Public Lab Wiki documentation

Lego Spectrometer

6,161 views | Last edited by warren over 1 year ago | #15354

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This is the latest version of Public Lab's DIY Desktop Spectrometry Kit -- the Lego Spectrometer. It addresses issues of rigidity, sourcing, modularity, and image quality over previous versions.

We've been making and distributing Do-It-Yourself spectrometers since 2011, and have been through 4 major kit versions and hundreds of different community contributed modifications, new versions, changes, and more.

Kits now available

This is an open source kit, so you can just build your own -- but to order parts for a kit, visit the Public Lab Store:

Order a kit

Design goals

Over the years, we've identified a few really critical improvements that have been tough to solve:

  • rigidity
  • easy to source parts
  • modularity - working together
  • image quality

Our mission is to make it easier, cheaper, and more accessible to do environmental monitoring, and to do that as an open source, collaborative community. And of course part of that is cost -- while people build upon our kits with more expensive options and upgrades, we want the basic kit to be extremely affordable.

So, this design tries to address each of these challenges with ideas and input from the community:

Quick start

Assembly instructions are here:

Read the introduction post here:


Title Author Updated Likes
Lego Spectrometer cardboard cut out template? @aga 7 months ago
Does the image quality of the raspberry camera higher than the webcam? @Builder6274 9 months ago
Does the image quality of the raspberry camera higher than the webcam? @Builder6274 9 months ago
Raspberry pi operating system for Lego spectrometer @Aleksi12358 11 months ago
Do a DVD is provided with the LEGO kit ? ty ! @adamsanta about 1 year ago
Can I use the lego spectrometer to measure enviromental light spectrum? @baxamook about 1 year ago
Uploading images from raspberry pi. @cedarlodge about 1 year ago
Lego Spectrometer suitable for studying sunlight? @jsbonillam about 1 year ago
Do I need to use a DVD-R? Will a CD-R work too? @jordankc over 1 year ago
normal or noIR camera? @iamben over 1 year ago
Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible? @zayas over 1 year ago
How do I... @Sahil over 1 year ago
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill over 1 year ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren over 1 year ago
How do I trigger a photo on a Raspberry Pi camera using a button? @warren over 1 year ago
How can we set up a Raspberry Pi camera as an ethernet USB device to avoid using WiFi @warren over 1 year ago
How can we stream video to or from a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 1 year ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren over 1 year ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 2 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 about 3 years ago
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Activities show how to use this project, step by step.

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Assembling the Public Lab Lego Spectrometer - - @warren - - 1 replications: Try it »
Preparing a DVD-R to act as a diffraction grating - - @MrBumper - - 0 replications: Try it »
Raspberry Pi spectrometer GUI - - @cedarlodge - - 0 replications: Try it »
An evolution of the 3D print version of the Spectrometer - - @ajy00 - - 0 replications: Try it »
DIY-spectrometer episode 2 (using LEGO) - - @TakeshiMatsumoto - - 0 replications: Try it »
1. Setting up the Raspberry Pi Camera for Wireless Streaming - - @partsandcrafts - - 0 replications: Try it »
Spectrometer 3.0 add-on v2 - - @programmer1200 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Prepare an SD card for a Raspberry Pi camera from scratch - - @warren - - 1 replications: Try it »

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Tinkercad model, below


3D models

3D brick models

Lots of great brick models are available here: and on

Brick dimensions are nicely described in this diagram from Wikipedia: