TEMT6000 Ambient Light Sensor Hookup Guide

Contributors: Michael Bartlett
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Light sensors have all sorts of practical uses in the modern era, most notably in devices with auto-brightness for their screens and in digital cameras to adjust exposure. With the Ambient Light Sensor Breakout, it's be a breeze to interface with the TEMT6000 Light Sensor so you can bring the ability to detect light levels to any project.

SparkFun Ambient Light Sensor Breakout - TEMT6000

SparkFun Ambient Light Sensor Breakout - TEMT6000


As the name suggests, the TEMT6000 Light Sensor will detect the brightness of its surroundings. While there are many properties of light that can help us categorize its brightness, the TEMT6000 measures illuminance (measured in lux (lx), often denoted Ev). Don't worry if illuminance is new to you though, the TEMT6000 is very intuitive to use: brighter = more current, darker = less current.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to quickly get the ambient light sensor breakout up and running, then discuss some of the more technical details of how it functions. After that, we’ll show you how to use it to make a practical DIY nightlight!

Required Materials

Here's what you'll need to follow along with this guide:

Suggested Reading

  • Check out our Light Tutorial for more information on the technical properties of light. An intuitive understanding of light should be enough to make use of the TEMT6000, but, if you're looking for more precise applications, this is worth the read.
  • This sensor is a phototransistor. Knowing how transistors work will be helpful in using the TEMT6000.
  • A voltage divider circuit is used to create a usable signal from the light sensor for a microcontroller. A basic understanding of voltage dividers is recommended.
  • To read the voltage coming from the voltage diverer circuit, an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) will be necessary. This tutorial will show how to read the voltage on the ADC found on an Arduino microcontroller.
  • We recommend soldering some male header-pins to your TEMT6000 breakout to make it easier to use, so be sure to read our Soldering Tutorial for details on good soldering practice.
  • Knowing more about the TEMT6000 itself couldn't hurt, so here's a link to its datasheet.