HowTo: ESPEasy - Connecting the VL53L0X / VL53L1X distance sensor to the ESP8266 / ESP32 and reading it out

The VL53L0x or its sister/brother, the VL53L1X, is a very accurate and relatively inexpensive laser distance sensor. It can be used to measure distances almost to the millimeter.

In one of my other projects (see ESPEasy - Level sensor with VL53L0X / VL53L1X) I already use this sensor to monitor the fill level of a rain barrel, for example.

Like many others, this sensor can be integrated into ESPEasy, read out and its data sent.

The following article describes how to configure your ESPEasy so that it can read out the VL53L0X / VL53L1X.

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

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Helpful articles:
Additional tips on ESPEasy can be found in the following articles.

Required tool:

Required material:

Connect the VL53L0X / VL53L1X to the ESP8266

The VL53L0X / VL53L1X is connected to the ESP8266 or Wemos D1 Mini via the I2C bus.

If the I2C bus is configured by default, you can use the shown schematic as orientation.

Configuration of the VL53L0X / VL53L1X in ESPEasy

So that the VL53L0X / VL53L1X can be configured in ESPEasy, the ESPEasy firmware should already be installed on the ESP8266 or ESP32 and be accessible. You can also find information on this in the article ESPEasy - Compile firmware, flash and configure WLAN access data.

First open the configuration website of your ESP8266 programmed with ESPEasy by entering its IP address into your web browser. Information on how to find out the IP address can also be found in the article Display/find out the IP address of the devices in the network summarized.

As soon as you have opened the configuration website, you must switch to the "Devices" tab. To do this, click on the "Devices" button.

In the "Devices" tab, click on the "Add" button in one of the empty rows.

You will then be automatically redirected to the view shown and can select which device you want to create.

Select the entry "Distance - VL53L0X [TESTING]" here.

This will redirect you back to an overview page.

Here you can make all settings relating to the VL53L0X.

If you have used the circuit diagram shown above, you can use the settings shown.

If your VL53L0X uses a different I2C address, you can change it under "I2C Address".

You can use the "Range" option to set the range of the sensor. You can achieve a slightly greater range here, but this also reduces the accuracy somewhat. You can find information on this in the VL53L0X data sheet.

Once you have made all the settings, you can confirm the settings by clicking on "Submit".

Display measured values of the VL53L0X / VL53L1X

After you have configured the VL53L0X / VL53L1X you can test it directly.

In the overview of the configured devices, the measured values can be seen in the line of the VL53L0X / VL53L1X on the right-hand side.

These are updated every 60 seconds at the latest. This interval can be set in the configuration of the VL53L0X / VL53L1X in the "Interval" section.

Send sensor data via MQTT

You can now also send the collected sensor data to your SmartHome via MQTT and process it there if necessary. What you need to configure for this is described in the following article.

Additional sensors for connection to the ESP8266 / ESP32

An overview of other articles for connecting sensors and actuators to ESPEasy can be found in the following category.

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

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  1. Hello,

    I downloaded your firmware installed on a wemos D1 mini with a CQrobot brand VL53L1X sensor but the sensor is not sending any data but the I2c address is correct.
    Sensor Wiki:

    I ordered another brand to test again. All connections have been checked several times

    1. Hi Doryphore,
      Can you use the I2C scanner under Tools to check whether the sensor is also found? 🙂
      Best regards

  2. Hello,

    Here is the result of the scan, unfortunately the VL53L1X does not appear
    When trying with a different firmware it showed:
    (I'm sorry if my messages are duplicated. Every time I post something, I get a captcha error message : "...Error: You have entered an incorrect reCAPTCHA value.
    Click the BACK button on your browser and try again....")

    1. Hello Doryphore,
      that's weird. I'll try to reproduce the whole thing. Then I can better understand what may have gone wrong. 🙂
      Best regards

  3. Hello,

    It's nice of you because I'm stuck with this sensor and would like to use it with Espeasy. I tried another brand VL53L1X sensor: Same result on I2c scan, the sensor doesn't show up. Obviously I checked the I2c connections in SDA and SDL in D1 and D2 of the wemos d1 mini several times.


  4. Thanks first… The VL53L0X goes with your .bin.
    Unfortunately I need the VL53L1X and unfortunately I can't get it to work. Others above have had the same problem. Has anyone solved this or does anyone know where it is involved?
    Greetings Ralph

    1. Good morning Ralph,
      Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for the VL53L1X from China. As soon as it's here I'll take a look. 🙂
      Best regards

  5. That would be great. Then I could continue with my project.
    Unfortunately, the VL53L0X is not quite enough for me in terms of range.
    I will follow up if you get mail and have success.
    Greetings Ralph

  6. Hello Fabian, a great article and a great project. I also got the VL53L0X sensor working with it.
    Now I had bought a VL53L1X sensor ( Unfortunately, it doesn't work with your last ESPEasy.bin version.
    The sensor requires the Pololu VL53L1X Library. I am currently struggling as a beginner with the arduino ino and am trying in vain to compile the plugin for a D1Mini ESP8266. However, so far without success.

    Best regards

    1. Hey Olaf,
      yes with the VL53L1X the plugin does not seem to run properly. I hope one day I can take care of it. :/
      What problems do you have when compiling? maybe I can help you with that. 🙂
      Best regards

      1. Hello Fabian, thanks for the feedback!
        Unfortunately, I can't add the Pololu library to the ESPEasy with the Arduino IDE and compile a *.bin file. The bin file is to be flashed onto a Wemos D1 mini.

        ... I've already tortured myself through so many instructions and videos and unfortunately I can't get any further with the Arduino IDE.
        The right library for my VL53L1x is available directly from the manufacturer.

        I would also like to send you something for your efforts.


        1. Good evening Olaf,
          I'd like to try that. My biggest problem right now is lack of time. :/
          Did you already start with something that you can possibly build on? 🙂
          Best regards

  7. Hi I think the project is really great, unfortunately the sensor shows me a completely wrong value in your housing, outside it runs without a problem, but I also need the VL53L1X with a 4m range, can I change your housing a bit. I will attach the sensor from the outside or, if necessary, draw my own housing. I would like to use it to monitor whether the electric tailgate is open and is pending at the garage door so that the garage door cannot be opened and a message is output in the IoBroker and on the echo.

    1. Hey Alex,
      oh ok That's weird. Didn't really have any problems with it during testing. Could also be due to the VL53L1X.
      Of course, you can also change the housing. 🙂
      Best regards

  8. Great HowTo,
    so I was able to rebuild a level indicator cheaply and without previous knowledge. Thanks a lot for this.
    However, I do have one problem. As soon as the ESP was de-energized, the sensor is no longer recognized. The following error occurs for all IC addresses: "Unknown error at address xxxx".
    I can only fix it by deactivating the sensor under Devices, disconnecting the ESP from the power again and then reactivating the sensor...

    1. hi the old man,
      I've actually observed similar behavior on some of my breakout boards. But it doesn't happen to everyone.
      I finally "solved" the problem by buying a different sensor. :/
      Best regards

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