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Proximity Light VCNL4010 Sensor

Proximity Light VCNL4010 Sensor -  The VCNL4010 sensor is a nice way to add a small-distance proximity sensor to your microcontroller project. For longer distances (in the range of cm, you can use a SHARP IR distance sensor, but those are only good if the object is over 10 cm away. The VCNL4010 is designed for much shorter distances, no more than 200mm (about 7.5") and under our experimentation we found it worked best at distances of about 10-150mm. It would be good for say detecting when a hand moved nearby, or before a robot smacks into a wall. The sensor also has an ambient light sensor built in.

This sensor is easy to use with any microcontroller that has i2c capability. It is 5 volt compliant so you can use it with 3.3V or 5V logic with no risk of damage. There is an onboard 3.3V ultra low dropout regulator so you can power it with 3.3 to 5.0V. However, if you can give it 5.0V that is ideal since the VIN voltage powers the IR LED and the higher the voltage you can give it, the more powerful it is.

Frequently asked questions about UV Index / IR / Visible SI1145 Digital Light Sensor

Q1: How do you define UV Index?

The amount of ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun that reaches the surface of the Earth is measured by the UV Index. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) created a numerical scale that goes from 0 to 11+, with higher values denoting a greater likelihood of skin damage from continuous sun exposure. The measure takes into account variables like the sun's angle, cloud cover, and atmospheric ozone concentrations.

Q2: What is IR?

A form of electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than visible light is known as infrared radiation, or IR. It is frequently employed in processes like heating, cooking, and remote sensing. Although infrared radiation is invisible to the human eye, sensors like the SI1145 Digital Light Sensor can detect it.

Q3: What does visible light mean?

A form of electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye is known as visible light. The colours we perceive in our environment are caused by a spectrum of wavelengths that spans from 400 to 700 nanometers. The SI1145 Digital Light Sensor can accurately detect visible light in a range of lighting conditions.

Q4: A SI1145 digital light sensor is what, exactly?

A digital light sensor that monitors UV Index, IR, and visible light is called the SI1145. It is a tiny, low-power sensor that can be included into many different gadgets, such as weather stations, fitness trackers, and smart home appliances. The sensor detects light using a photodiode and transforms the light intensity into a digital signal that can be read by a microcontroller or other processing device using an integrated circuit.

The SI1145 can accurately detect UV Index, IR, and visible light levels and is made to function in a variety of lighting situations. It is a common sensor for uses that call for accurate measurements of light levels, including regulating the brightness of interior lighting systems or monitoring UV exposure for sun safety.

New! As of Sept 23, 2015 we are now shipping this breakout with the updated VCNL4010 - the library has changed and the chip is slightly different in that it now supports interrupts. We also made the board a little more compact. However, the overall proximity functionality is identical.

We have working example code for the VCNL4010 version of this breakout, in the form of an Arduino sketch. It is easily adaptable to any microcontroller, check out the github repository to download! Not for use with the VCNL4000!

If you have the original VCNL4000 version of this breakout, this github repo has an Arduino sketch for it. Not for use with the VCNL4010!


  • EagleCAD PCB files on GitHub
  • PCB dimensions: 18mm x 16.5mm (0.7" x 0.6")
  • Thickness including tallest SMT components: ~3.15mm (0.125")
  • Thickness of PCB: 1.75mm / 0.070"
  • This board/chip uses I2C 7-bit address 0x13
Datasheets for the VCNL4010 version of this board:
Datasheets for the VCNL4000 version of this board:

Proximity Light VCNL4010 Sensor

Proximity Light VCNL4010 Sensor

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