Arduino Temperature Sensor Round-Up

Need to do something when the temperature changes? You're going to need a temperature sensor. The information in this article presents some of the best temperature sensors for the Arduino available. You'll find the key specifications you need to make the best selection as well as links to datasheets, tutorials and places to buy your sensor.

Let's check out some temp sensors.

DS18B20 Water Proof Temperature Sensor

Great for Temp Measurements in Liquid

Based on the Dallas DS1820 transducer, this cool sensor can be submerged in water or oil. What’s nice is that you don’t have to use up precious analog inputs. Further the accuracy of this device is locked into the sensor. In other words, you’re not adding the inaccuracies of the analog input to the inaccuracies of the device.

Another Key Feature is that you can set temperature to alarms that are stored in the sensor itself. These are low and high alarms. When either of these set points are exceeded, the device will raise an alarm that your Arduino can act upon.

A really hot feature is that you can string these along the same data line. For example, if you had 20 temperature measurements to make, you could string these along same data line and thus save valuable I/O space and wire. This is possible because each chip has a unique address.

Key Physical Specifications

Probe Diameter: Approx 7mm

Probe Length: Approx 26mm

Overall Length (probe and lead): Approximately 6 feet.

Key Electrical Specifications

Measurement Range: -55 deg C to 125 Deg C

Input Voltage: 3.0 to 5.5 Volts.

Accuracy : +/- 0.5 Deg C (or +/- 0.9 Deg F) on measurements made between 0 and 85 Deg C

Output: Provides a Digital Output that is connected to one of your Arduino Digital I/O Pins. The I/O put can is either a 9 bit or 12 bit word that is set by the Arduino Sketch.

ALARMS: You can set low and high temperature alarms via your Arduino Sketch.

Detailed Specifications on this cool Arduino Sensor can be found HERE.

An Arduino DS18B20 Tutorial can be found HERE

PURCHASE the Arduino DS18B20 HERE

DS18B20 Temperature Sensor IC TO-92

Low Cost Option

If you don’t need a waterproof sensor, this chip is the way to go. All of the electrical specifications are the same.

The TO-92 refers to the electrical package style and size. In this case, its smaller than a dime.

See the the links for the DS18B20 Waterproof sensor for complete specifications and a good tutorial.

PURCHASE your Arduino DS18B20 Temperature Sensors HERE.

This one is a pretty good deal as you can get ten sensors for less than what you’d pay for a complete waterproof probe.

MAX31855 Thermocouple to Digital Converter

The neat thing about a thermocouple is the temperature range that it can operate in. If you’re looking at some extremely high temperatures, the MAX31855 Thermocouple to Digital Converter may be the trick.

What’s cool about this is that it can use a variety of thermocouple inputs.

Key Electrical Specifications

Measurement Range: -270 deg C to 1800 Deg C

Input Voltage: 3.3 Volts (Don’t use 5 Volts, it will burn this guy up)

Accuracy : +/- 2 Deg C (or +/- 3.6 Deg F) on measurements made between -200°C to +700°C using a K Type Thermocouple

Output: Provides a Digital 14 bit word.

Resolution: 0.25 Deg C

Detailed Specifications on this thermocouple converter can be found HERE.

MAX31855 Training can be found HERE. This really is well written and will introduce you to the use of thermocouples and the MAX31855 thermocouple converter.

PURCHASE the MAX31855 for the Arduino HERE

TMP36 Analog Temperature Sensor

This low cost device is comes in a small TO92 package. You basically power it with 5 volts and then read the input from your Arduino’s analog pins.

Key Electrical Specifications

Measurement Range: -40°C to +125°C

Input Voltage: 2.7 V to 5.5 V

Accuracy :±1°C at +25°C and ±2°C over the -40°C to +125°C temperature range

Output: Provides a voltage output where every 10 mV of change represents change in temperature of 1 Deg C

Detailed Specifications on the TMP36 be found HERE.

A TMP36 Tutorial can be found HERE. Nice diagrams on this one.

PURCHASE the TMP36 for the Arduino HERE

DHT11 Digital Temperature and Humidity Sensor

OK… this is mind numbingly awesome. There was a day when I would shell out big bucks to get a decently accurate measurement of both temperature and humidity. The fact that I can shell out six bucks or so for a sensor and 30 bucks for a controller blows me away.

The DHT11 is an indispensable addition to any project that requires knowledge and/or control of the environment.

Key Electrical Specifications

Temperature Measurement Range: 0 deg C to 5 Deg C

Temperature Measurement Accuracy: +/- 2 Deg C

Relative Humidity Measurement Range: 20 to 90 % RH

Relative Humidity Accuracy: +/- 5% RH

Input Voltage: 3 to 5.5 VDC

Output: Digital

Detailed Specifications on this amazing sensor can be found HERE.

A Good DHT11 Tutorial can be found HERE.


PURCHASE four DHT11 sensors at a discount HERE.

Say Something!

Did I miss something you want to see? Need more information? Let me know!I read my comments regularly and will likely respond.
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  • takkhis Mar 01, 2013 @ 3:18 pm
    You are an expert! :)
  • EliotPearson Feb 05, 2013 @ 8:02 am
    This is a great lens about a topic I love. Are you planning on writing more Arduino lens?
  • CapnFatz Feb 05, 2013 @ 12:53 pm
    Thanks for visiting, and I yes, I do plan to write more.
  • WriterJanis Aug 25, 2012 @ 4:11 am
    You really know your stuff about this.
  • Mattwa Aug 21, 2012 @ 1:34 am
    Definately thinking of adding the DHT11 to my next project. I'll probably get on already on a breakout board though

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