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How to Read Resistor Color Coding Scheme
The values or ratings of electronic components are indicated by the electronic color code that was developed in the early 1920s. It is not only seen in resistors, but also in capacitors, inductors, and others. To decrease construction costs, color bands were commonly used because they were easily printed on tiny components using advanced printing technology.
The resistance value, tolerance, and wattage rating are generally printed onto the body of the resistors in some manner that would be readable even for small resistors. The small resistors use colored painted bands to indicate both their resistive value and their tolerance with the physical size of the resistor including its wattage rating.
To create a simple and quick way of identifying a resistor value no matter what its size and condition, an international and universally accepted resistor color coding scheme was developed many years ago. There are three types of color coding with different numbers of color bands including 4, 5, and 6 bands. Because of this, different information is being provided.
The resistor color code table is shown in Figure 2 for reference. The resistor color code is always read one band at a time starting from left to the right, with the larger width tolerance band oriented to the right side indicating its tolerance. By matching the color of the first band with its associated number in the digit column of the color chart below, the first digit is identified and this represents the first digit of the resistive value. The second digit of the resistance is obtained by matching again the color of the second band with its associated number in the digit column of the color chart.
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The tolerance band is usually gold or silver but some may have none. Because resistors are not the exact value as indicated by the color bands, manufacturers have included a tolerance color band to indicate the accuracy of the resistor.