How to Read Inductance Values

This article details how to read the inductance values of inductors.



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E series

Inductance values are determined along the E series as follows.

The “E” in the E series stands for exponent, and the E12 series is completed by inserting the numbers 0 to 11 (12 numbers) into the “n” of the E12 series.

For inductors with an tolerance of ±10[%], using the E12 series values, 10[uH] is 9 to 11[uH], 12[uH] is 10.8 to 13.2[uH], and 15[uH] is 13.5 to 16.5[uH], so that the tolerance ranges overlap.

For resistors, the E12 series is often used, but for inductors, the E6 or E12 series is often used.

E6/E12/E24 series

E6
±20%
$\sqrt[6]{10^n}$
E12
±10%
$\sqrt[12]{10^n}$
E24
±5%
$\sqrt[24]{10^n}$
1.01.01.0
1.1
1.21.2
1.3
1.51.51.5
1.6
1.81.8
2.0
2.22.22.2
2.4
2.72.7
3.0
3.33.33.3
3.6
3.93.9
4.3
4.74.74.7
5.1
5.65.6
6.2
6.86.86.8
7.5
8.28.2
9.1

Color Code(Axial Lead Inductor)

Color Code Axial Lead Inductor

Axial lead inductors are indicated by a color that represents a number as shown below.

Color Code

Color1st digit2nd digitMultiplierTolerance
Black00$10^0$
Brown11$10^1$±1[%]
Red22$10^2$±2[%]
Orange33$10^3$±0.05[%]
Yellow44$10^4$±0.02[%]
Green55$10^5$±0.5[%]
Blue66$10^6$±0.25[%]
Purple77$10^7$±0.1[%]
Gray88$10^8$±0.01[%]
White99$10^9$
Gold$10^{-1}$±5[%]
Silver$10^{-2}$±10[%]
None±20[%]

Some mnemonics that are easy to remember:

Easy to remember of color code

ColorNumber First Letter
Black0Black
Brown1Brown
Red2Red
Orange3Orange
Yellow4Yellow
Green5Green
Blue6Blue
Purple7Purple
Gray8Gray
White9White
Gold
Silver
None

Easy to remember

Big Boys Race Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins.

Better BRight OYour Great Big Venture Goes West.

Beetle Bailey Runs Over Your General Before Very Good Witnesses.

Beach Bums Rarely Offer You Gatorade But Very Good Water.

Buster Brown Races Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins.

Better BRight OYour Great Big Vacation Goes Wrong.

Better BRight OYour Great Big Values Go Wrong.

Better BRight OYour Great Big Plan Goes Wrong. (with P = Purple for Violet)

Back-Breaking Rascals Often Yield Grudgingly But Virtuous Gentlemen Will Give Shelter Nobly. (with tolerance bands Gold, Silver or None)

Better BRight OYour Great Big Plan Goes Wrong – GStart Now!

Black Beetles Running Over Your Garden Bring Very Grey Weather.

Bad Booze Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well – get some now.

Bad Boys Run Over Yellow Gardenias Behind Victory Garden Walls.

Bat Brained Resistor Order You Gotta BVery Good With.

Betty Brown Runs Over Your Garden But Violet Gingerly Walks.

Big Beautiful Roses Occupy Your Garden But Violets Grow Wild.

Big Brown Rabbits Often Yield Great Big Vocal Groans When Gingerly Slapped Needlessly.

Black Bananas Really Offend Your Girlfriend But Violets Get Welcomed.

Black Birds Run Over Your Gay Barely Visible Grey Worms.

Badly Burnt Resistors OYour Ground Bus Void General Warranty.

Billy Brown Ran Out Yelling Get Back Violets Getting Wet.

Better BRight OYou’re Gonna BViolently Gouged With Golden Spaghetti.

Bright Boys Rave Over Young Girls But Veto Getting Wed.

Black Bears Raid Our Yellow Green Bins Violently Grabbing Whatever Goodies Smell Nice.

Bad Bears Raid Our Yummy Grub But Veto Grey Waffles.

Bachelor Boys Rush Our Young Girls But Veronica Goes Wild for Gold or Silver Necklaces.

List of electronic color code mnemonics

Example:4 Band Inductor

Brown/Black/Black/Silver
4 Band Inductor Color Code
  • 1st digit:1(Brown)
  • 2nd digit:0(Black)
  • Multiplier:$10^0$(Black)
  • Tolerance:±10[%](Silver)
  • Inductance Value:$$10 \times 10^0[uH]=10[uH]±10[\%]$$

Axial lead inductors are often 4 band inductors.

Example:3 Band Inductor

Brown/Black/Black
3 Band Inductor Color Code
  • 1st digit:1(Brown)
  • 2nd digit:0(Black)
  • Multiplier:$10^0$(Black)
  • Inductance Value:$$10 \times 10^0[uH]=10[uH]$$

Axial lead inductors can be 3 band inductors: error band is missing from 4 band inductors.

Digit Numbering

Digit Numbering Inductor

Chip inductors and radial lead inductors are indicated by numbers as follows. In addition to numbers, there are also special markings such as R (decimal point) and L (nH and decimal point).

Usually, “uH” is used as the standard.

Digit Numbering

1st digit2nd digitMultiplier
00$10^0$
11$10^1$
22$10^2$
33$10^3$
44$10^4$
55$10^5$
66$10^6$
77$10^7$
88$10^8$
99$10^9$
R(Decimal Point)R(Decimal Point)
N($10^{-9}$/Decimal Point)N($10^{-9}$/Decimal Point)N($10^{-9}$)

The tolerance of inductors are marked by alphabets as follows.

Tolerance

AlphabetTolerance
F±1[%]
G±2[%]
J±5[%]
K±10[%]
M±20[%]

Simplified Inductor Chart

Simplified Inductor Chart

ExampleInductance Value
104100[mH]
10310[mH]
1021[mH]
101100[uH]
10010[uH]
1R01[uH]
R100.1[uH]
10N10[nH]
1N01[nH]

Example:Chip Inductor etc.

270J
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering 270J
  • 1st digit:2
  • 2nd digit:7
  • Multiplier:$10^0$
  • Tolerance:±5[%](J)
  • Inductance Value:$$27 \times 10^0[uH]=27[uH]±5[\%]$$

Chip inductors and radial lead inductors are often marked with numbers. Tolerance is marked with alphabetic characters.

470
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering 470
  • 1st digit:4
  • 2nd digit:7
  • Multiplier:$10^0$
  • Inductance Value:$$47 \times 10^0[uH]=47[uH]$$

Depending on the type of inductor, tolerance marking may be omitted.

R12
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering R12
  • Decimal Point:R
  • 1st digit:1
  • 2nd digit:2
  • Inductance Value:$$0.12[uH]$$

Read “R” as a decimal point. In this case, there is no multiplier marking.

1R2
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering 1R2
  • 1st digit:1
  • Decimal Point:R
  • 2nd digit:2
  • Inductance Value:$$1.2[uH]$$

Read “R” as a decimal point. In this case, there is no multiplier marking.

12N
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering 12N
  • 1st digit:1
  • 2nd digit:2
  • 単位:N([uH]⇒[nH])
  • Inductance Value:$$12[nH]$$

With the “N” marking at the end, the unit is [uH] => [nH].

1N2
Chip Inductor Digit Numbering 1N2
  • 1st digit:1
  • Decimal Point:N
  • 2nd digit:2
  • 単位:N([uH]⇒[nH])
  • Inductance Value:$$1.2[nH]$$

Since the “N” is between the numbers, the unit changes from [uH] ⇒ [nH] and also means a decimal point.

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