Ambient 5 Click can sense the intensity of the ambient light, providing measurement data in a digital format, over the I2C interface. It utilizes the VEML6030, a miniature ambient light sensor (ALS) which occupies only 2x2 mm of space. Packed in a small transparent casing, this sensor offers a lot of features. Thanks to its 16-bit dynamic range, it can be used in very dim, but also in very bright lighting conditions. A Filtron™ technology provides spectral response close to a real human eye. The flicker noise rejection algorithm improves accuracy, while excellent thermal compensation ensures consistent readings.
Ambient 5 Click is supported by a mikroSDK compliant library, which includes functions that simplify software development.
Thanks to the used proprietary technologies that allow high precision, reliability, and low power consumption, Ambient 5 Click can be used for a rapid development of various cost-effective applications that rely on light intensity sensing, including optical switches, screen dimming applications for mobile and handheld devices, light metering applications (lux meters), and similar.
The main component of the Ambient 5 Click is the VEML6030, a high accuracy ambient light sensor (ALS) with I2C interface, from Vishay Semiconductors. This sensor utilizes several proprietary technologies to ensure accurate measurements of the light intensity, with the spectral response very close to a human eye. By utilizing a sensitive photo-diode, low noise amplifier, and a 16-bit A/D converter (ADC), this sensor can provide the data directly, with no need for complex calculations. The dynamic range for the ambient light sensor is very large, starting down from 0 lx up to about 120 klx, with the maximum resolution of only 0.0036 lx/count. The extremely high sensitivity along with the linear response to different light sources, allows this sensor to be placed behind a dark glass or panels made of other semi-transparent materials.
The VEML6030 sensor has only six 16-bit registers, which make it very simple to configure and use. Even though, it comes with the mikroSDK compatible library, which simplifies the development even more. However, more detailed explanation of each command can be found in the datasheet of the VEML6030, if required.
A selectable GAIN allows a very wide dynamic range for the ALS measurement. There are two ALS_GAIN bits, allowing the gain level to be set to 1/4x, 1/2x, 1x, and 2x. This offers four different luminosity ranges to be covered for each selected integration time (ALS_IT). For example: the fastest integration time (25ms) results in the lowest resolution (1.8432 lx/count), and combined with the gain of 1/8x, it allows the highest luminosity value to be measured (120,796 lx)
Power consumption of the VEML6030 is in tight relation with the programmed integration time, power supply, and amplification. There are two bits available to select the power mode (PSM), four bits to select the integration time (ALS_IT), and two bits to select the gain (ALS_GAIN). These parameters are determining factors for the average power consumption, measurement resolution, and refresh time. By utilizing a such a flexible power saving scheme, the VEML6030 can be adapted to any type of power sensitive application.
A configurable interrupt engine allows optimized firmware to be developed, avoiding polling routines and frequent access over the I2C interface. The interrupt pin (INT) is an open drain output, which is pulled to a HIGH logic level when it is not asserted. When any of the programmed light thresholds is exceeded for a programmed number of times, an interrupt event will be generated, asserting this pin to a LOW logic level. The interrupt pin is routed to the mikroBUS™ INT pin.
The peripheral I2C address of the VEML6030 can be selected by switching the SMD jumper to an appropriate position. Unlike some other devices, this jumper does not set the LSB of the I2C address, but rather selects between two possible values: when tied to GND (0), the I2C address of the VEML6030 will be 0b0010000x. When tied to VCC (1), the I2C address will be 0b1001000x. The x is the I2C address R/W byte. Due to maximum electrical ratings, this Click board™ is to be used with 3.3V MCUs, only.
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