IR Infrared Sensor Module

What's the proper way to connect this IR Sensor Module to a GPIO input? I'm guessing it's output is 5v, not 3.3v that the GPIO wants.

  • I would use a level shifter, but first I would find out what the datasheet says. You may also be able to run it with 3.3v to VCC and not have a problem (though no guarantees). Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 3:14
  • I tried 3.3v VCC but the LEDs don't show any life. With 5v, one LED lights up and the other comes on when I wave my hand in front. I am able to drive a (5v) relay with the OUT line.
    – Mike
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 3:27
  • In that case I would go with a level shifter. You may have to do some searching if you are looking for one that can drive a relay or use a separate pin to control the relay. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 3:31

2 Answers 2


Given that the device is sold as an Arduino module it probably does output at 5V.

A level shifter of some sort would be best to convert the 5V output to Pi safe 3V3.

I tend to use a couple of resistors as a voltage divider.

A couple of resistors with one twice the value of the other would be almost perfect giving a voltage of 3.333V from 5V. At a pinch you could use a pair of resistors with the same value as that would give 2.5V which will likely still be seen as high at the Pi.

  • Is there a resistor range that is more comfortable for the components? like 1 and 2 Ω, kΩ or MΩ? I suspecting the values might affect current.
    – Mike
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:02
  • You shouldn't source or sink more than 16 mA to a GPIO, so very low values are not a great choice. I tend to use resistors like 1k and 2K, but 10k and 20k should work as well. I guess the highest values which work would be most comfortable for the components. I'm a software type so treat what I say about electronics with caution.
    – joan
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:11

A level shifter is the safe option. They are not expensive. If you are just looking to drive a logic input a voltage divider should also work.

You state:-

I am able to drive a (5v) relay with the OUT line.

I don't see anything on the board that looks like it would drive a relay (unless you are talking about a relay module with logic input). Directly connecting a relay risks damaging the device.

  • Yes, it is a relay module that I usually drive with the Pi's GPIO out output.
    – Mike
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 4:05

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