Balluff Photoelectric sensors

Balluff Photoelectric sensors

Impressive specialist sensors that check for presence, shape, colour, distance and thickness

Photoelectric sensors check presence, shape, colour, distance, and thickness – optimised for robotics, automation, assembly, and handling. They are real experts with various strengths: detecting and counting parts, monitoring stack heights, through-glass detection, aligning small parts, detecting marks, fill level detection, and much more!

The wide Balluff spectrum offers every light type, whether red light, infrared or laser technology, in different ranges. With and without background suppression. Various designs – also in mini version – ensure a wide variety of possible applications. Our photoelectric sensors are optimized for robotics, automation, installation and handling.


  • Part recognition and counting
  • Stack height monitoring
  • Detection through glass
  • Small parts detection
  • Brand recognition
  • Fill level detection and much more

Product families

Versatile, proven solutions for reliable detection

Photoelectric standard sensors

Pho­to­elec­tric sen­sors check pres­ence, shape, colour, dis­tance, and thick­ness – op­ti­mised for ro­bot­ics, au­toma­tion, as­sem­bly, and han­dling. They are real ex­perts with var­i­ous strengths: de­tect­ing and count­ing parts, mon­i­tor­ing stack heights, through-glass de­tec­tion, align­ing small parts, de­tect­ing marks, fill level de­tec­tion, and much more!

Through-beam sen­sors

  • Ideal for po­si­tion­ing tasks with ex­cel­lent re­peata­bil­ity
  • Large func­tional re­serve, very re­sis­tant to dirt
  • Re­li­able recog­ni­tion in­de­pen­dent of sur­face, colour or ma­te­r­ial – rec­og­nizes even very re­flec­tive ob­jects
  • Ideal for long ranges
  • Trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver in sep­a­rate hous­ings

Retrore­flec­tive sen­sors

  • Sim­ple align­ment by gen­er­ous mount­ing tol­er­ances
  • Large re­flec­tors for long ranges
  • Re­li­able de­tec­tion in­de­pen­dent of sur­face, colour or ma­te­r­ial
  • Also with a po­lar­ity fil­ter suit­able for de­tect­ing shiny ob­jects
  • Only one elec­tri­cal de­vice plus re­flec­tor to be mounted

Dif­fuse sen­sor

  • Ideal for recog­ni­tion of con­trast vari­a­tions, as recog­ni­tion is de­pen­dent upon sur­face, colour and ma­te­r­ial
  • Eco­nom­i­cal and easy to mount and align
  • Shorter ranges as com­pared to retrore­flec­tive and through-beam sen­sors
  • Only one de­vice to mount

Dif­fuse sen­sor with back­ground sup­pres­sion

  • Re­li­able recog­ni­tion that is vir­tu­ally in­de­pen­dent of sur­face, colour and ma­te­r­ial – also suit­able for the recog­ni­tion of ob­jects in front of a very close back­ground, also for dark ob­jects in front of a light back­ground
  • Al­most con­stant pulse width even with dif­fer­ent re­flectance
  • Only one elec­tri­cal de­vice

Reliably determine colour and contrast

Colour sensor

Colour sen­sors open up a wide range of var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions, such as in the pack­ag­ing in­dus­try, ro­bot­ics, au­toma­tion, qual­ity as­sur­ance or in the process in­dus­try.

Au­to­mated processes can be sim­pli­fied and ac­cel­er­ated using the ver­sa­tile colour sen­sors for de­tect­ing colour nu­ances in car­pets and tex­tiles or for colour mark­ings on pack­ag­ings or la­bels.

The Bal­luff se­ries of colour sen­sors op­er­ate using pulsed white light, mak­ing them par­tic­u­larly in­sen­si­tive to am­bi­ent light. The light re­flected back from the ob­ject is re­ceived and processed by three dif­fer­ent re­ceivers (red, green, blue).

The var­i­ous light spot geom­e­try con­fig­u­ra­tions of the re­spec­tive sen­sors (round, rec­tan­gu­lar or square) can re­li­ably de­tect even the small­est colour mark­ings.

Nu­mer­ous spe­cial func­tions such as colour scan­ning, pulse ex­pan­sion and blank­ing input pro­vide ad­di­tional ap­pli­ca­tion flex­i­bil­ity.


  • High switch­ing fre­quency
  • With or with­out dis­play
  • Ro­bust and in­dus­trial grade
  • High ranges of up to 400 mm thanks to a strong white light
  • Op­tion­ally with IO-Link in­ter­face for sim­ple pa­ra­me­ter­i­za­tion
  • Dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion be­tween any num­ber of ob­jects (255 can be learned)
  • High colour res­o­lu­tion
  • Ap­pli­ca­tion-spe­cific pa­ra­me­ter­i­za­tion

Through-beam light barriers offer clear advantages

Fork sensors

Above all, fork light bar­ri­ers are un­beat­able when it comes to op­er­a­tional re­li­a­bil­ity and pre­ci­sion. Since the trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver are in a sin­gle hous­ing, as­sem­bly and ad­just­ment ef­forts are low and safe processes are en­sured

In terms of pre­ci­sion, Bal­luff’s fork sen­sors are un­ri­valed for small-com­po­nent and de­tail recog­ni­tion as well as op­er­a­tional re­li­a­bil­ity. You can achieve the best re­sults with our laser fork sen­sors – in par­tic­u­lar when it comes to pre­cise po­si­tion­ing as well as with se­cure de­tec­tion of fast move­ment se­quences and small parts. For ex­am­ple, in ro­bot­ics and au­toma­tion.

Our com­pre­hen­sive port­fo­lio also of­fers you re­li­able so­lu­tions for dif­fi­cult ap­pli­ca­tions. Or for spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tions like trans­parency recog­ni­tion, water de­tec­tion and web edge con­trol.

The fea­tures

  • Dif­fer­ent light types (red light, in­frared, Laser)
  • Ro­bust metal hous­ing
  • Sim­ple align­ment to the ob­ject
  • High op­ti­cal res­o­lu­tion and re­peata­bil­ity
  • Fork widths from 5…220 mm stan­dard­ized mount­ing holes
  • Iden­ti­cal me­chan­i­cal and op­ti­cal axes
  • High process re­li­a­bil­ity as the trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver are firmly aligned with each other
  • Spare time and ex­pense – only one elec­tri­cal con­nec­tion is re­quired
Fork sensors
Counting transparent bottles with the BGL for transparent detection.

For fast and reliable print mark detection

Contrast sensor

Con­trast sen­sors are high-res­o­lu­tion light sen­sors that dis­tin­guish be­tween ob­jects on the basis of their greyscale val­ues. Hence, colour, bright­ness, and glow have a strong ef­fect on mea­sure­ment re­sults. In the case of minor dif­fer­ences in greyscale val­ues, a con­stant mea­sur­ing dis­tance must be en­sured. The sen­sor res­o­lu­tion de­creases as the sens­ing range in­creases. Sev­eral ranges with dif­fer­ent light types and func­tions are avail­able to en­able a di­verse field of use for these sen­sors.


  • For fast processes thanks to highly ac­cu­rate switch­ing – high switch­ing fre­quency up to 30 kHz
  • Dif­fer­ent light types (laser/red/green/blue or white light)
  • Large ranges with laser
  • Clearly vis­i­ble light points for easy align­ment
  • Ex­ter­nal Teach-in pos­si­ble
  • Also avail­able with ana­log out­put sig­nal
  • Avail­able with or with­out dis­play
  • Dif­fer­ent mod­els for dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions
Contrast sensor
Multiple series with various light types and functions are available for a multitude of uses.

Identify parts, determine positions and count objects with high precision

Light band

If var­i­ous ob­jects have to be iden­ti­fied in pro­duc­tion, when pack­ag­ing or in qual­ity con­trol, the new high-res­o­lu­tion Light band BLA is ideal. Be­cause it iden­ti­fies, com­pares or sorts ob­jects based on min­i­mum size or height dif­fer­ences. The in­tu­itively op­er­ated de­vice can be put into op­er­a­tion eas­ily. It con­sists of a high-per­for­mance red-light laser and a re­ceiver and op­er­ates en­tirely on its own. It does not need any other ac­ces­sories such as a con­troller, a com­puter or spe­cial soft­ware. The range en­com­passes up to 2 m. The con­sis­tent and well vis­i­ble light­ing strip pro­vides an ex­cel­lent res­o­lu­tion of 0.01 mm.


  • Ro­bust metal hous­ing for sta­ble mount­ing and pre­cise align­ment
  • 50-mm wide light band
  • Up to 2 m dis­tance be­tween trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver
  • Ex­cel­lent res­o­lu­tion from 0.01 mm
  • Two freely con­fig­ured ana­logue out­puts
  • Three pro­gram­ma­ble dig­i­tal out­puts
  • In­tel­li­gent in­ter­fer­ence con­tour mask­ing at the touch of a but­ton
  • Sim­ple, in­tu­itive op­er­a­tion via a dis­play with clear text
  • Only one power sup­ply for both – saves on wiring ef­fort, power sup­ply units and ex­penses
  • Self-con­tained de­vice – no ad­di­tional ac­ces­sories such as con­troller, PC or soft­ware re­quired
Light band
Monitoring wire thickness, position and thickness in a wire winding machine.

Count objects and measure large areas

Light grid

Light grids are avail­able with dif­fer­ent mea­sur­ing field heights and with short and long ranges. This en­ables wide and re­ally large ob­jects to be de­tected re­li­ably. Our light grids are also avail­able with a low or high res­o­lu­tion. To di­rectly in­di­cate the height or width of an ob­ject, the sys­tem has an ana­logue volt­age out­put. An ad­di­tional switch­ing out­put in­di­cates whether an ob­ject is within the mon­i­tored range. The light grids are sup­plied with a mount­ing bracket so that you can mount them quickly and eas­ily. The setup process is just as user-friendly as the as­sem­bly process.


  • Dif­fer­ent lengths avail­able
  • Also suit­able for large ob­jects up to a range of 2.1 m
  • Ideal for count­ing due to its short re­ac­tion time
  • Ro­bust metal hous­ing
  • In­vis­i­ble in­frared light
  • Switch­ing out­put (PNP) and ana­log out­put (0…10 V)
  • Sim­ple con­nec­tion, easy in­stal­la­tion with­out the need for ad­di­tional equip­ment
  • Ready for im­me­di­ate use – no pa­ra­me­ter­i­za­tion nec­es­sary
Light grid
Light grids are suitable for reliable detection of wide and large objects.

Maximum flexibility thanks to plastic or glass-fiber optics

Fiber optic sensors

Bal­luff’s Fiber optic sen­sors are used if the usual op­ti­cal sen­sor is too large or too rigid for the ap­pli­ca­tion. Our fiber optic sen­sors are op­tion­ally com­bined with plas­tic or glass fiber op­tics for a com­plete sen­sor. Thanks to their dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties, you have max­i­mum flex­i­bil­ity de­pend­ing upon the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Or large se­lec­tion of plas­tic fiber op­tics can be used es­pe­cially when there is no great re­quire­ment for ro­bust­ness or re­sis­tance to en­vi­ron­men­tal tem­per­a­tures or chem­i­cals. We do, how­ever, have high-tem­per­a­ture-re­sis­tant fibers in the pro­gram. In glass fiber op­tics, we also offer tread-re­sis­tant, tem­per­a­ture-re­sis­tant and chem­i­cal-re­sis­tant vari­a­tions.


  • Recog­ni­tion of sub­tle con­trast dif­fer­ences
  • Very fast – up to 8 kHz
  • High po­si­tion­ing pre­ci­sion
  • Flex­i­bil­ity in mount­ing, sim­ple to in­stall
  • Ad­di­tional func­tions avail­able (freely con­fig­urable pa­ra­me­ters)
  • Me­chan­i­cally ro­bust
  • Highly-ac­cu­rate switch­ing
  • With one-way or de­tect­ing prin­ci­ple
  • Straight or an­gled op­tics
  • Com­pact con­fig­u­ra­tion for mount­ing on top-hat rails
  • With or with­out dis­play
  • Dif­fer­ent light types (red or in­frared)
  • Also op­tion­ally with ana­log out­put sig­nal
  • Dif­fer­ent se­ries for glass or plas­tic fibers
Fiber optic sensors
A broad selection of base devices with different capacities and different functions are available for a variety of uses: From simple implementation with potentiometer to high-end devices with display

Reliably detect invisible marks and markings

Luminescence sensor

If you need to de­tect marks that are in­vis­i­ble to the human eye, lu­mi­nes­cence sen­sors are ideal. They can de­tect all kinds of flu­o­res­cent sub­stances, even if the marks are only faint.


  • UV light – no ex­ter­nal lamp or light source re­quired
  • Pro­gram­ma­ble with the touch of a but­ton – with­out sep­a­rate soft­ware
  • Ro­bust, in­dus­trial-grade de­signs
Luminescence sensor
Objects are marked with fluorescing material, these markings are not visible to the human eye, but are recognized by the luminescence sensor using UV light.

Record parts dynamically

Optical windows

Op­ti­cal win­dow sen­sors have a se­ries of par­al­lel beams of light. This de­sign makes it pos­si­ble to sense ob­ject not only at a point but also over an area (win­dow). The spe­cial de­sign of the op­tics en­sures that the out­stand­ing res­o­lu­tion re­mains the same at any lo­ca­tion in the win­dow. Our op­ti­cal win­dow sen­sors work dy­nam­i­cally, which means that parts are only de­tected in the ac­tive area if they are mov­ing.


  • Con­sis­tently high res­o­lu­tion
  • Dy­namic method: only mov­ing ob­jects are de­tected. Feed shafts etc. do not af­fect the mea­sure­ment
  • De­tec­tion of parts as small as 0.8 mm
  • Ad­justable out­put sig­nal length
  • Ad­justable sen­si­tiv­ity
  • Three frame sizes
  • Stan­dard M8 con­nec­tor
Optical windows
Optical window sensor for counting parts.

Looking round the corner

Angle sensors

When it comes to pre­ci­sion and the de­tec­tion of small parts and de­tails, angle light bar­ri­ers are un­beat­able. Since they are a fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the fork light bar­rier, they also have prac­ti­cally the same data. But their spe­cial de­sign makes them re­ally use­ful in lots of more chal­leng­ing ap­pli­ca­tions. Their de­sign and beam geom­e­try en­able im­pact and the de­tec­tion of ob­jects from prac­ti­cally any di­rec­tion. Bal­luff angle light bar­ri­ers are avail­able as red light and laser vari­ants.

In­stal­la­tion is also easy in dif­fi­cult con­fined spaces: The trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver are firmly aligned with each other. There­fore, there is no need for com­plex at­tach­ments, also time-in­ten­sive ad­just­ments are elim­i­nated.


  • Ideal for every ap­pli­ca­tion thanks to dif­fer­ent light types (red light, in­frared, laser)
  • Ro­bust metal hous­ing
  • The an­gled form makes for ex­tremely flex­i­ble mount­ing
  • High op­ti­cal res­o­lu­tion and re­peata­bil­ity
  • High process re­li­a­bil­ity since the trans­mit­ter and re­ceiver are firmly aligned with each other
  • No time-in­ten­sive ad­just­ment
  • Large se­lec­tion of dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes
Angle sensors
Design and emitter geometries enable start-up and recognition of objects from almost every direction.

Precise object detection and positioning – even across large distances

Our uni­ver­sally us­able pho­to­elec­tric Global sen­sors guar­an­tee re­li­able ob­ject de­tec­tion and are avail­able in a wide as­sort­ment with a large num­ber of dif­fer­ent modes of ac­tion, de­signs and sizes.

In ad­di­tion to var­i­ous hous­ing forms, such as cylin­dri­cal or cuboid forms, you can choose be­tween vis­i­ble red light, non-vis­i­ble in­frared light or high-per­for­mance laser light.

All pho­to­elec­tric sen­sors from Bal­luff are quick to in­stall and sim­ple to op­er­ate. The high-qual­ity tech­nol­ogy also has an at­trac­tive price/per­for­mance ratio.

The fea­tures

  • Dif­fuse sen­sors with ranges up to 900 mm
  • Retro-re­flec­tive sen­sors with ranges up to 16 m
  • Through-beam sen­sors with ranges up to 60 m
Photoelectric Global Sensors
Surface-independent package detection using a retro-reflective sensor

Detect small parts at a distance of up to 3 m with precision

Pho­to­elec­tric mini-sen­sors from Bal­luff are the right choice if small parts need to be de­tected in lim­ited space with pre­ci­sion and long ranges are im­por­tant. This is be­cause they work ab­solutely re­li­ably from less than one mil­lime­ter to dis­tances of up to three me­ters.

With their wide range of prod­uct vari­ants, they are a re­li­able so­lu­tion to all ap­pli­ca­tions and offer a great de­gree of free­dom in de­sign.

Ad­vanced laser tech­nol­ogy, ho­mo­ge­neous red light or in­no­v­a­tive pin­point tech­nol­ogy stand for high process ac­cu­racy. Dif­fuse sen­sors with back­ground sup­pres­sion re­li­ably elim­i­nate in­ter­fer­ing in­flu­ences.

And our pho­to­elec­tric mini-sen­sors are ex­tremely easy to op­er­ate.

The fea­tures

  • Long ranges: up to 3 m
  • Large range of prod­uct vari­ants
  • High process ac­cu­racy
  • Easy to op­er­ate
Photoelectric mini-sensors
Precisely detect small parts from a distance.

Especially flexible system having a plurality of sensor heads for your specific requirements

Micromote Sensors

The Mi­cro­mote sys­tem of Bal­luff is es­pe­cially small and, there­fore, can be very flex­i­bly used. It com­bines an ex­ter­nal proces­sor unit (am­pli­fier) with ex­cep­tion­ally small op­to­elec­tronic sen­sor heads. As a re­sult it is suit­able even for ex­tremely con­stricted spa­tial con­di­tions and mov­ing ma­chine el­e­ments.

The mod­u­lar sys­tem of the Mi­cro­mote sen­sors with in­no­v­a­tive sen­sor el­e­ments meets your in­di­vid­ual re­quire­ments: a va­ri­ety of hous­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions en­sure an es­pe­cially high de­gree of de­sign free­dom, pre­cise op­to­elec­tronic mod­ules en­sure a high process pre­ci­sion with each ap­pli­ca­tion.

The fea­tures

  • Large se­lec­tion of sen­sor heads with max­i­mum pre­ci­sion: Mi­crospot, Nanospot, lasers, in­frared, clas­sic red-light LEDs
  • Am­pli­fier for ana­log, dig­i­tal, dy­namic
  • Dis­play in­di­ca­tion of tar­get and ac­tual val­ues
  • Con­ve­nient op­er­a­tion
  • Ex­tremely flex­i­ble sen­sor cable
  • Out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal pa­ra­me­ters
  • Ro­bust – can be used under dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions
  • Op­ti­mum use in grip­pers using light com­po­nents
  • El­e­gant, seam­less in­te­gra­tion in the ma­chine
  • Adap­ta­tion to ap­pli­ca­tion at eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble points using sep­a­rate am­pli­fiers

79 Ratio Agency