Hall Effect Sensors

What are Hall Effect Sensors?

Hall effect sensors are devices that detect the presence of a magnetic field. They work on the principle of the Hall effect. The Hall effect refers to the generation of a voltage difference (Hall voltage) across an electrical conductor, transverse to an electric current in the conductor and a magnetic field perpendicular to the current.

Hall effect sensors typically consist of a thin strip or plate of conductive material through which a current is passed. When a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the direction of the current flow, it causes the electrons within the conductor to experience a force due to the Lorentz force. This force results in a buildup of charge on one side of the conductor, creating a voltage difference perpendicular to both the current and magnetic field directions. This voltage difference can be measured and used to determine the strength of the magnetic field.

With thousands of options utilizing multiple technologies, sometimes the easiest first step in finding the right magnetic sensor for your application is to start with the sensor function in mind. If you don’t know whether you need a digital hall effect switch, a quadrature gear tooth sensor, a passive variable reluctance sensor, etc, looking for a sensor by function can be a good place to start.

You can start here and narrow down our catalog by indicating whether you are looking to measure speed, speed and direction, count, position, proximity, alignment, rotation angle, or the strength of a magnetic field.

What are the Different Applications that Utilize Hall Effect Sensors?

Hall effect sensors have various applications across different industries. Some common uses include:

  1. Proximity sensing: Hall effect sensors can detect the presence or absence of a magnetic field, making them useful for proximity sensing applications such as detecting the opening or closing of doors, detecting the position of a rotating shaft, or detecting the presence of a magnet in a specific location.

  2. Speed and position sensing: Hall effect sensors can be used to measure the speed and position of moving objects, such as in automotive applications for sensing the speed of rotating wheels or in industrial machinery for detecting the position of actuators or valves.

  3. Current sensing: By placing a Hall effect sensor near a current-carrying conductor, the magnetic field produced by the current can be measured, allowing for non-invasive current sensing in applications such as motor control, power monitoring, and energy management.

  4. Angle sensing: Hall effect sensors can also be used in conjunction with magnets to measure angles in rotary or linear motion systems, such as in automotive steering angle sensors or in robotics for joint position sensing.


Once you have selected a function, the next step will be to select the type of target you will be detecting.  A list of options for targets including gears and other steel targets as well as different types of magnets will be listed on the next page based on your function selection.  After you have selected a target type all sensors that meet your function and target will be listed and you can sort out the packaging and electrical features to determine the best sensor for your application.

If you are not sure where to start or have a custom functionality, contact our Engineers to discuss the specifics of your application.  As alternatives to this sensor selection tool, you can browse our Catalog, or start by selecting your Sensors By Target.  A Competitor Cross Catalog is also available to search through proven replacements for sensors manufactured by a number of different companies.

In  addition to the 6,000+ magnetic sensors in our catalog, we can provide an infinite number more options.  So, if you find the sensor you like, except it needs to have a 20’ cable, or it needs to be 2” longer contact our Engineers to put together the customized magnetic sensor that best fits your needs.

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