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 Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface
RS Stock No. 124-0329
Mfr. Part No.OBE12M-R101-S2EP-IO-V31
MYR531.98
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. 447-147
Mfr. Part No.GL30-RT/32/40A/98A
MYR1,206.92
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 30 mm PNP 3-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 458-828
Mfr. Part No.WL12-3P2431
BrandSick
MYR745.73
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 780-0024
Mfr. Part No.OBE2000-R2-SE2
MYR915.06
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 0 → 2 m, 0 → 200 mm PNP - - - - 30V Cable LED IP67 50 mA -
RS Stock No. 841-1767
Mfr. Part No.EESX951W1M
BrandOmron
MYR119.72
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Fork) 5 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 1m - - - 24V - Infrared IP50 15 mA -
RS Stock No. 763-7898
Mfr. Part No.VL180-2P42431
BrandSick
MYR334.13
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.05 → 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 812-8153
Mfr. Part No.CX-441
BrandPanasonic
MYR676.42
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 2 → 50 mm NPN 2m Cable - - - 24V - LED IP67 20 mA -
RS Stock No. 752-5234
Mfr. Part No.XUB1ANANM12
MYR266.06
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 4 m NPN 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 24V - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 297-5805
Mfr. Part No.RLK39-8-800/31/40A/116
MYR1,431.33
Each
units
Block Diffuse 800 mm Relay 4-Terminal Screw - 240V - 240V - Infrared LED IP67 3 A -
RS Stock No. 810-2980
Mfr. Part No.NX5-D700A
BrandPanasonic
MYR569.47
Each
units
Block Diffuse 700 mm - Cable - 240V - 240V Cable Infrared IP66 1 A ac, 2 A dc -
RS Stock No. 301-606
Mfr. Part No.OPB706B
BrandOptek
MYR9.46
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 1.27 mm NPN - - - - - Wire Lead Infrared - - -
RS Stock No. 446-0282
Mfr. Part No.OHDK 14P5101/S35A
BrandBaumer
MYR2,328.37
Each
units
Block Diffuse 20 → 350 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 493-7316
Mfr. Part No.WF2-40B410
BrandSick
MYR736.04
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 2 mm NPN/PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 807-4560
Mfr. Part No.EE-SH3
BrandOmron
MYR25.72
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Fork) - Phototransistor - - 1.5V - - PCB Pin - - 50 mA -
RS Stock No. 289-0120
Mfr. Part No.VL18-2T2162
BrandSick
MYR532.66
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.005 → 3.5 m Triac Cable - 253V - - - LED IP67 300 mA -
RS Stock No. 265-9272
Mfr. Part No.T18SP6FF100Q
BrandBanner
MYR1,038.58
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 100 mm PNP M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP69K 150 mA -
RS Stock No. 821-0050
Mfr. Part No.E3Z-T66
BrandOmron
MYR721.65
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 15 m NPN M8 Connector - - - 24V 4-Pin Connector Infrared IP67 35 mA -
RS Stock No. 778-8704
Mfr. Part No.E3JK-RR11 2M
BrandOmron
MYR554.39
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 7 m, 100 mm Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m - 240V - 240V Wire Lead LED IP64 - -
RS Stock No. 617-0650
Mfr. Part No.E3Z-LR81 2M
BrandOmron
MYR693.95
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0.2 → 7 m PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - - - 26.4V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 808-9199
Mfr. Part No.CX-442
BrandPanasonic
MYR725.37
Each
units
Block Diffuse 20 → 300 mm NPN 2m Cable - - - 24V - LED IP67 100 mA -