The objective of this study is to measure high-frequency, short-duration, actual liquid fuel spray events using a simple photo detector and validate the results with high-speed camera measurements. This paper presents an optical approach for detecting bulk fuel injection's temporal characteristics, i.e. opening delay and duration times. A key component in the measurement system is a commercially available low-cost photo detector which is shown to be highly effective for detecting high frequency, short duration spray events. The paper provides an in-depth discussion of a photo detector based measurement system, a test fixture, and its validation. Test results with a two-stage pulse-width-modulation (PWM) current controlled approach are provided for various operation parameter settings. Its effectiveness is validated by comparing with the results obtained with a high-speed camera.