How to Set Up the DHT11 Humidity Sensor on an Arduino
The DHT11 humidity and temperature sensor makes it really easy to add humidity and temperature data to your DIY electronics projects. It’s perfect for remote weather stations, home environmental control systems, and farm or garden monitoring systems.
In this tutorial, I’ll first go into a little background about humidity, then I’ll explain how the DHT11 measures humidity. After that, I’ll show you how to connect the DHT11 to an Arduino and give you some example code so you can use the DHT11 in your own projects.
Here are the ranges and accuracy of the DHT11:
- Humidity Range: 20-90% RH
- Humidity Accuracy: ±5% RH
- Temperature Range: 0-50 °C
- Temperature Accuracy: ±2% °C
- Operating Voltage: 3V to 5.5V
The DHT11 Datasheet:
What is Relative Humidity?
The DHT11 measures relative humidity. Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor in air vs. the saturation point of water vapor in air. At the saturation point, water vapor starts to condense and accumulate on surfaces forming dew.
The saturation point changes with air temperature. Cold air can hold less water vapor before it becomes saturated, and hot air can hold more water vapor before it becomes saturated.
The formula to calculate relative humidity is:
Relative humidity is expressed as a percentage. At 100% RH, condensation occurs, and at 0% RH, the air is completely dry.
How the DHT11 Measures Humidity and Temperature
The DHT11 detects water vapor by measuring the electrical resistance between two electrodes. The humidity sensing component is a moisture holding substrate with electrodes applied to the surface. When water vapor is absorbed by the substrate, ions are released by the substrate which increases the conductivity between the electrodes. The change in resistance between the two electrodes is proportional to the relative humidity. Higher relative humidity decreases the resistance between the electrodes, while lower relative humidity increases the resistance between the electrodes.