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

This SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout utilizes the VL53L1X next generation ToF (Time of Flight) sensor module to give you the highly accurate measurements at long ranges for its size. The VL53L1X uses a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) to emit an Infrared laser to time the reflection to the target. That means that you will be able to measure the distance to an object from 40mm to 4m away with millimeter resolution! To make it even easier to get your readings, all communication is enacted exclusively via I2C, utilizing our handy Qwiic system so no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1”-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.

Each VL53L1X sensor features a precision to be 1mm with an accuracy around +/-5mm and a minimum read distance of this sensor is 4cm. The field of view for this little breakout is fairly narrow at 15°-27° with a read rate of up to 50Hz. Make sure to power this board appropriately since it will need 2.6V-3.5V to operate. Lastly, please be sure to remove the protective sticker on the VL53L1X before use otherwise it will, most assuredly, throw off your readings.


The SparkFun Qwiic connect system is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.


Note: CLASS 1 LASER PRODUCT CLASSIFIED IEC 60825-1 2014.

Get Started with the SparkFun VL53L1X Distance Sensor Breakout Guide

  • Operating Voltage: 2.6V-3.5V
  • Power Consumption: 20 mW @10Hz
  • Measurement Range: ~40mm to 4,000mm
  • Resolution: +/-1mm
  • Light Source: Class 1 940nm VCSEL
  • I2C Address: 0x52
  • Field of View: 15° - 27°
  • Max Read Rate: 50Hz

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 Meter, VL53L1X (Qwiic) Product Help and Resources

Qwiic Distance Sensor (VL53L1X) Hookup Guide

June 18, 2018

The Qwiic VL53L1X time of flight sensor is capable of several modes, as well as having a range of 4M. Let's hook it up and find out just how far away that thing over there is.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Customer Comments

  • How is the performance in strong ambient light outdoors? Is there any special housing that’s necessary to improve the performance in such environments?

  • Can I measure the distance of a metal bob inside a metal tube of 4cm diameter with this module?….Will the laser bounce off the walls of the tube?

  • What I want to know is how this module runs on 3.3 volt? Everything in the STM documentation states 2.8 Volt with 1.8 volt I/O. As far as I can tell Sparkfun has the only VL53L1X module that runs on 3.3 volt with I/O on 3.3 volt.

    • Excellent question. Under Technical Specifications it indicates the operating voltage is 2.6 to 3.5V. Under 5.2 of the datasheet, Recommended Operating Conditions, it indicates there are two modes of this board, default, which is 1.8, and 2.8 mode. The absolute max of this board for supply is listed as 3.6V. This is I2C, so your communication lines pull the signal low and are driven by pull up resistors. The voltage across your pull up resistors will dictate your I/O voltage, which if you give this board 3.3V will be 3.3V, within the specifications of the manufacturer.

  • Hi, can it be used to measure water level? I am planning for a tidal gauge, but maybe absorption of light in water gives trouble. BR

    • TOF Lasers don’t measure water reflections, sit something floating on the water, something that is highly reflective, shielded from outside light and baffled from ‘wave noise’ works fine.

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