Switches, Relays & Onboard
Tiny photoelectric sensor matches sensitivity of human eyeFeb 15 2005 - Switches, Relays & Onboard [More Switches, Relays & Onboard Articles]
Measuring just 2mm x 3mm and with sensitivity that matches the human eye,
Matsushita Electric Works has introduced a new Panasonic photoelectric
sensor, the NaPiCa.
The new photoelectric sensor technology also presents a linear response to
light level, allowing easier integration into circuit designs when compared
with existing products. Seen as ideal for a variety of domestic and
commercial applications, the NaPiCa can detect ambient light levels that
allow devices in which it is used to provide a more comfortable environment
for the user.
Compliant with RoHS standards, the cadmium and lead-free sensor is designed
to detect luminous energy with a spectral response, similar to that of the
human eye with peak sensitivity occurring at 580nm, says the company.
Typical applications include portable, or battery-driven circuits, due to
the device´s ability to operate on a wide range of voltages from 1.5VDC -
6VDC, with a quiescent current demand of only 0.3µA. Offering 10µA for a low
light level to 260µA for a high light level, the sensor´s current output can
be utilised as a drive level signal for either microprocessor or integrated
Other areas of use include energy conservation applications detecting
luminance levels in both domestic and commercial environments. Security
functions such as corridor lighting, room brightness levels and camera
installations also fall into this category. The compact sensor can also be
utilised in a vast number of local applications, such as automatic laptop
display brightness controls, mobile phone displays, PDA´s, in-car navigation
systems and computer screens.
The NaPiCa sensor can be used for the sensing of domestic light applications
within the growing sector of home automation. It could be used both in the
control of the actual lighting levels, as well as to provide remote signals
that could be utilised to close blinds, operate electrical equipment or
activate a range of lifestyle electronic systems.
The NaPiCa sensor is a 4-pin surface mount device and is supplied in a