This detection system consists of two parts, the transmitter and the receiver. The transmitter emits a beam of infrared (IR) light and the receiver picks up this beam. When the beam is interrupted, the receiver alerts its alarm control panel by opening a relay. Most beams used in security applications use multiple IR beams in order to reduce false alarms and to increase the area covered. Some advantages and disadvantages of Active Infra-Red scanning include:


  • Can provide detection over a long distance to 150 meters.
  • Very narrow detection zone, to minimize false alarms from traffic along the signal.


  • Precise and careful installation required to align transmitter and receiver.
  • Both, the transmitter and receiver need power over cable, making it a timely process to install.
  • Sensitive to false alarms from foliage and debris in between the signal. Besides, prone to small animals and objects moving through the beam.
  • Fairly easy to intrude if you know where both systems are located.

Where can they be used?

Organisations use active Infra-Red Beams for indoor and outdoor security as they are weatherproof. Most systems are stacked one above the other to create a higher invisible detection field. Moreover, different Infra-Red systems are used for different distances, so can a system reach up to 200 meter in length externally. This means that Active Infra-Red can serve as a viable perimeter protection solution for critical infrastructure, building security or along a large perimeter. Ultimately, to reduce the false alarm rate of Active Infra-Red by small animals or debris, the system can be used in combination with a CCTV or Microwave Intrusion Detection System to deliver ultimate detection against the lowest false alarm rate.