Using the Thermopile Sensor

Download the Library

First download and install the TMP006 sensor library. For tips on installing libraries, see our All About Arduino Libraries Guide.

Compile the Example Code

Open the tmp006 example sketch in the Arduino IDE, compile and upload it. This will verify that you have the library installed correctly and let you start experimenting with basic sensor readings.

Once you upload the example sketch, open the Serial Monitor and view the output. The sensor should display a new reading about every 4 seconds.

Sensor Applications

There are many advantages to contact-less temperature sensing. But there are a few important things to consider when using these sensors. We will cover a couple of the most important ones here. For more detail, you will want to read through the TMP006 User's Guide.

Angle of View

An important thing to consider for a contact-less sensor aplications is the angle of view. The TMP006 has a very wide angle of view. If you are not careful in positioning the sensor relative to the surface being measured, the readings will be influenced by other nearby surfaces.

The following video from TI demonstrates the angle of view and how to control it.
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Surface to be Measured

As mentioned earlier, the sensor works best when measuring a surface that is a good emitter. In general, that means a dull, dark colored surface. You will not get good readings from shiny, reflective objects.

There is a handy table of emmisivities of common objects here: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html
This guide was first published on Mar 17, 2013. It was last updated on Mar 17, 2013. This page (Using the Thermopile Sensor) was last updated on Aug 21, 2019.