SparkFun AS3935 Lightning Detector Hookup Guide (v20)

Contributors: Elias The Sparkiest
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Note: This tutorial was written for v20 of the AS3935 lightning detector. For information on the previous version of the hookup guide, you will need to head over to the older tutorial.

The SparkFun AS3935 Lightning Detector adds lightning detection to your next weather station or to your next bike ride. Are you worried about the looming clouds in the distance, how far away is that storm exactly? The lightning detector can tell you the distance to the front of the storm 40 km away with an accuracy of 1km. It has false positive rejection and comes with many configurable features. To get at those features we have written a library that gives you access to settings such as storm sensing sensitivity, when detecting indoors vs outdoors, or the number of lightning strikes needed to trigger an interrupt! Revision 2.0 of the board is SPI only*, with the caveat that if you wanted to use I²C, all the parts are there but it is NOT supported by SparkFun.

SparkFun Lightning Detector - AS3935

SparkFun Lightning Detector - AS3935


Required Materials

To follow along with the example code used in this tutorial, you will also need the following materials. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

Jumper Wires - Connected 6" (M/F, 20 pack)

Jumper Wires - Connected 6" (M/F, 20 pack)

Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot



Depending on your setup, you will may need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories.

Soldering Iron - 60W (Adjustable Temperature)

Soldering Iron - 60W (Adjustable Temperature)

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube


Suggested Reading

We would also recommend taking a look at the following tutorials if you aren't familiar with them.

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.


An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

How to Work with Jumper Pads and PCB Traces

Handling PCB jumper pads and traces is an essential skill. Learn how to cut a PCB trace, add a solder jumper between pads to reroute connections, and repair a trace with the green wire method if a trace is damaged.

RedBoard Qwiic Hookup Guide

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the RedBoard Qwiic. This tutorial also covers how to get started blinking an LED and using the Qwiic system.