Resistor color codes


There are many different types of Resistor available which can be used in both electrical and electronic circuits to control the flow of current or to produce a voltage drop in many different ways. But in order to do this the actual resistor needs to have some form of “resistive” or “resistance” value. Resistors are available in a range of different resistance values from fractions of an Ohm to millions of Ohms.

4 Coloured Bands

The resistance value, tolerance, and wattage rating are generally printed onto the body of the resistor as numbers or letters when the resistors body is big enough to read the print, such as large power resistors. But when the resistor is small such as a 1/4 watt carbon or film type, these specifications must be shown in some other manner as the print would be too small to read.

So to overcome this, small resistors use coloured painted bands to indicate both their resistive value and their tolerance with the physical size of the resistor indicating its wattage rating. These coloured painted bands produce a system of identification generally known as a Resistors Colour Code.

An international and universally accepted resistor colour code scheme was developed many years ago as a simple and quick way of identifying a resistors ohmic value no matter what its size or condition. It consists of a set of individual coloured rings or bands in spectral order representing each digit of the resistors value.

The resistor colour code markings are always read one band at a time starting from the left to the right, with the larger width tolerance band oriented to the right side indicating its tolerance. By matching the colour of the first band with its associated number in the digit column of the colour chart below the first digit is identified and this represents the first digit of the resistance value.

The Standard Resistor Colour Code Chart

wire wound resistor

The Resistor Colour Code Table

Brown110± 1%
Red2100± 2%
Green5100,000± 0.5%
Blue61,000,000± 0.25%
Violet710,000,000± 0.1%
± 0.05%

0.1± 5%
0.01± 10%

± 20%

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