A nice fence should be complemented with a good gate. A good automated gate system or electronic gate system provides safety and convenience while adding to the aesthetic value of your property as well.

What is an automated gate system?

An automated gate system has several elements in it. Operator,power supply, control equipment, safety equipment and mechanics of the gate. One part of the gate safety system isis referred to as Photo Eyes or Beams, are non-contact devices that utilize photocells which use light and infrared beams to send an electronic signal for the gate to open or close. Sensors and reflectors are also used to send and receive reliable signals. They also come with safety features to make sure that people and vehicles do not get struck by the gate.

Electronic gates have different signal sensitivities and distance reliability. A good thing is that they are usually not affected by inclement weather and depending on the type; they can still send reliable signals at a long distance. This ensures that people and vehicles remain safe as they go through the gate, even in less ideal weather conditions.

There are two types of automated or electronic gate systems: Reflective Photo Eyes and Thru Beam Photo Eyes. Depending on your preferences; each has its pros and cons.

Reflective Photo Eyes vs. Thru Beam Photo Eyes

Reflective Photo Eyes or Retro-Reflective Photo Eyes only needs power on the operator side of the driveway. This is because it combines the transmitter and receiver in one unit and bounces the beam or signal back from a reflector. It is easy to align and adjust. However, it covers shorter distances with a maximum of around 30 feet. Frost can be an issue when it collects on the photo eye as well. A damaged reflector can also cause the photo eye to stop working.

Thru Beam Photo Eyes are 2-piece electronic units with a transmitter on one side of the roadway and a receiver near the gate operator. The transmitter can be battery powered while the gate operator runs on solar power so it consumes less power. It also has a battery backup if the power runs out.  With the Thru Beam, the transmitter and receiver can also cover a greater distance of up to 90-100 feet. It has a more reliable signal with less distortion because the light beam is traveling half as far with no need to bounce off a reflector. This means that it also works better even in inclement weather. Frost is also not as much of an issue as with Reflective Photo Eye. With all these advantages, the only cons for this automated gate system is that it needs power on both sides of the driveway; it is harder to align and it needs more time to install.

Not sure what gate is best for you? Drop us a line so we can discuss your options.