Python & CircuitPython

It's easy to use the VEML7700 sensor with CircuitPython and the Adafruit CircuitPython VEML7700 module.  This module allows you to easily write Python code that reads the ambient light levels, including Lux, from the sensor.

You can use this sensor with any CircuitPython microcontroller board or with a computer that has GPIO and Python thanks to Adafruit_Blinka, our CircuitPython-for-Python compatibility library.

CircuitPython Microcontroller Wiring

First wire up a VEML7700 to your board exactly as follows. Here is an example of the VEML7700 wired to a Feather using I2C:

  • Board 3V to sensor VIN
  • Board GND to sensor GND
  • Board SCL to sensor SCL
  • Board SDA to sensor SDA
Note: This breakout includes pullup resistors on the I2C lines, no external pullups are required.

Python Computer Wiring

Since there's dozens of Linux computers/boards you can use we will show wiring for Raspberry Pi. For other platforms, please visit the guide for CircuitPython on Linux to see whether your platform is supported

Here's the Raspberry Pi wired with I2C:

  • Pi 3V3 to sensor VIN
  • Pi GND to sensor GND
  • Pi SCL to sensor SCL
  • Pi SDA to sensor SDA

CircuitPython Installation of VEML7700 Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit CircuitPython VEML7700 library on your CircuitPython board.

First make sure you are running the latest version of Adafruit CircuitPython for your board.

Next you'll need to install the necessary libraries to use the hardware--carefully follow the steps to find and install these libraries from Adafruit's CircuitPython library bundle.  Our CircuitPython starter guide has a great page on how to install the library bundle.

For non-express boards like the Trinket M0 or Gemma M0, you'll need to manually install the necessary libraries from the bundle:

  • adafruit_veml7700.mpy
  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_register

Before continuing make sure your board's lib folder or root filesystem has the adafruit_veml7700.mpy, adafruit_bus_device, and adafruit_register files and folders copied over.

Next connect to the board's serial REPL so you are at the CircuitPython >>> prompt.

Python Installation of VEML7700 Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit_Blinka library that provides the CircuitPython support in Python. This may also require enabling I2C on your platform and verifying you are running Python 3. Since each platform is a little different, and Linux changes often, please visit the CircuitPython on Linux guide to get your computer ready!

Once that's done, from your command line run the following command:

  • sudo pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-veml7700

If your default Python is version 3 you may need to run 'pip' instead. Just make sure you aren't trying to use CircuitPython on Python 2.x, it isn't supported!

CircuitPython & Python Usage

To demonstrate the usage of the sensor we'll initialize it and read the ambient light levels from the board's Python REPL.

Run the following code to import the necessary modules and initialize the I2C connection with the sensor:

Download: file
import time
import board
import busio
import adafruit_veml7700

i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
veml7700 = adafruit_veml7700.VEML7700(i2c)

Now you're ready to read values from the sensor using these properties:

  • light - The ambient light data.
  • lux - The light levels in Lux.

For example to print ambient light levels and lux values:

Download: file
print("Ambient light:", veml7700.light)
print("Lux:", veml7700.lux)

For more details, check out the library documentation.

That's all there is to using the VEML7700 sensor with CircuitPython!

Full Example Code

import time
import board
import busio
import adafruit_veml7700

i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
veml7700 = adafruit_veml7700.VEML7700(i2c)

while True:
    print("Ambient light:", veml7700.light)
    time.sleep(0.1)
This guide was first published on Apr 02, 2019. It was last updated on Apr 02, 2019. This page (Python & CircuitPython) was last updated on Sep 19, 2019.