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. 371-4673
Mfr. Part No.VTF18-3F1840
BrandSick
SGD127.20
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 100 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 458-844
Mfr. Part No.WL12G-3B2531
BrandSick
SGD334.40
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 4 m NPN/PNP 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 763-7895
Mfr. Part No.VTF18-4P1240
BrandSick
SGD129.60
Each
units
Barrel Background Suppression 3 → 100 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 360-0451
Mfr. Part No.WT24-2R210
BrandSick
SGD434.24
Each
units
- - - Relay - - - - - - LED IP69 - -
RS Stock No. 784-6692
Mfr. Part No.DT50-P1123
BrandSick
SGD560.00
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 200 → 10000 mm Analogue 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 786-5891
Mfr. Part No.VL180-2P42436
BrandSick
SGD99.20
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.05 → 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 786-5908
Mfr. Part No.WL11G-2B2531
BrandSick
SGD217.60
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0 → 4 m NPN/PNP 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP66, IP67, IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 375-6302
Mfr. Part No.WT12L-2B510
BrandSick
SGD761.60
Each
units
Block Diffuse 20 → 50 mm PNP 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 786-5882
Mfr. Part No.WL250-2P2431
BrandSick
SGD235.20
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0.01 → 15 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 219-005
Mfr. Part No.DT20-P214B
BrandSick
SGD1,094.40
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 100 → 600 mm Analogue 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 842-8535
Mfr. Part No.GTE10-P4212
BrandSick
SGD107.36
Each
units
Block Diffuse 20 mm → 1.3 m PNP M12 Connector - - - 30V M12 LED IP67 20 mA -
RS Stock No. 458-866
Mfr. Part No.WTE11-2P1132
BrandSick
SGD126.40
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 40 mm → 1 m PNP Cable - - - 30V - LED IP66, IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 458-828
Mfr. Part No.WL12-3P2431
BrandSick
SGD246.40
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 218-939
Mfr. Part No.WL100L-E2231
BrandSick
SGD220.80
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0.08 → 12 m NPN 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 763-7882
Mfr. Part No.WTB12-3P2431
BrandSick
SGD345.60
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 20 → 350 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP66, IP67, IP69K 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 784-6702
Mfr. Part No.DT50-P1124
BrandSick
SGD560.00
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 200 → 10000 mm PNP 5-Pin M12 Connector - - - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 122-0713
Mfr. Part No.WL100-2P4439
BrandSick
SGD118.40
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 10 mm → 7.2 m PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V M8 Connector LED IP67 30 mA -
RS Stock No. 842-8572
Mfr. Part No.WTB2S-2P1330
BrandSick
SGD180.80
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 1 → 36 mm PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - LED IP67 20 mA -
RS Stock No. 288-9782
Mfr. Part No.WT150-P162
BrandSick
SGD217.60
Each
units
Block Diffuse 2 → 100 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA -
RS Stock No. 786-5920
Mfr. Part No.WTB4-3P2261
BrandSick
SGD238.40
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 4 → 150 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - - 30V - LED IP66, IP67 100 mA -