LiDAR – How to Use with Arduino

If you are interested on learning about LiDAR and how to use it with Arduino, you have come to the right place! In this post I will be going over how to use LiDAR with Arduino and will use the Benewake TF-Luna as the basis for the application.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is used to measure distance. It uses the TOF (Time-of-Flight) concept which basically use the time it takes for a light signal to travel to determine the distance to an object (based on already knowing the speed of light). The light signal will be emitted from the sensor and will return (traveling twice the distance between the sensor and the object of interest). We know the speed of light (3*108 m/s), so we can use these two to calculate the distance to the object.

LiDAR TOF concept

Example LiDAR Sensor – TF-Luna from Benewake

The TF-Luna sensor is a LiDAR sensor based on the Time-of-Flight principle previously discussed. It is able to measure distances from 0.2 meters (7.8 inches) up to 8 meters (~26 feet) and has a resolution of 1cm (0.4 inches). The sensor accuracy is 6cm when measuring less than 3 meters (9.8 feet) and 2% when measuring between 3-8 meters (9.8 feet to 26 feet). Meaning that when measuring 8 meters, the accuracy would be 16 cm (6.3 inches). The power supply voltage is 3.7V – 5.2V.

TF-Luna Pin Connections

  • Pin #1 – +5V – Power Supply
  • Pin #2 – RXD/SDA – Receiving/Data
  • Pin #3 – TXD/SCL – Transmitting/Clock
  • Pin #4 – GND – Ground
  • Pin #5 – Configuration Input
    • Ground: I2C Mode
    • Disconnected / 3.3V: Serial Mode
  • Pin #6 – Multiplexing Output
    • On/off mode: Output
    • I2C Mode: Data ready signal
TF-Luna LiDAR pin connections.

Connecting LiDAR (TF-Luna) to Arduino UNO or NodeMCU

The images below show how to connect the LiDAR sensor TF-Luna to an Arduino UNO or a NodeMCU. Both scenarios are based on running in I2C mode (connecting pin #5 of the TF-Luna to ground).

LiDAR connection to Arduino UNO.
LiDAR connection to NodeMCU.

Arduino Code

Below is a simple example Arduino code of taking measurements with the TF-Luna and displaying them on the Arduino IDE serial monitor.

Testing Results

The images below show readings from the LiDAR TF-Luna at varying distances from the object being measured. A tape measured is placed on the floor to show the distance between the object and the sensor, and you can also see the distance measured by the sensor as it is displayed within the Arduino IDE Serial Monitor.

Components used in this example

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Arduino UNO
LiDAR Sensor – Benewake TF-Luna

One Reply to “LiDAR – How to Use with Arduino”

  1. For some reason or another I cannot get the TFLuna to work with my UNO. I’ve tried this code/setup and another and I am struggling to get it to do anything. The other code I tried, posted below, would give me the “TFMini I2C Test” in the monitor but only at a 38400 baud rate. When trying your code I get a blank screen in the monitor. What am I doing wrong? Thanks



    NeoSWSerial Serial1(2,3);

    uint16_t distance = 0; //distance
    uint16_t strength = 0; // signal strength
    uint8_t rangeType = 0; //range scale
    /*Value range:
    00 (short distance)
    03 (intermediate distance)
    07 (long distance) */

    boolean valid_data = false; //ignore invalid ranging data
    const byte sensor1 = 0x10; //TFMini I2C Addres

    // Define pins for LEDs
    const int greenLED = 8;
    const int yellowLED = 9;
    const int redLED = 10;
    int stopLimit = 160; //Change this number of cm to adjust stop distance

    void setup()

    Serial.println(“TFMini I2C Test”); //For testing using Serial Monitor

    // Set LED pins as outputs
    pinMode(redLED, OUTPUT);
    pinMode(yellowLED, OUTPUT);
    pinMode(greenLED, OUTPUT);

    void loop()
    if (readDistance(sensor1) == true)
    if (valid_data == true) {
    Serial.print(“\stopLimit[“); //These Serial.print lines remain for testing and adjustment purposes

    if (distance stopLimit && distance (stopLimit + 199) ) { //change this number to adjust when yellow LED illuminates
    digitalWrite(redLED, LOW);
    digitalWrite(yellowLED, LOW);
    digitalWrite(greenLED, HIGH);

    // else {
    // Serial.println(“Read fail”);
    // }

    delay(50); //Delay small amount between readings

    //Write two bytes to a spot
    boolean readDistance(uint8_t deviceAddress)
    Wire.write(0x01); //MSB
    Wire.write(0x02); //LSB
    Wire.write(7); //Data length: 7 bytes for distance data
    if (Wire.endTransmission(false) != 0) {
    return (false); //Sensor did not ACK
    Wire.requestFrom(deviceAddress, (uint8_t)7); //Ask for 7 bytes

    if (Wire.available())
    for (uint8_t x = 0 ; x < 7 ; x++)
    uint8_t incoming =;

    if (x == 0)
    //Trigger done
    if (incoming == 0x00)
    //Serial.print("Data not valid: ");//for debugging
    valid_data = false;
    else if (incoming == 0x01)
    Serial.print("Data valid: ");
    valid_data = true;
    else if (x == 2)
    distance = incoming; //LSB of the distance value "Dist_L"
    else if (x == 3)
    distance |= incoming << 8; //MSB of the distance value "Dist_H"
    else if (x == 4)
    strength = incoming; //LSB of signal strength value
    else if (x == 5)
    strength |= incoming << 8; //MSB of signal strength value
    else if (x == 6)
    rangeType = incoming; //range scale
    Serial.println("No wire data avail");
    return (false);

    return (true);

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