Advantages and disadvantages of photoelectric sensors

Advantages of photoelectric sensors:

  • Interpretation-distance: All these sensors can take information away from the goal or target. This practice is an asset for fragile objects, very hot, food, liquids, etc.
  • Suitable for industry: These sensors are mostly produced in a traditional way that allows them to be easily replaced in case of breakage or malfunction. In addition, the values ​​are quite similar from one sensor to the other so no need to reprogram all, a simple calibration should suffice.
  • Simplicity: The photoelectric sensors have a wide range of choice, so even if there is little knowledge of electronics, it is relatively easy to find a sensor which responds more specificaly to your needs. The price, however, can not be related to its simplicity.
  • Some of them have high sensibility and have very high detection capabilities.
  • High response speed: Response time is very fast, because light travels at high speed. The sensor does not perform mechanical tasks, because these circuits are composed solely of electronic parts.
  • Detection of various materials: These sensors operate on the principle that an object absorbs or reflects light. They are not limited by the material of which an object is made unlike proximity sensors which require that the objects are metal. They can be used to detect almost all objects, including glass, plastic, wood and liquids.


  • Aging with time and use: Despite the fact that no physical contact is made, light emmiters lose their intensity with time. This loss of intensity is unstable. In other words, it can be good for some time, then fall, then remain stable for a while and then it drops again. Inspections must be planned and a technician need to make a calibration of the sensors.
  • The nonlinear response: Response curve of these sensors is not linear. This implies that the control unit or PLC must take into account a corrective calculation during the process of measured information. This will more accurately meet what is expected by the photoelectric sensors.

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