Diagnostic alkali atom (e.g., lithium) beams are routinely used to diagnose magnetically confined plasmas, namely, to measure the plasma electron density profile in the edge and the scrape off layer region. A light splitting optics system was installed into the observation system of the lithium beam emission spectroscopy diagnostic at the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak, which allows simultaneous measurement of the beam light emission with a spectrometer and a fast avalanche photodiode (APD) camera. The spectrometer measurement allows density profile reconstruction with similar to 10 ms time resolution, absolute position calculation from the Doppler shift, spectral background subtraction as well as relative intensity calibration of the channels for each discharge. The APD system is capable of measuring light intensities on the microsecond time scale. However similar to 100 mu s integration is needed to have an acceptable signal to noise ratio due to moderate light levels. Fast modulation of the beam up to 30 kHz is implemented which allows background subtraction on the 100 mu s time scale. The measurement covers the 0.9 < rho(pol) < 1.1 range with 6-10 mm optical resolution at the measurement location which translates to 3-5 mm radial resolution at the midplane due to flux expansion. An automated routine has been developed which performs the background subtraction, the relative calibration, and the comprehensive error calculation, runs a Bayesian density reconstruction code, and loads results to the JET database. The paper demonstrates the capability of the APD system by analyzing fast phenomena like pellet injection and edge localized modes.