Your Raspberry Pi project can now see in dazzling colour with this lovely TCS34725 light sensor, which has both RGB and Clear light sensing elements. Adafruit's RGB Colour Sensor has an integrated IR blocking filter and localized color sensing photodiodes that minimize the IR spectral component of incoming light and allows color measurements to be made accurately. The filter means you'll get much truer color than most sensors, since humans don't see IR. The sensor also has an incredible 3,800,000:1 dynamic range with adjustable integration time and gain so it is suited for use behind darkened glass.
We add supporting circuitry as well, such as a 3.3V regulator so you can power the breakout with 3-5VDC safely and level shifting for the I2C pins so they can be used with 3.3V or 5V logic. Finally, we specified a nice neutral 4150°K temperature LED with a MOSFET driver onboard to illuminate what you're trying to sense. The LED can be easily turned on or off by any logic level output.
Connect to any microcontroller with I2C and our example code will quickly get you going with 4 channel readings. We include some example code to detect light lux and temperature that we snagged from the eval board software.
Check out our Arduino library and follow our tutorial to install. Wire up the sensor by connecting VDD to 3-5VDC, Ground to common ground, SCL to I2C Clock and SDA to I2C Data on your Arduino. Restart the IDE and select the example sketch and start putting all your favorite fruit next to the sensor element!
If the object emits light, does the LED light need to be used?
If this were pointed at a screen, would the device be able to determine the primary color that is being shown? How close does the sensor need to be?
The on-board LED is used for reflective colour sensing. It will shine a white light onto an object, which then gets reflected back to the sensor, allowing you to detect the colour of the object. If you a shining a coloured light directly onto the sensor, then there is no need to use the on-board LED.
The range is very short ~10mm, but this is relative to the intensity of the light being detected.
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