Proximity Sensor 20cm (Qwiic) - VCNL4040

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The VCNL4040 is a simple IR presence and ambient light sensor. This sensor is excellent for detecting if something has appeared in front of the sensor. We often see this type of sensor on automatic towel dispensers, automatic faucets, etc. You can detect objects qualitatively up to 20cm away. This means you can detect if something is there, and if it is closer or further away since the last reading, but it’s difficult to say it is 7.2cm away. If you need quantitative distance readings (for example sensing that an object is 177mm away) check out the SparkFun 2 meter and 4 meter Time of Flight (ToF) sensors with mm accuracy.

The SparkFun Proximity VCNL4040 sensor is a great digital alternative to the popular analog based Sharp sensors. The VCNL4040 also has no dead zone and can read all the way up to the face of the sensor. This sensor also has an ambient light sensor built it which is excellent if you need a digital light sensor for your next glitter cannon.

We’ve written an Arduino library to flex every feature of this sensor. You can grab it from the Arduino Library Manager or from the SparkFun repo.

This board is one of our many Qwiic compatible boards! Simply plug and go. No soldering, no figuring out which is SDA or SCL, and no voltage regulation or translation required!

We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.
  • VCNL4040 Datasheet
  • Example Arduino Sketches: For example sketches please search the Arduino library manager for ‘SparkFun VCNL4040’ to quickly get many helpful example sketches
  • Eagle Files
  • Schematic
  • Library Repo
  • Please visit the repo for the latest firmware, library and hardware designs.

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