lead LED - -
RS Stock No. 627-8388
Mfr. Part No.OPB715-Z
BrandOptek
€5.82
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 12.7 mm - - - - - 5.25V - Wire Lead LED - -