You approach almost any door in a retail space these days, and it automatically opens for you. These automatic doors have sensors which know when you’re approaching and send a signal to open the door. How do those sensors work? What happens if they need to be repaired? Here is what you need to know about the sensors in automatic doors.

How Modern Sensors Work

While automatic door used to be powered by pressure plates, these days we have more sophisticated options. The two main types of door sensors are motion detection and access control. For motion detecting sensors, there are two main technologies that make them work:

  • Microwave pulses: These pulses of microwaves can measure the reflection of a moving object and know when something is approaching the door. When something is, the sensor sends a signal to open the door. They cover a larger area and, though more expensive, are typically preferred to passive infrared. Electrical interference can interrupt these doors.
  • Passive infrared: These sensors measure the temperature of things in front of the door. If it senses something that is at bodytemperature, it knows there is a person approaching the door and sends a signal to open the door. Hot objects near the door can trigger a false open.

Modern sensors that are connected to an access control system don’t use these kinds of sensors to open. Instead, they get a signal from a key fob, a smartphone, or another authorized object and open in response. So you can have doors that automatically open, but only for authorized people.

Another thing you should know about modern sensors is that they need to be timed right to work with different kinds of doors. Sliding doors, folding and revolving doors all need to open at a different rate than your typical swinging door. All can be equipped with sensors that make them convenient for any user.

Other Automatic Door Options

There are two systems that are a bit more outdated than the ones we’ve talked about above, but that may still be useful for you to know about. You can use pressure sensors or video intercom systems to control your automatic doors.

Pressure sensors are placed on the ground in front of the door and send a signal for the door to open when they are stepped on. They open for everyone, and they might be triggered by false alarms, like people who are just walking by your door.

Video intercom systems are more secure, but also inconvenient compared to other options. You need a person to watch the video stream and then approve or disapprove of each person who attempts to gain entry. At least the person watching the door can be remote and not have to actually be near the door.

Why Use Automatic Door Sensors?

Automatic door sensors can be a little finicky to get right, but ultimately the right sensor makes your doors more reliable and functional. We can help by showing you your sensor options for automatic doors in Rocklin or beyond and ensuring that they are installed properly right from the start.

Want to learn more? Reach out to our automatic door installation and repair experts today.