Optical switches exist in two main categories, the transmissive devices where the beam from the emitter is broken by the object to be sensed, and reflective devices where the beam from the emitter is reflected back into the sensor by the object to be sensed. Since most of these applications are geometrically specific, Clairex designs and builds this device family primarily as custom products, thus assuring the customer that the specified function is uniquely suited for the specified application.

Even then, Clairex continued to produce products from history due to continuous demand – the CLI300 series of transmissive optical switches, and the CLI700, CLI710, S27301, and S27311 (S-series from the Skan-A-Matic® product line) reflective switches.

Slotted Switches

Part (1) NumberI(2)mA (min)ID (3)nA (max)Slot (4)WidthSlot(5)DepthOutput (6)
  CLI305201000.250 (6.35mm)0.50 (12.7mm)Phototransistor
  CLI3253.01000.250 (6.35mm)0.50 (12.7mm)Photodarlington
  CLI355121000.250 (6.35mm)0.50 (12.7mm)Photodarlington
  CLI3751.0500.250 (6.35mm)0.50 (12.7mm)Phototransistor
  CLI385n/an/a0.250 (6.35mm)0.50 (12.7mm)Photo-IC(7)

Reflective Switches

Part (1)
mA (min)
ID (3)
nA (max)
Optimal (8)
PackageOutput (6)
  CLI700n/an/a0.020″ (0.5mm)TO-72Photo-IC (7)
  CLI7100.11000.020″ (0.5mm)TO-72Phototransistor

Special selections, custom assemblies or reflective switches – contact Clairex.


  1. Click on part number for datasheet.
  2. Coupled output sensor current; see datasheet for specific test conditions.
  3. Measured under dark conditions, Vce=10V. A dark condition exists when further irradiation shielding does not reduce ID.
  4. Slot width is the distance between the emitter and sensor.
  5. Slot depth is the distance between the base of the slot and the top of the housing.
  6. Check specific datasheets for emitter or sensor apertures.
  7. Various Photo-IC configurations are available. See Photo-IC section for available options.
  8. Optimal distance is defined as distance from lens to where IL peaks.