What Are Gate Automation Photocells & What Do They Do?

Posted by Simon van Lessen 17/03/2023 1 Comment(s) Gate Automation,

What Are Gate Automation Photocells & What Do They Do?

Electric driveway gates are usually big and heavy and hard. They need powerful electric gate motors to move them and, once moving, they carry a lot of momentum. Gate safety devices are designed to prevent anyone and anything from being injured or damaged by moving gates.


Gate automation photocells are safety devices used to make automated gates safer.

Read on to find out what photocells are and how they work.


Electric Gate Photocells: What Are They?

Electric gate photocells are electronic devices that use an invisible beam of light to detect the presence of objects, people, or animals in the path of automatic swing gates or sliding gates. A beam of infra-red light is sent from one of a pair of photocells to the second photocell. When the beam is broken by anything passing between the photocells, they send a signal to the gate control system, instructing the gate to stop and reverse direction. The overall purpose of the system is to prevent any accidents or damage.

Electric gate photocells are important because they are an essential safety feature for automatic gates. Without photocells, gates can close on people or objects, causing serious injury or damage. For example, if a child or pet were to run through the gate as it was closing, they could be trapped or injured and the gate could be damaged. Similarly, if a vehicle or other object were hit by moving gates, they would suffer potentially expensive damage.

Photocells are important for protecting anyone or anything that passes through the gates and for complying with safety standards. A pair of photocells can cost between £30 and £150 and installation will cost extra.

What Are the Benefits of Photocells?

Electric gate photocells provide several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Safety: They’re designed to increase the safety of automatic sliding or swing gates by detecting obstacles in the path of the gate. This can reduce the possibility of injury and accident caused by contact with moving gates.
  • Prevents Gate Damage: Electric gate photocells help prevent damage to the gate and obstacles in its path. This can save money and reduces the time your gates are out of operation while being repaired.



How Do Photocells Work?

A pair of safety photocells is made up of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter constantly emits a beam of infrared light towards the receiver. When an object breaks the beam, the receiver detects the interruption. Safety photocells can be positioned to detect different sized objects. For example, If they are placed above a certain height, they can allow animals to run under the beam without breaking it. But if they are placed too high, a family pet or crawling child may be too low to break the beam.

Photocells Installations

Establishing where photocells should be positioned to cover all potential hazards is a job for a professional gate automation engineer. Photocells should be installed where they are not triggered by the moving gate or gates. Typically, photocells are installed on both sides of the gate, a few inches from the ground.

Photocells should be mounted securely to gate posts or walls using the appropriate mounting hardware. It’s important to ensure they’re at the right level and aligned properly before wiring them in. Photocells can then be connected to the gate control system.


Once installed, your gate engineer will test the photocells to ensure they’re functioning correctly. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the photocells can help ensure that they work properly.

Maintenance For Gate Automation Photocells

Regular servicing from a gate engineer is important to keep your photocells and other parts of any gate automation system working optimally. However, you can check your photocells for issues so here are some quick maintenance tasks you can carry out yourself:

  • Clean the Lenses: Use a soft cloth to clean the lenses.
  • Check for Physical Damage: Check for cracks where slugs, spiders or insects could get into the photocell and damage the circuit board or obscure the beam.




If you would like the details of a professional gate installer in your area, contact Linkcare on 01895232626.


1 Comment(s)

Ernest Thomas:
04/10/2023, 05:45:18 AM

Gate automation photocells are a crucial component in modern gate systems. These small yet sophisticated devices play a significant role in ensuring the safety and functionality of automated gates.

Leave a Comment


Strictly Required Cookies

These cookies are required for the website to run and cannot be switched off. Such cookie are only set in response to actions made by you such as language, currency, login session, privacy preferences. You can set your browser to block these cookies but our site may not work then.

Analytics & Statics

These cookies are usually set by our marketing and advertising partners. They may be used by them to build a profile of your interest and later show you relevant ads. If you do not allow these cookies you will not experience targeted ads for your interests.

Marketing and Retargeting

These cookies allow us to measure visitors traffic and see traffic sources by collecting information in data sets. They also help us understand which products and actions are more popular than others.