Ultra-simple Voltage Probe

Posted in Tools and measuring, on 2015-08-05

Circuit diagram:

Ultra-simple Voltage Probe


  • D1________5 or 3mm. Red LED
  • D2________5 or 3mm. Green or Yellow LED
  • LP1_______220V 6W Filament Lamp Bulb
  • P1________Red Probe
  • P2________Black Probe

Device purpose:

This circuit is not a novelty, but it proved so useful, simple and cheap that it is worth building. When the positive (Red) probe is connected to a DC positive voltage and the Black probe to the negative, the Red LED will illuminate. Reversing polarities the Green LED will illuminate.
Connecting the probes to an AC source both LEDs will go on. The bulb limits the LEDs current to 40mA @ 220V AC and its filament starts illuminating from about 30V, shining more brightly as voltage increases. Therefore, due to the bulb filament behavior, any voltage in the 1.8 to 230V range can be detected without changing component values.


A two colors LED (Red and Green) can be used in place of D1 & D2.

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