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Description: It’s back! This is the LIDAR-Lite v3, a compact, high-performance optical distance measurement sensor from Garmin™. When space and weight requirements are tight, the LIDAR-Lite v3 soars. The LIDAR-Lite v3 is the ideal solution for drone, robot or unmanned vehicle applications.

This easy-to-use 40-meter laser-based optical ranging sensor has all the core features that made the LIDAR-Lite v2 so popular. Small in form and light in weight with low power consumption of less than 130mA during an acquisition. And it’s user-configurable so you can adjust between accuracy, operating range and measurement time.

Each LIDAR-Lite v3 features an edge-emitting, 905nm (1.3 watts), single-stripe laser transmitter, 4 m Radian x 2 m Radian beam divergence, and an optical aperture of 12.5mm. The third version of the LIDAR-Lite still operates at 5V DC with a current consumption rate of <100mA at continuous operation. On top of everything else, the LIDAR-Lite is user-configurable, allowing adjustment between accuracy, operating range and measurement time. It can be interfaced via I2C or PWM with the included 200mm accessory cable.

Note: CLASS 1 LASER PRODUCT CLASSIFIED EN/IEC 60825-1 2014. This product is in conformity with performance standards for laser products under 21 CFR 1040, except with respect to those characteristics authorized by Variance Number FDA-2016-V-2943 effective September 27, 2016.

Dimensions: 20 x 48 x 40 mm (0.8 x 1.9 x 1.6 inches)


  • Range: 0-40m Laser Emitter
  • Accuracy: +/- 2.5cm at distances greater than 1m
  • Power: 4.75–5V DC; 6V Max
  • Current Consumption: 105mA idle; 130mA continuous
  • Rep Rate: 1–500Hz
  • Laser Wave Length/Peak Power: 905nm/1.3 watts
  • Beam Divergence: 4m Radian x 2m Radian
  • Optical Aperture: 12.5mm
  • Interface: I2C or PWM


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Customer Comments

  • Now all you need is rotating mirror at an angle that rotates above the sensor, and a position sensor on the mirror and you can have 360 degree range finding with one sensor. At 500hz sample you can almost get 2 samples a second per degree. (though I’d be ok with 1 sample per 1.4 degrees, giving 2 samples a second) Get on it Sparkfun!

    • Hi, I made this 3d printable part for continuous 360 degree rotation. This was for the previous version of the LIDAR but looking at the bodies it will most likely work with this one as well. I like your idea of the rotation mirror, this saves the need for a slipring. Anyway, here is it:

      • Hey, nice thing. I have a few questions though.

        First, what size servo does it use? The link to the product page is dead.

        Second, what optical pickup did you use? And do you think it could work with

  • Hello, Bought one of this a couple of months ago ( this site, other lost account ). Got it working on I2C/Arduino, using the recommended capacitor with the example sketch (GetDistanceI2c), ran some tests, the results were fine, everything ok. Started using it again yesterday, same setup, first try: 10-20 results and silence, tried again, same result, third run - nothing on serial. Since then i get nothing on serial, no results, either on I2C or PWM. On I2C i think it fails at myLidarLite.begin(0, true). Anyone else got this problem or a solution for this ? ( the device is practically new and the wires, voltages, arduino IDE, etc are all verified and in working order ).

  • Hello!

    I have a question in regards to a possible use case for this sensor:

    I’m trying to measure the distance from this sensor (fixed point) to a moving point with a max movement of 0.5m located 10 meters away.

    Is there a was I can add a marker to my moving point so the LIDAR can measure deflection as best as possible? If not how can I measure the distance to only that point?

    Thanks, Charles

  • Hi, I would like to know if this sensor works on water (Signal will bounce on water?) I need it for a water level tank.



  • Having some trouble getting this product to work using I2C interface. Works as advertised in PWM mode so it’s at least mostly functional. In I2C mode I can set and read-back the R/W registers so comms seem OK, though the serial number registers return all 0’s (suspicious). When I command a distance measurement, the distance value is always 0x2424. The status register bits all seem OK (no error conditions) after the measurement. I’m using a NI RoboRio as the controller. I may test it with an Arduino as a cross-check to see if it’s something peculiar to the Rio’s I2C. Anybody have any thoughts?

  • Maybe this will bring the price down to something more in the hobbyist/experimentation zone:

  • Anyone tried this on RPi + python I2C smbus @ 400kbps yet? Seems to be completely locked for me. I can get I2C connectivity but only the power-up reading is supplied when I trigger a read (ACQ_COMMAND 0x04) and read the FULL_DELAY_HIGH / LOW registers. Tried various other methods too including free running mode with no success. STATUS read consistently reports 0x26 showing signal and reference overflow.

  • Regarding GPS interference, this is from the included product information paper:

    “This Limited Warranty also does not apply to, and Garmin is not responsible for, any degradation in the performance of any Garmin navigation product resulting from its use in proximity to any handset or other device that utilizes a terrestrial broadband network operating on frequencies that are close to the frequencies used by any Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) such as the Global Positioning Service (GPS). Use of such devices may impair reception of GNSS signals.”

  • Does anyone have a set of physical drawings of the housing, or at least some specs on the spacing/size of the mounting holes?

  • We have used earlier versions of the Lidar Lite but stopped using them because of the noisy RFI that they generated. The RFI was so bad that it caused problems with the GPS. Has this problem been corrected? Tnx

  • Can we use this for underwater vehicles?

  • Can this be used for underwater vehicles?

  • Has anyone used v3 to measure velocity? The v3 libraries are missing some of the v2 components, most noticeably the velocity measurement capability.

  • Hi, I would like to know if the LL3 is still stable and reliable outside. For instance, is it still operating under sunlight, or in an environment disturbed by the rain, the wind or the heat… ? Thank you for your time,

  • Does this work with 3.3V IO or is 5V required? The garmin spec isn’t clear, other than to say the i2c can run “up to a maximum of 5V”

  • Have you guys been able to use I2C without the capacitor? And if not, do you carry a capacitor that would be suitable? I was really hoping they’d get rid of that on V3.

    • Currently testing one without the capacitor and it seems to be working fine. I believe the capacitor is suggested to protect the Arduino. Probably a good idea to use one if you can….capacitors are cheaper than Arduino’s!

  • Any word on whether the offset and other issues of the v2 have been fixed? They are well documented on the Arducopter wiki :

  • What is the repeatability, please?

  • I would also like to know what changes were made between the v2 and v3 models. Is it just a Garmin re-branding of the V2? It is great to see this product returning to the market.

  • Its cool that its comes back. Do you know what are the changes made between V2 and V3? there were some reliability issues on V2, are they fixed?

  • Product Page link seems to be wrong, server not found

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

Based on 12 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Simple, fast, accurate

I’m very happy with this little unit. Setup was a breeze and the accuracy in my use case (detecting block walls) is excellent. I honestly expected much less than the unit delivered, and feel it was worth the price. I’ve used many sonar and IR based units before and found this unit to be much more reliable. If you are picking this up for an Arduino, make sure you have a hefty capacitor on the power line, it pulls a fair bit of current on turn-on, they recommend a 680uf cap.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Great little LIDAR Transceiver

I design and work with scientific LIDAR for the University of Colorado and I am impressed with this device. Generally, a time-of-flight LIDAR with this sort of range resolution is difficult due to the amazing speed of light and high speed needed for acquisition. This device uses a nifty trick to solve this, doing a really nice job of centimeter-ish range resolution in a small low-power and easy-to-use package. I was able to have an operational device in just a few minutes using an Arduino.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Meets specs, used in a different application.

I purchased this to detect reflective poles at distances up to 90 feet. The distance to each pole being predetermined to avoid surrounding items. The results are used for triangulating location and heading for outside AGV navigation. It was able to clearly detect a quarter inch wide reflective strip at 50 feet using the default settings as delivered. Modifying the settings should provide a very robust and reliable method of detection once mounted on a rotating base.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Lidar Lite V3---Satisfied so far

I bought this for obstacle detection on an aerial drone. It worked exactly according to the included instructions in the PWM mode. I did need to add a large capacitor 1000 uF (less may be fine) to insure it initialized properly on every power up. The manual showed the capacitor in the I2C but was not clear that it is needed in the PWM mode.

When I interfaced this with a PixHawk autopilot I found that the recommended series resistor on the trigger line did work. Connected the trigger line directly to the PixHawk Aux pin and it seems to be functioning well. I will be flight testing this week with it.

1 of 7 found this helpful:

can't review yet, parts not included

I have to wait to review this unit as the required electrolytic capacitor and resistors were NOT included for the $150 price. As soon as they arrive and I futz around with installing external discrete componentry, I can give a review. So far, not pleased. Updates to come later.

Impressive capabilities for diffuse targets

Works well and Arduino library is basic but working. I had hoped to use this with retroreflective targets, but they tend to overload the receiver, and you get ambiguous results. I will continue to experiment.

This my third one

Mainly because it’s small enough to mount on a mid-sized multi-rotor, I know the wiring and I sold #2, so needed another one.

I use them solely for distance measuring, as a radar altimeter and object ranging, having them mounted on servos that follow the camera’s gimbal tilt. I use them PWM, connected to a Pitlabs OSD board, which then displays the distance in the video stream.

For me, the device works as advertised, reliably showing distance from 1-150ft. The PWM signal needs a 470ohm resistor to trigger it continuously.

In the crappy news Dept., it’s pretty disheartening to pay 50% more than the first two with that fancy Garmin sticker on it.

has not arrived yet

i have not received your shipment for this. Where is it?

According to the tracking number, it was delivered on 1/04/17 at 12:45. Hopefully you’ve gotten it by now, and will have a chance to work with it soon. Once you do, please let us know what you think!

0 of 5 found this helpful:

Haven't gotten around to implementing my LIDAR Speed Detector / Recorder yet

Because i’ve been busy with other stuff.

Very exciting sensor.

I have high hopes for the Lidar sensor to sense distance and direction on a outdoor robot. In this installation, the Lidar sits on a 180 rotation servo to provide the angle to the object detected. The outdoor tests have been more successful than with other sensors tried for this purpose. It is being used in the PWM mode now because the Arduino mega serial ports are busy. Yeah, I know. So far, so good.

Cool and Capable Sensor

Range and refresh rate set this sensor apart from other range detectors such as the Maxbotix outdoor sensors which are comparably priced. Not only can the LIDAR resolve objects farther, it is able to “see” soft and non-reflective objects such as people. Also, it can refresh hundreds of times a second as opposed to a 6Hz refresh on the outdoor Maxbotix’s gear.

One complaint, there is a fair bit of noise in the data stream - especially when it does not get any / a strong return. You will need to filter and that will reduce the effective refresh rate.


Support Tips

Lidar Lite V3 vs Lidar Lite V2

The V3 pinout, default address (0x62), and functionality the same as the V2. However, the connector and cable for the V3 are different compared the V2.

Garmin: LIDAR-Lite v3 Application Notes

How the LIDAR-Lite v3 Works with Reflective Surfaces =>

Examples and Cool Projects

Serial Output Error?

If you happen to see this output using the I2C example code [ ] with the decoupling capacitors connected to the Arduino:

> nack
> nack
> nack

you probably do not have a secure connection between the Lidar and the Arduino. I2C is sensitive to its connection. The cable wires are thin and can disconnect when in the Arduino Uno’s female header from a bump. A breadboard seems to work fine if there is not a lot of mechanical vibrations. However, a small bump can mess up the timing for the I2C even on the breadboard.

For a secure connection, I recommend soldering header pins with some heat shrink or make sort of adapter when connecting it to an Arduino. Once disconnected, the Arduino might stop outputting sensor data. You can reset the Arduino for testing but to prevent the wires from disconnecting, it would be better to solder the wires to header pins. This is a common “issue” with any I2C sensor and if they do not secure the wires, the Arduino will have problems talking with the Lidar Lite V3.

Lidar Lite V3 Wand

For the Lidar Lite V3 Wand used in the demo video, Nick Poole basically used the same parts and example code [ ] that was used with the Lidar Lite V2 Glasses. For the Lidar Lite V3 Wand, he added LEDs, micro-b USB breakout [ ], micro-B USB Cable, and a backup portable cell phone charger. He happened to have a 5V/16 MHz Pro Micro around when building the project for the Lidar Lite V2 Glasses. The parts were reused for the Lidar Lite V3 Wand. Try looking at the old wishlist for the Lidar Lite V2 Glasses [ ] for more information. Make sure to also add a resistor when using the PWM wiring [ ] as stated in the user manual on page 3 -

Lidar Lite 3 Cable

You can find a replacement Lidar Lite V3 cable in our catalog here => [ ]. The Lidar Lite V3 cable is not the same cable that was used with the Lidar Lite V1 and v2.


Unfortunately, we do not have a 680uF capacitor. We have a 1000uF capacitor [ ] which can work as a substitute with the Lidar Lite. You can also wire capacitors in series and parallel to get an equivalent capacitance [ ].