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Types of IR emitters

Flashing or non-flashing IR emitter

When you select an IR emitter, you will often have the choice between one that flashes and one
that does not. Selecting an emitter that flashes lets you detect easily whether the control sys-
tem is transmitting or not. However, using a flashing IR emitter can present problems that are
more difficult and time consuming to resolve.
In order to get the visible flash and still be able to control IR devices, the frequency of the light
that the IR emitter emits must be on the edge of visible light and IR light – a wavelength just
around 800 nm. However, the most common wavelength used by remote controls is 940nm. The
difference between 940nm and 800nm is often the reason why certain IR devices are unrespon-
sive even though the IR emitter is flashing.
The non-flashing IR emitters transmit IR signals using a 940nm wavelength. If you want a more
powerful IR signal, use a non-flashing emitter. There will always be cases where the IR device re-
acts to both IR emitters. However, when using the flashing emitter, the control of the device will
likely be less reliable. If you use an IR emitter that does not flash you will be less likely to encoun-
ter unnecessary problems.

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