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Both the retro reflective and through beam sensors rely on the object 'breaking' the beam in order for it to be detected. Whereas the diffuse system requires the object itself to reflect the light beam.
Because of this fundamental difference in the way the sensors detect an object, retro reflective and through beam sensor outputs are the inverse of diffuse sensors. This leads to a lot of confusion.
A sensor that is light switching switches it's output 'on' when the light beam is returned to the receiver. i.e. If N/O operation is required, a light switching diffuse sensor could be used.