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AMBI Light Sensor

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The “AMBI” is a small board that carries a Sharp GA1A1S201WP surface-mount ambient light sensor. The AMBI’s 3-pin interface mounts directly onto the analog pins on an Arduino.

The light sensor has a spectral response similar to that of the human eye, which means the sensor is highly accurate when used as the basis of an ambient light sensor, or camera exposure sensor. It’s also capable of digitally quantifying the brightness of ambient light in a very small form factor setup.

The OPIC light detector has an integrated photodiode and amplifier circuit providing a logarithmic output that works with a wide range of illumination, both indoors and outdoors (3 to 55000 lux). It performs similarly to a light meter. The sensor works at up to +7V, and operates accurately across a wide temperature range between -40 and +85 C.

The board comes assembled, with a 3-pin header soldered on. Available as a single unit or 5-pack.


  • Mobile handhelds – automatic screen brightness
  • Detecting camera exposure
  • Remote light monitor for managing power consumption
  • Proximity (by light obstruction) sensor


  • Supply voltage: -0.3 to +7.0V
  • Output current: 1 mA
  • Operating temperature: -40 to +85 C
  • 3-pin interface: GND, +5Vin, and readout



Light Sensor Cheatsheet Light Sensor Cheatsheet (212.534 KBytes, Document file, Apr 21, 2010)

Code and pin connections to get the 3-axis accelerometer up and running in 5 minutes or less.

Get in touch if you have any questions, or ideas for something you want me to build.