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What’s the difference between Infrared & Radio?

RF, also known as “Radio Frequency”, and IR, which stands for “Infrared” are two kinds of energy used in remote controls to communicate commands. RF uses radio waves and IR is a kind of light that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

It is often difficult to tell whether a remote control is Radio or IR simply by looking at the remote control itself. As long as it works, few people care. But if you’re curious, the easiest way to tell is if you need to point the remote directly at the device you’re trying to control. Your TV remote is IR. Your garage door is RF.

Both technologies have their own advantages. As IR requires line-of-sight, it increases safety as the operator must be able to see the application where the receiver is located in order to control it. The user also has peace of mind knowing no RF device can interfere with their system.

RF, on the other hand, can work over much longer distances and can pass through various materials which IR can’t. This allows the user much greater flexibility & control in areas where there are obstacles & terrain blocking the users line-of-sight. FSL design remote controls with both IR & RF capability to maximise the number of applications our customers can control. It won’t matter whether you understand the difference between them, even though now you do.