I2C Wiring

Use this wiring if you want to connect via I2C interface

By default, the i2c address is 0x1C.  If you short the AD1 solder jumper on the back of the board or add a jumper from DO to 3.3V the address will change to 0x1E

  •  Connect board VIN (red wire) to Arduino 5V if you are running a 5V board Arduino (Uno, etc.). If your board is 3V, connect to that instead.
  • Connect board GND (black wire) to Arduino GND
  • Connect board SCL (yellow wire) to Arduino SCL
  • Connect board SDA (blue wire) to Arduino SDA

SPI Wiring

Since this is a SPI-capable sensor, we can use hardware or 'software' SPI. To make wiring identical on all microcontrollers, we'll begin with 'software' SPI. The following pins should be used:

  • Connect Vin to the power supply, 3V or 5V is fine. Use the same voltage that the microcontroller logic is based off of
  • Connect GND to common power/data ground
  • Connect the SCK pin to Digital #13 but any pin can be used later
  • Connect the DO pin to Digital #12 but any pin can be used later
  • Connect the SDA pin to Digital #11 but any pin can be used later
  • Connect the CS pin Digital #10 but any pin can be used later

Later on, once we get it working, we can adjust the library to use hardware SPI if you desire, or change the pins to others.

Library Installation

You can install the Adafruit LIS3MDL Library for Arduino using the Library Manager in the Arduino IDE.

Click the Manage Libraries ... menu item, search for Adafruit LIS3MDL, and select the Adafruit LIS3MDL library:

Then follow the same process for the Adafruit BusIO library.

Finally follow the same process for the Adafruit Unified Sensor library:

Load Example

Open up File -> Examples -> Adafruit LIS3MDL -> lis3mdl_demo and upload to your Arduino wired up to the sensor.

Depending on whether you are using I2C or SPI, change the pin names and comment or uncomment the following lines.

if (! lis3mdl.begin_I2C()) {        
  //if (! lis3mdl.begin_SPI(LIS3MDL_CS)) {  // hardware SPI mode
  //if (! lis3mdl.begin_SPI(LIS3MDL_CS, LIS3MDL_CLK, LIS3MDL_MISO, LIS3MDL_MOSI)) { // soft SPI
If the example fails with "Failed to find LIS3MDL chip", try connecting the D0/AD1 pin to ground. There's a potential issue that causes this, and connecting the pin to ground (or shorting the jumper to change the I2C address) fixes that specific issue!

Once you upload the code and open the Serial Monitor (Tools->Serial Monitor) at 115200 baud, you will see the current configuration printed, followed by magnetometer measurements, similar to this:

The sensor class in the magnetometer library reports X, Y and Z axis magnetometer readings directly in micro-Teslas. The lis3mdl_demo example code reads from the sensor and prints the micro-Tesla readings to the Serial Monitor.

In the absence of any strong local magnetic fields, the sensor readings should reflect the magnetic field of the earth (between 20 and 60 micro-Teslas). When the sensor is held level, by calculating the angle of the magnetic filed with respect to the X and Y axis, the device can be used as a compass.

Example Code

// Basic demo for magnetometer readings from Adafruit LIS3MDL

#include <Wire.h>
#include <Adafruit_LIS3MDL.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>

Adafruit_LIS3MDL lis3mdl;
#define LIS3MDL_CLK 13
#define LIS3MDL_MISO 12
#define LIS3MDL_MOSI 11
#define LIS3MDL_CS 10

void setup(void) {
  while (!Serial) delay(10);     // will pause Zero, Leonardo, etc until serial console opens

  Serial.println("Adafruit LIS3MDL test!");
  // Try to initialize!
  if (! lis3mdl.begin_I2C()) {          // hardware I2C mode, can pass in address & alt Wire
  //if (! lis3mdl.begin_SPI(LIS3MDL_CS)) {  // hardware SPI mode
  //if (! lis3mdl.begin_SPI(LIS3MDL_CS, LIS3MDL_CLK, LIS3MDL_MISO, LIS3MDL_MOSI)) { // soft SPI
    Serial.println("Failed to find LIS3MDL chip");
    while (1) { delay(10); }
  Serial.println("LIS3MDL Found!");

  Serial.print("Performance mode set to: ");
  switch (lis3mdl.getPerformanceMode()) {
    case LIS3MDL_LOWPOWERMODE: Serial.println("Low"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_MEDIUMMODE: Serial.println("Medium"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_HIGHMODE: Serial.println("High"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_ULTRAHIGHMODE: Serial.println("Ultra-High"); break;

  Serial.print("Operation mode set to: ");
  // Single shot mode will complete conversion and go into power down
  switch (lis3mdl.getOperationMode()) {
    case LIS3MDL_CONTINUOUSMODE: Serial.println("Continuous"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_SINGLEMODE: Serial.println("Single mode"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_POWERDOWNMODE: Serial.println("Power-down"); break;

  // You can check the datarate by looking at the frequency of the DRDY pin
  Serial.print("Data rate set to: ");
  switch (lis3mdl.getDataRate()) {
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_0_625_HZ: Serial.println("0.625 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_1_25_HZ: Serial.println("1.25 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_2_5_HZ: Serial.println("2.5 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_5_HZ: Serial.println("5 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_10_HZ: Serial.println("10 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_20_HZ: Serial.println("20 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_40_HZ: Serial.println("40 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_80_HZ: Serial.println("80 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_155_HZ: Serial.println("155 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_300_HZ: Serial.println("300 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_560_HZ: Serial.println("560 Hz"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_DATARATE_1000_HZ: Serial.println("1000 Hz"); break;
  Serial.print("Range set to: ");
  switch (lis3mdl.getRange()) {
    case LIS3MDL_RANGE_4_GAUSS: Serial.println("+-4 gauss"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_RANGE_8_GAUSS: Serial.println("+-8 gauss"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_RANGE_12_GAUSS: Serial.println("+-12 gauss"); break;
    case LIS3MDL_RANGE_16_GAUSS: Serial.println("+-16 gauss"); break;

  lis3mdl.configInterrupt(false, false, true, // enable z axis
                          true, // polarity
                          false, // don't latch
                          true); // enabled!

void loop() {
  lis3mdl.read();      // get X Y and Z data at once
  // Then print out the raw data
  Serial.print("\nX:  "); Serial.print(lis3mdl.x); 
  Serial.print("  \tY:  "); Serial.print(lis3mdl.y); 
  Serial.print("  \tZ:  "); Serial.println(lis3mdl.z); 

  /* Or....get a new sensor event, normalized to uTesla */
  sensors_event_t event; 
  /* Display the results (magnetic field is measured in uTesla) */
  Serial.print("\tX: "); Serial.print(event.magnetic.x);
  Serial.print(" \tY: "); Serial.print(event.magnetic.y); 
  Serial.print(" \tZ: "); Serial.print(event.magnetic.z); 
  Serial.println(" uTesla ");


This guide was first published on Jan 17, 2020. It was last updated on Dec 07, 2023.

This page (Arduino) was last updated on Jan 16, 2020.

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