Hall effect sensor applications


Hall effect sensors are used for picking up on the voltage induced on a conductor by a magnetic field. This sensor output can be proportional to the magnetic field intensity and direction, or it can be binary, based on electronics embedded in the sensing package. For more on these devices and how they compare with reed switches, be sure to check out the Hall effect vs. reed switch article.

In this article, we will explore eight Hall effect sensor applications. These devices have a wide range of uses, from industrial to automotive to building control.

1. Door open-closed sensor

Perhaps the most common use for Hall effect sensors in everyday life and smart spaces is the door (or window) open/shut sensor. A magnet is placed on a door frame while the sensor unit is placed on the door. When shut, the door sensor aligns with the magnet and triggers the Hall effect sensor. The Hall effect sensor then turns off when the door is ajar. This theme has many variations that can be integrated into an alarm system or other smart space accommodations.

2. Brushless DC (BLDC) motor control

Hall effect sensors are essential for controlling certain types of BLDC motors, allowing for precise speed control based on the magnetic effects of the moving rotor. Other BLDC motor configurations use back-EMF for control. Browse Arrow.com’s selection of BLDC motors to learn more.


3. Bicycle speed detection

Bicycle computers typically feature a permanent magnet affixed to a spoke, which passes by a sensor unit once every revolution. This magnetic cycling is equivalent to the wheel’s RPM, which can intuit a bicycle’s linear speed via the wheel diameter and a bit of math. A Hall effect sensor is used for detecting the magnet’s presence, passing data to other bike computer electronics.

4. Industrial Hall effect sensor: pneumatic cylinder status

Pneumatic cylinders are commonly used in industry to activate a pushing or pulling motion and force. Position feedback is critical to ensuring process functions, and pneumatic linear actuators often have a magnetic element embedded inside the cylinder. A Hall effect sensing unit (or units) can be attached to the outside of a cylinder, allowing engineers and technicians to fine-tune the pickup position.

5. Keyboard Hall effect switches

While most keyboards use physical switches to register key presses, others use Hall effect sensors to pick up on this actuation. A Hall effect sensor’s analog capabilities mean that key presses can be read as analog inputs. Consider how this could eliminate the need for a shift key, subbing in short and long presses to control capitalization, or that trigger points could be dynamically adjusted. Keys could even act together as an analog joystick. While still an exotic use case, this input type has massive potential.

6. Current sensing

Just as a Hall effect sensor can pick up magnetic fields from permanent magnets, these devices can also sense magnetic fields generated by the flow of electrical current. In this configuration, a Hall effect device acts as a non-contact current sensor, allowing for monitoring without the need to modify a wiring setup. A Hall effect sensor can be put around an electric line, so you don’t have to deal with connections/disconnections directly.

7. Hall effect sensor automotive applications

Vehicles have an exceptional number of moving parts, and Hall effect sensors can be implemented to monitor internal operations. With better sensing, efficiency can be improved in traditional gas-powered automobiles and emerging electric vehicles. In addition, Hall effect devices can be implemented for automotive current sensing, as explored here.

8. Hall effect probe

A Hall probe is a calibrated device that determines the strength of a magnetic field. Unlike the other devices on this list, the typical purpose of such a device is for scientific measurement and experimentation, not the direct automation or monitoring of equipment. While some users may never need such a device, a Hall effect probe can be essential for rigorous scientific testing.

Hall effect sensor uses ready for integration

Hall effect sensor packages typically include the sensor element and other electronic accessories that properly format the output signal for your application. As solid-state, sealed devices, they tend to be quite rugged, and a wide variety are ready for integration into your sensing project.

If you’re looking for the perfect Hall effect sensor, Arrow carries thousands of devices from top manufacturers. Popular units like the Allegro MicroSystems A1192LUBTN-T sensor, or Infineon Technologies TLE49595UFXHALA1 sensor, are available in bulk.

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Allegro MicroSystems Hall Effect Sensors View

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Infineon Technologies AG Hall Effect Sensors View


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