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What does a sensor on a Pick-to-Light compartment display do?

A sensor on a Pick-to-Light compartment display is used to automatically acknowledge the removal of individual parts and also monitors access to the storage compartments. If the picker reaches into the wrong compartment, the system automatically signals the incorrect access and ensures the quality of the removal.

Range of one Pick-to-Light sensor

The transmitter emits its signals through a small red disk and receives the reflections back. The range, without an additional reflective surface, is 15-20 cm. The storage compartment must be accessed within this range. For this reason, there are different versions for installation.

The versions

The Pick-to-Light sensor must be connected to the electronics of the storage compartment display. There are various options for its installation. Depending on the version, the modules are then installed above or below the storage compartments.

The classic: Pick-to-Light sensor below a compartment display

During use, the compartment display is fitted above the storage compartment. The access sensor monitors access to the compartment below. Advantage: The order picker's hand is clearly recognized from a short distance when accessing the compartment.

Above the compartment display

If the containers are very flat or have a side access opening, the Pick-to-Light display can also be installed underneath the storage compartment with an access sensor facing upwards. This is also the natural way to mount the compartment indicator (instead of the storage compartment labels).

Which version is better?

Both designs are good and the choice depends on the dimensions of the containers and storage compartments. However, a uniform method must always be used here. The compartment displays should always be installed above or below. Mixed operation is not conducive to employee orientation.

How it works

The main function of the Pick-to-Light sensor is to register access to a storage compartment. Various functions are possible depending on the status of the compartment display:

  • If withdrawal quantity = 1: The sensor automatically acknowledges the withdrawal.
  • With removal quantity > 1: The sensor only releases the acknowledgement button, but does not automatically acknowledge the removal.
  • The display does not light up: An access error is reported (light signal or horn).

There are many scenarios for implementing the functions. We will be happy to advise you personally.


A Pick-to-Light sensor can be used very well for picking individual items with a quantity = 1. The removal is automatically acknowledged and reported back. Access to the wrong storage compartments is automatically registered and an alarm can be triggered (visually or acoustically).


What is a Pick to Light sensor?

An access sensor on the Pick-to-Light compartment display is an electronic circuit with a component (transmitter diode) that emits a light signal and receives the reflection back from an object (receiver diode). By interrupting the light signal or receiving the distance modulation, access to a storage compartment can be determined automatically.

Can a Pick-to-Light sensor count the number of pieces?

No. A Pick-to-Light sensor only monitors access to a storage compartment, but cannot record the number of items removed. Counting scales are used for this purpose (see Pick-by-Weight).

What does a Pick-to-Light sensor cost?

An access sensor is always an option for a Pick-to-Light compartment display and costs around €60 extra per storage compartment.

When is it worth using a Pick-to-Light sensor?

Especially for fast order picking with the quantity = 1 piece. The removal is immediately acknowledged by the sensor and automatically reported back to the warehouse management system.

Many years of experience in paperless picking


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