LIDAR-Lite v2

This is the LIDAR-Lite v2, a compact high performance optical distance measurement sensor from PulsedLight. The LIDAR-Lite "Blue Label" is ideal when used in drone, robot, or unmanned vehicle situations where you need a reliable and powerful proximity sensor but don't possess a lot of space. All you need to communicate with this sensor is a standard I2C or PWM interface. With everything connected the LIDAR-Lite v2, with its range of up to 40 meters, will be yours to command!

Each LIDAR-Lite v2 features an edge emitting, 905nm (75um, 1 watt, 4 mrad, 14mm optic), single stripe laser transmitter and a surface mount PIN, 3° FOV with 14mm optics receiver. The second 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 has an acquisition time of only 0.02 seconds or less and can be interfaced via I2C or PWM.

The LIDAR-Lite v2 has received a number of upgrades from the previous version. With the implementation of a new signal processing architecture, LIDAR-Lite v2 can operate at measurement speeds of up to 500 readings per second offering greater resolution for scanning applications. Additionally, the LIDAR-Lite v2 has had its I2C communications improved to operate at 100 kbits/s or 400 kbits/s with you, the user, able to assign your own addressing! Just in case you are wondering: yes, the LIDAR-Lite v2 is compatible with its previous version in all primary functions and their compatibility will extend into the next version and beyond.

Note: With Garmin® recently acquiring PulsedLight® the LIDAR-Lite v2 has been marked EOL. We are currently waiting on word about the next exciting product these two companies create. We will come back with additional information once we obtain it.

Note: The LIDAR Lite is designated as Class 1 during all procedures of operation, however operating the sensor without its optics or housing or making modifications to the housing can result in direct exposure to laser radiation and the risk of permanent eye damage. Direct eye contact should be avoided and under no circumstances should you ever stare straight into the emitter.

  • Range: 0-40m Laser Emitter
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.025m
  • Power: 5V DC
  • Current Consumption: <100mA continuous operation
  • Acquisition Time: < 0.02 sec
  • Rep Rate: 1-500Hz
  • Interface: I2C or PWM
  • 21 x 48.3 x 35.5 mm

LIDAR-Lite v2 Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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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.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #609002 / about 8 years ago / 3

    Why was this product retired?

  • Intel Edison example code using the Lidar Lite

  • Member #760727 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Anyone have an idea of when they will be getting these sensors in stock. I am on a robotics team and are sensors broke and we are in desperate need to get a sensors before the competition

  • There was someone that had some questions that I was not able to fully answer because it was not in the datasheet/user manual. Check below if you are wondering about minimum temperature, weather resistance, or enclosure material for the laser to pass through:

    "We haven't established a minimum temperature through testing. Anecdotally, several of our customers have successfully used our sensors in temperatures well below the freezing mark.

    Our sensors are not weatherized so [it] will need protection from the elements if placed outside. Water, dust and dirt would quickly disable our sensors in the absence of a protective housing.

    Our sensor will still work if mounted within a protective housing. There are a few things to consider though:

    1) The window material should be transparent to 905nm wavelengths
    2) The window should be flat, not curved, and the lens barrels of our sensor should be mounted flush against the window to prevent reflections that would cause false signals
    3) There will be some loss of signal as the beam passes through the window which will result in some loss of range.

    -Pulsed Light"

    For more information about using the sensor through liquids or particulate in a medium, check the Lidar Lite documentation: I haven’t tested this with dust or particles in the air. Theoretically based on the manufacturer’s datasheet, if the particles are reflective, the sensor might pick up the signal reflected back. It would probably have to be a pretty dense, reflective cloud. It might work if you placed it into an enclosure but you would need to test it out to be sure since this is dependent on the material and your environment.

    Testing this with a clear, non-colored, flat acrylic piece on our speed trap project that used the Lidar v1 (up to around 1 inch away), the sensor was able to see through the acrylic and detect the movement of an object.

  • stephan schulz / about 9 years ago / 1

    we have bought (not with sparkfun) 40 of those sensors for a project that uses 2 sensor per arduino pro mini. we have nothing but problems with this sensor and it seems we are not the only ones. after 5 min the arduinos i2c port seems to crash.

    see all the troubles documented here: even the teensy forum seems very unhappy with this sensor:

    did anyone have a success story using 2 of these sensors at the same time?

  • It says "single stripe", does that mean a line spanning horizontally or is it just a single beam aiming directly straight?

  • Member #458347 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I2C & PWM Setup Document on page 3 is wrong: the pull-up is connected to SCL instead of MODE

  • Member #711869 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Has anyone used this in a bathymetry application? How did it work out?

  • SebCestBien / about 9 years ago / 1

    Is the LIDAR can work behind a protection glass ? I want tu use it outside and to protect this jewel I want to place it behind an acrylic or glass protection...

    I think it's interresting for everyone to made a small test with different measures ? Thanks a lot... Seb

    • PaulEmous / about 9 years ago / 1

      Yes that will work. I have 20 units all behind acrylic and it works like a charm.

  • Member #619360 / about 9 years ago / 1

    This is beautiful :'). I'm gonna save up for it.

  • Member #101669 / about 9 years ago / 1

    This looks very cool, but too expensive. I could buy a cell phone for less.

    • sorphin / about 9 years ago / 1

      This looks very cool, but too expensive. I could buy a cell phone for less.

      and how does a cellphone compare to a LiDAR emitter? Apples and Oranges.

  • Jon Mayer / about 9 years ago / 1

    Is that a 10x improvement on reads per second? I'm assuming the acquisition time is far less than 0.02 seconds.

  • Member #485690 / about 9 years ago / 1

    This is the v2. The v1 has dropped as a result

    • Zio / about 9 years ago / 1

      Dropped? It isn't available anymore...

    • darkwing_mos / about 9 years ago / 1

      Replacement for V1, not alternative to V1. Ergo, 50% price jump.

  • darkwing_mos / about 9 years ago / 1

    Whoa!? 50% price jump in 6 months!

    • knuckles904 / about 9 years ago / 1

      Still significantly cheaper than any alternative I can find. Thanks for carrying, Sparkfun!

    • Member #465244 / about 9 years ago / 1

      This new model takes measurements at 500Hz according to the manufacturer website. That's why the increased price.

      • darkwing_mos / about 9 years ago / 1

        My initial comment should have been: wow, that is a great improvement! can you still carry the cheaper/slower model since I will not benefit from this improvement?

        Then I could still be upset that my project is no longer feasible without everyone assuming I was illiterate.

        • sorphin / about 9 years ago / 1

          They don't carry the old one anymore, but other places still do.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5

Based on 10 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

good cheap speed and distance sensor

easy plug and play thank to library and github. However, power comsumption is around 120mA. Thus, I recommend to power the module separately from a 5V external supply (7805 regulator for example) : Indeed; if you use a Arduino board (even with the 680uF capacitor on 5V pin), you may have some trouble as the arduino 5V pin is not able to deliver more than 100mA. Once done, The lidar works perfectly. Philippe

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Excellent add-on for my hexacopter.

I used the PWM integration option with my Pixhawk controller and it's working flawlessly. Altitude hold mode is now solid as a rock. Very nice.

4 of 5 found this helpful:

Basically plug-and-play

Albeit a smoothing capacitor, it's just 2 wires for I2C and 2 more for power. I immediately hooked it up to a Mega, #included <Wire.h>, and received amazeballz resolution and accuracy. Hooked up a buzzer and made a super accurate theramin, I also left it pointing at the road overnight to count cars and it never failed or got hot. Definitely a great module for any accurate or quick ranging requirements.

FYI: In Pulsed-Light diagrams they use an electrolytic capacitor between 5v-Gnd, this is a decoupling or bypass capacitor that's meant to smooth-out the power coming into the LIDAR module. It is not required, but it is recommended since it stabilizes operation and readings by offering a consistent voltage for the device to work off of.

6 of 8 found this helpful:

Good but should come with capacitor

Library is simple, with great instructions, but there's a ton of noise in this version (even the library says it's "virtually required" for this version) if you don't have the capacitor. Sparkfun doesn't sell the required cap (and doesn't ship with it), so now i'm off ordering a set from mouser + shipping.

It's simple to use, but I hope the cap stabilizes the data. I'll post an update after I find out.

Can't complain

The Lidat Lite was a great produuct. It worked flawlessly, and it did what is was supposed to do. I have made a radar on my youtube channel, the name is Jyo Pari if you want to see it.

Great device

Outstanding performance.

worked great using both i2c and pwm

I tried it on an Arduino Uno with examples found on Github, worked great. I also worked on getting it working on the Intel Edison where i ended up writing my own code for. I posted the code on Github if anyone else is interested.

0 of 4 found this helpful:


It is part of a large for college to map a room and we haven't really messed with it yet.

Faster than the old one

Now I'm waiting for the manufacturer to post more detailed information about how to best utilize the new features.

0 of 6 found this helpful:

Not supporting other platforms

Bob Evermore of PulsedLight, Inc told me they are only supporting Arduino, so you are on your own if you want to use it for Windows 10 IOT or anything else...