Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 16, 2011

DIY Color Detection using an RGB LED

at 10:26 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


We have seen single color LED detection before, fjordcarver has built a DIY Color Detection using an RGB LED that can detect the actual color of the object placed in front of the home made sensor.

For this sensor you will need

  • a breadboard (not required, but it is how I will walk you through it.)
  • an RGB LED (alternatively you could use 3 LEDs)
  • A 220 ohm resistor
  • A CdS photocell (these can be salvaged out of all kinds of things like nightlights or garden lamps)
  • An Arduino, or a clone. I am using a RBB in this example”



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4 Responses to “DIY Color Detection using an RGB LED”

  1. Rick Crammond Says:

    Diodes are incredibly versatile!

    Much to my amazement, I was able to use an unpowered crystal radio, which uses a standard 1N34a diode, to detect colours from a computer screen.

    The radio discerns colours by receiving the high frequencies emitted by the screen, and through the diode converting them to audio signal. Then I modify the radio’s audio signal through real-time software called Audio Hijack Pro. Here’s a movie of that experiment: http://www.youtube.com/mrfixitrick#p/u/21/aPEJtXhGiI0

    The 1N34a diode itself will also respond to direct light of various kinds.

    Here is a great link that shows 40 different circuits for germanium diodes from an old-time 1952 Sylvania book, “More New Uses For Germanium Diodes” :

  2. DIY RGB LED Color Detection | DIY Blog Says:

    […] ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://hackedgadgets.com/2011/12/16/diy-color-detection-using-an-rgb-led/ […]

  3. Fuming Solder Says:

    It’s a great idea and a surprisingly simple implementation! Before reading the instructable I thought colored glass filters would be involved but it’s even simpler than that. I guess, some sort of a lens to focus on the object you’re most interested in would help but even in the simplest version I think it should still be useful for, say, making a robot that follows a red line but not the blue. A great little gem of a circuit that can come handy one day!

  4. » RGB Color Detection Things Kellen Likes Says:

    […] Here is a fun idea that could be leveraged into several interesting projects.  It uses an RGB LED and a CdS photocell to detect the color of any object.  Here‘s another really cool version of the same project, where a ball changes color to match the surface you put it on.   Leave a comment […]

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