Photocells on electric gates. How does it work?

Let’s talks about photocells on electric gates, the infrared sensors that you might like to install to make your gate opening and closing safer.

Thinking of automatic electric gate, you dream about comfort and luxury, but you may be concerned about the safety of your system. You can easily clear your doubts with few notions about how safety devices work.

Il funzionamento dei sensori per cancelli elettrici

To begin with, photocells on electric gates always come in pair: one transmitting photocell and one receiving photocell.

The transmitter photocell sends an invisible infrared signal to the receiver photocells’ photo-diode.

When an obstacle or a person cuts the infrared beam, the receiving sensor sends an alert to the main control unit, which stops the motors and puts the system into safety mode.

The use of infrared technology for gate photocells also prevents sunrays from interfering with the safety sensors and ensures a correct operating cycle of the gate system.

Proper mounting

Appropriated mounting and correct wiring of the photocells is essential to manage the electric gate safely and comfortably.

Even if the installation of safety devices such as photocells may not always be mandatory in a system, there are important  rules and regulations to comply with, regarding for instance how high from ground the photocells should be mounted to ensure effective safety or the need of flashing light to signal an automatic operated gate in community environments.


That’s why consulting with professionals such us mygate for advice is highly recommended when choosing and installing your electric gate to overcome any doubt about photocells’ placing and wiring to main electrical system.

Safety and maintenance of photocells sensors on electric gates

Now you have installed you electric gate perfectly, but any gate automation system always needs good maintenance and routine checks to ensure smooth and long lasting operation.

First of all, you should clean the photocells’ eye and the surrounding area for time to time, removing dust, leaves, bugs webs and cutting the grass if too high.

Also, in case you accidentally bum pinto the gate, make sure that photocells have not been misplaced and check the alignment between transmitting and receiving sensors is still steady. In the same way, you may check that electric wiring has not been damaged after a very strong storm.