I plan to use Adafruit's RGB sensor with Arduino working as a RGB controller running on 5V. In my location, the 5V-compatible version of the sensor is not available.

There is a 3,3V pin on my Arduino board. Can I use it to power the sensor, or will the data pins (which are rated 5V) still burn it?

The TCS34725 chip uses I2C communication, which arguably would still be compatible with the 5V (http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/I2CBi-directionalLevelShifter)

I am still very new to the electronics, and I don't feel confident enough to build my own level converter, and sadly, no converters advertised on arduino.cc are available in my country (Poland).


If you need I2C the best solution is go for a logic level converter based on BSS138 mosfet or similar. I've used a few and they never let me down. Examples: Sparkfun have this https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12009 and Adafruit http://www.adafruit.com/products/757

if you have also a few transistors available, you can make your own homemade solution till you get something more robust, according to arduino page: https://playground.arduino.cc/Main/I2CBi-directionalLevelShifter

(source: arduino.cc)

  • Thank you very much for this answer. The news is unfortunate for me, because these items seem not to be available in my country (including the ones you referred to). It seems it will be cheaper to ask retailers to get me the 5V-compatible version of the sensor instead. – Adam Ryczkowski Nov 13 '15 at 12:06

You can use "logic level converter bidirectional," to connect modules with different voltage requirements. They are pretty cheap.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.