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How Much Do People Counting Sensors Cost?

March 20, 2023

When seeking out a new system, one of the first pieces of information to find, is how much do people counting sensors cost. Being a technical product, it’s not always a straightforward answer. First, you’ll need to decide which type of people counting technology is of interest and the quantity and sensor model needed. Then you’ll need to assess your network infrastructure and installation method. Let’s break it down.

Types of Technology and People Counter Price Points

In the early 2000’s our bread-and-butter technology was a photoelectric break beam counter. It was comprised of two units, a transmitter, and a receiver, that are mounted to the sides of a doorway and increment a count on a display each time the invisible beam is broken. A break beam counter is what most refer to in their search for how much a basic people counter costs.

In addition to the cost-savings, people seek out break beam counters because they are a simple technology, are easy to install, and use a simple display to show data. Overall, the experience of operating such devices seems manageable to almost anyone.

There are scenarios where a break-beam people counter is the only option, such as a rural library with a limited budget. At other times, a low-cost people counter seems to be the best solution, but further investigation proves a more advanced technology is a better fit.

In 2019, we decided to cease the sale of break beam people counters. Honestly, it was a difficult call to make because of the quantity sold and the demand was still high. However, we knew we had to cut ties at some point to dedicate resources to advance our offerings. In hindsight, we are glad we made the decision when we did!

The alternative is a modern system with an intelligent sensor that connects to your network. It can seem intimidating to make the jump to an improved system, but we are confident the benefits are worth the additional investment. It’s more hands-off than you think, with automated data collection, reports delivered right to your inbox, and maintenance proactively monitored by SenSource’s technical support staff.

Modern People Counting: How Much Does a People Counter Cost?

There are three main components to the cost of a people counter – hardware, software, and installation. The hardware consists of the sensor itself, which is a one-time fee. The software is an annual SaaS subscription that gives access to your data on the cloud, reporting tools, and technical support. Installation is a variable cost based on your network requirements and the feasibility to run the cable and mount the sensor.

The quantity and model of the sensor will play into finding out how much people counting sensors cost. A site survey is needed and can be performed yourself or outsourced to a technician. The basic information to gather is the entryway width and the ceiling height where the device is to be mounted. In most cases, a single, standard sensor is needed to cover a double-door entrance with a standard-height ceiling. However, if the entrance is wider, and the ceiling height is lower or higher than average, a different model may be needed or multiple sensors. All of this information will be collected in a site survey document and an account rep will determine the type and quantity of hardware needed.

You may have the resources to install the system yourself, saving on installation costs. We’ll guide you through the process and offer installation documentation. Check out our installation video. Otherwise, you’ll need installation services to install your system.

Justifying the Investment of a Modern People Counting System

After answering how much people counting sensors costs, you’ll want more information to justify the investment. Three reasons why modern sensing technology outperforms low-cost, basic systems of the past are accuracy, consistency, and automation.


As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And in people counting terms, that means you get the accuracy you pay for. Two decades ago, a “general sense” of your traffic flow and patterns was probably sufficient; it was more accurate than making educated guesses. But today, businesses are basing high-stakes decisions on their business’ door counting data. If you’re deciding to adjust your operating hours, hire additional staff, or present your justification for a five-million-dollar expansion, you better be confident in the accuracy of the traffic data backing those decisions.


Low-cost people counters can’t be consistently accurate because of how the technology works. By counting when the photoelectric beam is broken, you often over and under-count throughout the day.

For example, if a group enters the doorway together, the sensor will only detect a single break and increment one (undercounting). Or if someone paces back and forth at the doorway while on their phone, the sensor’s beam will break over and over, incrementing multiple counts for the same person (over-counting).

Another consistency issue arises with the sensor’s power source. Most low-cost people counters are battery-powered and don’t include a low-battery warning. When the batteries die, no traffic data is collected.


The basic nature of these sensors requires manual intervention. As previously mentioned, the batteries need to be replaced. Secondly, someone needs to collect the data from the display and input it into a spreadsheet. Modern people counters connect to your network, automating data collection by sending it to cloud-based software. Even if a basic people counter could connect to your network, the value of the reporting tools is lost because of data inaccuracies.

If you’re ready for a personalized price quote, reach out to our friendly sales staff! They’ll provide you with general pricing, then after collecting site survey measurements, can provide a custom quote. Check out the video below for how to perform a site survey.