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Understanding the Different Types of Automatic Gate Sensors

Automatic gates are the new trend in the market for providing safety and security to homes and businesses. However, these gates rely entirely on sensors to detect anyone trying to enter or exit through the gate. Each automatic gate comes with a different type of sensor that serves its purpose, understands the criticality of their role, and helps in choosing the right automatic gate to ensure safety and security. In this article, we will be discussing the different types of automatic gate sensors and their functionality.

1. Infrared Sensors:

Infrared sensors are known for their high accuracy and efficiency levels. They are a popular choice for automatic gates as they are capable of detecting motion, heat, and even light. It can detect a person or vehicle approaching the gate and activate it promptly. Infrared sensors are the best choice for driveways or gates that require a quick response.

How do infrared sensors work?

Infrared sensors function with two key components: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits invisible infrared light beams that bounce back to the receiver. When that happens, the sensors understand that there’s an obstacle in the way and, thus, activates the gate to avoid any collision.

2. Magnetic and Electromechanical Sensors:

Magnetic and electromechanical sensors are used to detect when a vehicle or a person is approaching your automatic gate. These sensors work by creating a magnetic field or electromagnetic impulse when it is interrupted by the vehicle or a person. It signals the gate control panel to activate and allow entry or exit.

How do magnetic and electromechanical sensors work?

Magnetic sensors have a metal detector loop that’s embedded in the driveway, which creates a magnetic field. When there’s an interruption, the sensor sends a signal to the control panel, which activates the gate. Electromechanical sensors, on the other hand, have a semi-conductor that creates a magnetic field. It then sends a signal to the control panel to activate the gate.

3. Touch Sensors:

Touch sensors are known for their excellent usability and accessibility, even for people with disabilities. They are operated with the slightest touch of a finger, elbow, or knee, and can, therefore, be used by people who are unable to operate other sensors. They are, however, not commonly used for security reasons.

How do touch sensors work?

Touch sensors function with a micro-switch that triggers the gate operator when pressed. This switch is connected to a plate on the surface of the gate post, making it convenient to use.

4. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Sensors:

RFID sensors function with a unique ID badge that is compatible with an RFID reader, which activates the automatic gate. They are used to control access to a property and track frequent visitors.

How do RFID sensors work?

RFID sensors work by creating a magnetic field when the reader is triggered, which activates the automatic gate once the card is detected. With RFID sensors, property owners can track the movements of authorized visitors.

5. Loop Detectors:

Loop detectors are installed in the driveway to detect both metal and non-metal objects. They are commonly used in businesses and supermarkets to count the number of cars entering and exiting the parking lot.

How do loop detectors work?

Loop detectors work by creating an electromagnetic field, which detects the metal in the vehicle or other objects passing over the loop detector. The sensor then sends a signal to the gate to either open or close.


1. What is the best type of automatic gate sensor to choose?

The best type of automatic gate sensor to choose depends on your specific requirements. If you’re looking for an accurate and quick response sensor, infrared sensors are your best bet. However, if you’re looking for an affordable option, magnetic sensors are a great choice.

2. Can I install multiple sensors on my automatic gate to enhance its security?

Yes, you can install multiple sensors on your automatic gate to improve its security. However, it is essential to make sure that the sensors don’t interfere with each other, as this could cause a malfunction or create security issues.

3. How can I choose the right automatic gate sensor for my property?

The best way to choose the right automatic gate sensor for your property is to assess your property and the level of security or convenience that you require. Based on your requirements, you can then choose the ideal sensor for your automatic gate.


With the variety of automatic gate sensors available, it’s essential to choose the right one for your specific needs. Understanding how each sensor works, as well as its application, is necessary in ensuring the safety and security of your home or business. By keeping these factors in mind, you can make an informed decision and choose the right automatic gate sensor.

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