VU meter circuit Stereo/Mono 20 LED with PCB

Here is High-performance LM3914/LM3915 VU meter circuit projects that can display with 20 LEDs on stereo or mono with 10 LEDs for all audio system. and can easily build and cheap you must happy when use it. This electronic VU meter set is a circuit that High performance and widely popular than 40 years.

I made a lot of amplifiers. Because I like to listen a music. Also, I like the VU Meter circuits too. They show power level of the audio. It is so beautiful.

Many friends may prefer them same me. When you go to an electronics store to buy a VU meter kit. In pattern, assemble the various parts on their own and ready using.

Why build LM3914 VU Meter circuit

Most freiends choose LM3914 VU meter circuit. Because it is convenient, easy to modify in many form. Today I assemble a the circuits that use this IC. Sometimes you are looking for ideas on this.

For example: Flashing lights by the band, to decorate the Christmas tree, exotic, and unique.

This project is very easy. Because of use alone IC only and a few external components. The display system can drive directly LED up to 10 LEDs and display as light running is DOT or BAR as you want.

follows by Figure 1

The working principle

LM3915/ 20 LED VU meter circuit

Figure 1 Electronic VU meter circuit diagram by LM3914 and LM3915

The main in working of this circuit is LM3914N or IC LM3915N as suitable for your working. Which the external circuit is the same.

The difference of the two ICs is that:

  • LM3914N will display an amplitude of a signal in Linear form.
  • LM3915N will display the signal in Logarithm form.

Normally if using the amplitude of sound signal. We should use the LM3915N.

The input signal from power amplifier will be entered through to Voltage Doubler circuit consists of C1, C2, D1, D2 to convert sound signal voltage to DC voltage and have amplitude are 2 times of the input signal. Then, insert single to input pin 5 of IC.

And next IC will compare the signal amplitude, to drive LEDs display follows amplitude of input signal as above.

The Mode selection in working of circuit. to display in Dot or Bar form. The ability do with connecting a switch to pin 9 of IC. Which if indiscreetly release the switch will display is bar form. But connected the switch to pin 9 together with a positive voltage, the circuit will display in the dot form immediately.

Build this projects

First of all, makes the PCB layout in stereo or mono as you need. Secondly, soldiers all components into the PCB, as you see in Figure 2 (stereo form) and Figure 3 (Mono form). Caution: Polarity of LED must be placed correctly. If you reverse the polarity, the LED does not light.

VU meter circuit PCBlayout

Figure 2 The PCB and component layout of Electronic VU meter on Stereo form.


Figure 3 The PCB and component layout of Electronic Vu meter on Mono from.

The parts list
IC1—LM3914N, LM3915N
D1, D2—1N4148__ 75V 150mA Diodes
R1—10K Resistors 1/4W
R2—2.7K Resistors 1/4W
R3—3.9K Resistors 1/4W
C1, C2—1uF 50V electrolyte capacitors
C3—47uF 16V electrolyte capacitors
L1-L10—LED 2x5mm.

1. If you need to print the PCB layout please check 200 dpi per inch on image scale.

2. If you not like this circuit please look at:

Transistor VU meter

Related Posts


I always try to make Electronics Learning Easy.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Led light based music stereo with multi system.
    problem here—
    when i pluged the circuit to the 12v adapter, IC LM3914 pin-4 got shorded and burned. IC is completely damaged, may be..
    so, what to do now. can u check the circuit ones again which you posted.thanks

  2. Led light based music stereo with multi system
    is not working for me.the ic is getting heated please…thanks

  3. its very bad circuit..

    the i.c was totally burned and damaged..
    please recheck your circuit..

    try to make a circuit using LM3915, maybe it will work perfectly than LM3914.

  4. Hi, @Gokul.

    Thanks for you that Interested this circuit.
    Please read on article and see circuit from datasheet.
    pin 4 to ground.

    And I use LM3914 because I have it.
    But LM3915 may be better it for audio signal.

  5. I have a circut for the LM3915 that says its expandable. Using the mode (pin9) And If in a mono setting can I daisy chain 3 of the 10 LED sections to make a long 30 LED display? (60 if you consider stereo) Or am I misunderstanding the text. Is it only expandable in multiple rows of 10 LEDs maximum.

    I need a precision LED VU stereo = 60 LED (2×30)

    To save money, Ive purchased all the necessary colod LEDs but still concern that the 6x LM6315 can do it.

  6. thrash

  7. Dear Admin, how can I adjust this kind of 10-level VU-meter for controlling a LED strips? I want to make an LED VU-meter wall. LED strips works on 12Vdc constant voltage and they already have a SMD resistors for current limiting. So I need the output signal on 12Vdc level. I have some commercial amplifiers for amplification (the RGB amplifiers with common anode) so the amplification is not a problem. Hope for an fast reply.
    Thanks in advance!

  8. Can i use the lm3916? Arent they the 3 IC that do the same?

  9. Josh I am currently using an LM 3916 in this circuit with no problems

  10. Hi ODX,

    many thnaks for your great works.

    I’d like to know somethings more about the following vu meter “”:

    1) in order to realize it did you use the mono configuration (with led in parallel)(Figure 3) or the stereo layout (Figure 2) or “Level indicator with 10 LED” that you post on

    if you use the mono configuration or “Level indicator with 10 LED” could you let me know how can I wire 20 leds instead of 10 led as in figure 3?

    On your youtube video you say “20 LED’s (9 colors) wired in parallel for the plexiglass sheets and the arrays also wired in parallel”

    It would be great if you could you post some photo of front and rear with more detail of the PCB that you have made.

  11. Excuse me! i just wonder that aren’t the 12V burn out the LED as LED needs only 2V each.
    Any comment is appreciated 🙂

  12. Hi. Mario. Thx for the interest. If you can post an email here I can send you a few more pix of the build and hopefully explain a bit more.

  13. Hi Daravuth. Some LEDs use around 2 V and some other colors use 3+ V. Yes the LED will burn when connected directly to a 12 DC source. I am currently running 6 V. on my tower BUT have run it with 12 V without any problems. I have no resistors attached to the LEDs to step down the voltage so I’m guessing there is some internal resistance on the 3914,5,6 that compensates for this.

  14. I would like a meter with a 0-2volts input signal reading. What resistor (s) controls the step levels between the led’s and how do I determine the values of the resistor? Can I use either the 3914 or 3915?

  15. thanks man, this works great with subwoofer’s output signal.

  16. Hey man! I just wanna ask if this project is capable of running on a 5v supply or simply usb powered vu meter?. any components needed to be replaced or none? thanks man! 😀

  17. I want to share my experience. LM3915 work well on 5volt dc. you can use 7805 make this voltage from 12volt dc. If you want to use more led ex two led or 4 led in pararel,you can use PNP transistor,wich the BASIS is conected to the pin IC.. don’t forget to give resistor from Basis to the pin ic. 1 k ohm is fine. Emitor of transistor can be conected on 12volt dc. but the LM3915 conected to output 7805, of course 5 volt in order to make the IC LM3915 not burning or overheat. the 7805 should be conected with the heatsink. hope helpfull

  18. Sir I want to make 40 led vu meter using 4×3915. Can any one tell me that how to connect multiple ic 3915/3916. Please help. Thanks in advance!

  19. this web page is useless and whoever wrote it has no gramical skills

  20. Well BOB.. It looks like some people have no spelling skills either….”gramical”??? Now there’s a new one to think about.

  21. i tried 1st circuit which shown in this page. in bar mode the 2nd led glowing continuesly. what i.l do for solve this problem?

  22. ​hy send me .lay file
    big thx

  23. Figure 2 (stereo form) big size :((( not real size print papper :((

  24. Hi Kriszrap,
    Thanks for your feedback.
    If you need print the PCB layout please check 200 dpi per inch on image scale.

  25. Is it possible to buy the PCB from anywhere? I live in the UK.

  26. Hi guys

    i hve dne ths project .as per the above circuit and same components .its cooll

  27. Hi there

    Can you tell me – pin #9 connected w/ something or not? I’ve checked datasheet and it says that pin # 9 should be connected to pin #3 through the switch

  28. ELatestark…Pin # 9 does not need to be connected to anything BUT if you wish to display DOT mode shorting pins 3 and 9 (using a switch) will allow you to do so. If pin 9 is not connected your display will show BAR mode. Wiring in the switch allows you to choose 2 different display modes.

    Hope this helps.

  29. Hi, where should I place C3 on mono version PCB??? Thanks!

  30. And also, on the scheme C1’s polarity is positive on IN, but on PCB negative of C1 is on INput

  31. Hey,

    So I used a similar build like you have, but I have a small problem. Basically, if my input signal strength is about 80%, it works fine. Less, looks bad, more, all LEDs light up and looks even worse. So I’m thinking of using an amplifier, but if I increase the volume, and the amplifier amps it up, it’s going to be bad. So how about wiring a digital potentiometer into the circuit? Would that possibly solve all my problems? Or both amp and pot. I’m not really sure. You have any ideas? This way, my led tower is hugely dependant on me keeping up my pc volume high, and that’s a bad idea. Hit me up if you can here, or [email protected]


  32. Stereo PCB circuit didn’t work…

  33. hello, cool project ! but where is the place C3 on board ? no 47uf cap on board

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu