Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 11, 2008

Simple LED Color Sensor

at 10:56 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

This is a pretty interesting walk though on how to process and read the microvoltage that an LED will put out when exposed to a light source . Who says you can’t teach an old component new tricks?

“Hook up a high-quality ultra-bright red LED by itself (no battery or other circuitry) to a multimeter in voltage measurement mode. Put the LED against a light source, such as a desk lamp. See the voltage? Now, hide the LED in a dark place. See a decrease in voltage?”

Via Make


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7 Responses to “Simple LED Color Sensor”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Um, last I checked, All semiconductor materials are photo sensative. granted some
    more than others. and your article only shows that it is light sensative, not
    color sensative.

  2. Proteus1935 Says:

    Some interesting (human EE filtered) related reading when you’re planing on using a single led for digital communication between micro-controllers:


    Hope it helps someone =)

  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Jeff,

    The article shows how to do it for one color, simply make the same circuit 2 more times for the others (RGB – Red Green Blue)

    “Putting this all together – a color sensor can be made from a reversed LED and an op amp chip. In fact, TAOS did just that with their TSLR257 (red), TSLG257 (green), and TSLB257 (blue) sensors.”

  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    Lawrence, your comment was removed. Please refrain from posting negative non-constructive comments. We appreciate all feedback, if there are certain types of articles you enjoy more than others please let us know. 🙂

  5. Tom Pesch Says:

    How much current does a regular led produce in direct sunlight? Is that reading there in mA?

  6. sandeep Says:


    I am sandeep , i have colour LED and i have to identify the the LED colour online so which sensor is available for this checking pl guide me

  7. DIY Color Detection using an RGB LED - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] have seen single color LED detection before, fjordcarver has built a DIY Color Detection using an RGB LED that can detect the actual […]

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