Distance Sensor Comparison Guide

Lidar or Ultrasonic? VCSEL or LED? When it comes to distance or proximity sensing, you have a lot of options.
So which one is the best suited for your next project? Use this handy guide to find out!

LED

Benefits

Inexpensive, small footprint, decent update rate, multiple interface options

Drawbacks

Current consumption a bit high, maximum range fairly low

LIDAR

Benefits

Excellent max range, very fast update rate

Drawbacks

High current draw, expensive, large footprint

Ultrasonic

Benefits

Very low current draw, multiple interface options

Drawbacks

Low resolution, slow refresh rate

VCSEL

Benefits

Super small minimum range, wide input voltage range, very fine resolution, inexpensive

Drawbacks

Very low maximum range, I2C interface only

TFMini Plus - Micro LiDAR Module

TFMini Plus - Micro LiDAR Module

TFMini Plus - Micro LiDAR Module

SEN-15179
$44.95
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.1

Maximum Range (m)

12

Resolution (mm)

5

Accuracy

±5cm @ 0.1m-6m, ±1% @ 6m-12m

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

1Hz-1000Hz (Adjustable)

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

3.6

Input Voltage

5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

500

Interfaces

UART & I2C

TF03 Long-Distance LiDAR Module

TF03 Long-Distance LiDAR Module

TF03 Long-Distance LiDAR Module

SEN-15180
$228.95
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

50

Maximum Range (m)

180 (Default)

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

±10cm (less than 10m), 1% (more than 10m)

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

1Hz-1000Hz (Adjustable), Default 100Hz

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

905

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

0.5

Input Voltage

5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

≤ 180

Interfaces

UART

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)

SEN-14786
$44.95
4
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

12

Resolution (mm)

5

Accuracy

± 5mm

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

100

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

2

Input Voltage

5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

24.0

Interfaces

I2C

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module

SEN-14588
$44.95
6
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

12

Resolution (mm)

5

Accuracy

± 5mm

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

100

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

2

Input Voltage

5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

24.0

Interfaces

Serial

LIDAR-Lite v3

LIDAR-Lite v3

LIDAR-Lite v3

SEN-14032
$129.99
24
Technology

LIDAR

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

40

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

270

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

905 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

Input Voltage

4.75 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

135.0

Interfaces

I2C, PWM

LIDAR-Lite v3HP

LIDAR-Lite v3HP

LIDAR-Lite v3HP

SEN-14599
$149.99
3
Technology

LIDAR

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

40

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

1000

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

905 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

Input Voltage

4.75 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

85.0

Interfaces

I2C, PWM

LIDAR-Lite v4

Garmin LIDAR-Lite v4 LED - Distance Measurement Sensor

Garmin LIDAR-Lite v4 LED - Distance Measurement Sensor

SEN-15776
$59.99
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.05

Maximum Range (m)

10

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1 cm to 2 meters

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

200

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

940 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

Input Voltage

4.75 — 5.25 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

85.0

Interfaces

I2C, ANT, SPI

Infrared Proximity Sensor - Sharp GP2Y0A21YK

Infrared Proximity Sensor - Sharp GP2Y0A21YK

Infrared Proximity Sensor - Sharp GP2Y0A21YK

SEN-00242
$13.95
1
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.10

Maximum Range (m)

0.80

Resolution (mm)

Accuracy

+/- 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

26

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

Input Voltage

4.5 - 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

30.0

Interfaces

Analog

Infrared Proximity Sensor Long Range - Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F

Infrared Proximity Sensor Long Range - Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F

Infrared Proximity Sensor Long Range - Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F

SEN-08958
$14.95
2
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.10

Maximum Range (m)

1.50

Resolution (mm)

Accuracy

± ~1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

26

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

-

Minimum Field of View (deg)

-

Input Voltage

4.5 - 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

33.0

Interfaces

Analog

Infrared Proximity Sensor Short Range - Sharp GP2Y0A41SK0F

Infrared Proximity Sensor Short Range - Sharp GP2Y0A41SK0F

Infrared Proximity Sensor Short Range - Sharp GP2Y0A41SK0F

SEN-12728
$13.95
3
Technology

LED

Minimum Range (m)

0.04

Maximum Range (m)

0.30

Resolution (mm)

Accuracy

± ~1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

60

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

870 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

Input Voltage

4.5 - 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

30.0

Interfaces

Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ1

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ1

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ1

SEN-11308
$34.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

5.00

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.1

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ4

SEN-11309
$34.95
3
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

5.00

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.1

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - HRXL-MaxSonar-WR

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-WR

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-WR

SEN-15798
$89.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.30

Maximum Range (m)

5.00

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

8

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

20

Input Voltage

3 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.4

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ0

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ0

SEN-08502
$29.95
1
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.15

Maximum Range (m)

6.50

Resolution (mm)

25

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

20

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

60

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

2.0

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ1

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ1

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ1

SEN-00639
$25.95
6
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.15

Maximum Range (m)

6.50

Resolution (mm)

25

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

20

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

2.0

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ2

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ2

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ2

SEN-08503
$27.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.15

Maximum Range (m)

6.50

Resolution (mm)

25

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

20

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

2.0

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ3

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ3

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ3

SEN-08501
$27.95
2
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.15

Maximum Range (m)

6.50

Resolution (mm)

25

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

20

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

2.0

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - LV-MaxSonar-EZ4

SEN-08504
$27.95
1
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.15

Maximum Range (m)

6.50

Resolution (mm)

25

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

20

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

40

Input Voltage

2.5 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

2.0

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ0

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ0

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ0

SEN-09491
$49.95
1
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.20

Maximum Range (m)

7.60

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

50

Input Voltage

3 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.4

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ3

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ3

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ3

SEN-09494
$49.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.20

Maximum Range (m)

7.60

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

50

Input Voltage

3 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.4

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ4

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-EZ4

SEN-09495
$49.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.20

Maximum Range (m)

7.60

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

50

Input Voltage

3 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.4

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-WR1

Ultrasonic Range Finder - XL-MaxSonar-WR1

SEN-09496
Retired
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.20

Maximum Range (m)

7.60

Resolution (mm)

10

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

42 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

20

Input Voltage

3 — 5.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

3.4

Interfaces

Serial, PWM, Analog

Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04

Ultrasonic Distance Sensor - HC-SR04

Ultrasonic Distance Sensor - HC-SR04

SEN-15569
$3.95
Technology

Ultrasonic

Minimum Range (m)

0.02

Maximum Range (m)

4.00

Resolution (mm)

3

Accuracy

± 3mm

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

40

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

40 kHz

Minimum Field of View (deg)

15

Input Voltage

5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

15.0

Interfaces

PWM

Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 meter, VL53L1X

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 Meter, VL53L1X (Qwiic)

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 Meter, VL53L1X (Qwiic)

SEN-14722
$21.95
8
Technology

VCSEL

Minimum Range (m)

0.04

Maximum Range (m)

4.00

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 1%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

50

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

940 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

15

Input Voltage

2.6 — 3.5 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

18.0

Interfaces

I2C

Distance Sensor Breakout - RFD77402

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - RFD77402 (Qwiic)

SEN-14539
1 Retired
Technology

VCSEL

Minimum Range (m)

0.10

Maximum Range (m)

2.00

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 10%

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

55

Input Voltage

2.7 — 3.3 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

15.0

Interfaces

I2C

ToF Range Finder Breakout - VL6180

SparkFun ToF Range Finder Breakout - VL6180

SparkFun ToF Range Finder Breakout - VL6180

SEN-12784
$17.95
1
Technology

VCSEL

Minimum Range (m)

0.01

Maximum Range (m)

0.10

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 5mm

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

25

Input Voltage

2.8 — 12 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

4.0

Interfaces

I2C

ToF Range Finder Sensor - VL6180

SparkFun ToF Range Finder Sensor - VL6180

SparkFun ToF Range Finder Sensor - VL6180

SEN-12785
$25.95
10
Technology

VCSEL

Minimum Range (m)

0.01

Maximum Range (m)

0.10

Resolution (mm)

1

Accuracy

± 5mm

Typical Update Rate (Hz)

10

Wavelength (Light) (nm)

850 nm

Frequency (Sound) (kHz)

Minimum Field of View (deg)

25

Input Voltage

2.8 — 12 V

Max Continuous Current Consumption (mA)

4.0

Interfaces

I2C