Looking for affordable laser sensors

I've been looking at some laser sensors, but either they're very expensive, or have a limited range. I came across the VL53L0X, which appeared to be perfect but the maximum range of 1 meter isn't quite sufficient.

I need a laser sensor preferably $30 or below, with a maximum range of at least 1.5 meters (preferably 2). Does anyone have any ideas? Or perhaps someone who used the VL53 can give me some feedback, as the exact same product on Ebay (Other Component Sensors for sale | eBay) is being marketed as having a max. range of 2 meters.

I have an answer, but your budget isn’t going to like it: Sparkfun Lidar Lite V3 It’s on sale now, $30 off.

Hi,
What is the application, we may be able to suggest an alternative.

Tom.. :slight_smile:

So by laser sensor you mean laser-based optical ranging sensor. Not just a sensor detecting laser light, right?

The Vl53l0x has several modes. If you can figure out how to switch it to "Long Range Mode" you can get 2m range. Other modes (Default, High Accuracy, High Speed) have a maximum range of 1.2m. Note: 2m is only available indoors with a white target. Range drops off with a grey target or outdoors.

See the datasheet.

TomGeorge:
Hi,
What is the application, we may be able to suggest an alternative.

Tom.. :slight_smile:

It's for measuring how close a waste bin (I share with other people) is to being full, so it can be emptied in time. I looked at several ultrasonic distance sensors already, but they don't appear to always be that accurate, so I would also like to see if there's alternative methods for this with the use infrared/laser sensors. The bin is roughly 2 meters high.

Why is the accuracy of a distance measurement so important?

If one crumpled piece of paper is in the measurement path, is the bin full?

jremington:
Why is the accuracy of a distance measurement so important?

If one crumpled piece of paper is in the measurement path, is the bin full?

I did some tests indoor with an ultrasonic sensor and sometimes when objects are put at an angle or aren't nicely smooth and perpendicular to the sensor, the readings will fluctuate quite a bit. I was just wondering if I could bypass this problem with a laser sensor.

Either way, I just ordered an Vl53l0x to play around with. Even if I don't need it for this application, I'm sure I can find a use for it in a future project :slight_smile:

Try AliExpress. Search for "50m/164ft Laser Distance Measuring Sensor Range Finder"

Vitesze:
It's for measuring how close a waste bin (I share with other people) is to being full, so it can be emptied in time. I looked at several ultrasonic distance sensors already, but they don't appear to always be that accurate, so I would also like to see if there's alternative methods for this with the use infrared/laser sensors. The bin is roughly 2 meters high.

I think a good alternative would be a set of LEDs and light sensors at the FULL ENOUGH level of the waste bin. The Arduino can light the LEDs in sequence and check that all of the sensors detect the light. If any path is blocked it means there is some object at or above the FULL ENOUGH line.
A laser distance sensor will only work on one point. Three LEDs and three sensors can check nine lines across the opening.

Hi,

johnwasser:
I think a good alternative would be a set of LEDs and light sensors at the FULL ENOUGH level of the waste bin. The Arduino can light the LEDs in sequence and check that all of the sensors detect the light. If any path is blocked it means there is some object at or above the FULL ENOUGH line.
A laser distance sensor will only work on one point. Three LEDs and three sensors can check nine lines across the opening.

Like a light curtain..
Tom.. :slight_smile: