Public Lab Wiki documentation

Lego Spectrometer

This is a revision from December 13, 2017 17:42. View all revisions
3 | 19 | | #15354

« Back to Spectrometry

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.


To preorder a kit, visit the Public Lab Store:

Pre-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 Comments
Can the lego spectrometer work well for emission spectrometry? @carpdiem 2 months ago 5
How can I get spectral lines thin? @Solkin 5 months ago 2
Do you have any tips for splicing DVD-Rs for spectrometer builds? @mimiss 5 months ago 3
Spectral Workbench so slow on raspberry pi zero @danieisnietgek 12 months ago 3
Spectral Workbench @danieisnietgek 12 months ago 0
Which No IR 12mm lens should I get for 640x480 webcam? @jevs about 1 year ago 3
Removing IR filter from basic webcam? @jevs about 1 year ago 15
Possibilities to use the dvd in reflection in the spectrometer ? @vnourrit about 1 year ago 1
Can't access pi camera in Spectral Workbench @lukemcpheters over 1 year ago 4
What size cuvettes are used for the lego spectrometer? @joquendo over 1 year ago 6
What could be some applications of a hand-powered paper centrifuge? @mimiss over 1 year ago 9
Lego Spectrometer cardboard cut out template? @aga about 2 years ago 3
Does the image quality of the raspberry camera higher than the webcam? @Builder6274 about 2 years ago 0
Does the image quality of the raspberry camera higher than the webcam? @Builder6274 about 2 years ago 5
Raspberry pi operating system for Lego spectrometer @Aleksi12358 over 2 years ago 6
Do a DVD is provided with the LEGO kit ? ty ! @adamsanta over 2 years ago 1
Can I use the lego spectrometer to measure enviromental light spectrum? @baxamook over 2 years ago 2
Uploading images from raspberry pi. @cedarlodge over 2 years ago 12
Lego Spectrometer suitable for studying sunlight? @jsbonillam almost 3 years ago 12
Do I need to use a DVD-R? Will a CD-R work too? @jordankc almost 3 years ago 2
normal or noIR camera? @iamben almost 3 years ago 3
Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible? @zayas almost 3 years ago 7
How do I... @Sahil almost 3 years ago 1
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill almost 3 years ago 3
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren almost 3 years ago 8
How do I trigger a photo on a Raspberry Pi camera using a button? @warren almost 3 years ago 2
How can we set up a Raspberry Pi camera as an ethernet USB device to avoid using WiFi @warren almost 3 years ago 5
How can we stream video to or from a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren almost 3 years ago 2
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren about 3 years ago 8
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren about 4 years ago 10
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 over 4 years ago 6
Show more

Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic


Activities show how to use this project, step by step.

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.


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: