October 24, 2011 AT 10:26 am

Remembering Resistor Color Codes with Style

Reddit user Quilbert has a test in circuits coming up, and she needed a way to remember the resistor color codes. She found a unique solution, as seen above. Naturally (because it’s the internet), somebody accused her of cheating (without any actual evidence), and she responded:

We’re given a notebook page front and back for personal notes, and an equation sheet with the color code on it. Having it on my hands is just quicker… and cuter


Great idea, Quilbert — you’ve taken wearable electronics to the next level! :)

Good luck on the test!



  1. And aside from the, “it’s cheating” juvenility, I think it should be pointed out that in the process of painting your nails like that, you’d probably commit the codes to memory pretty well. Doing this should be an assignment for everyone in Quilbert’s class! :)

    (Or they should be required to post 10 comments on the Adafruit blog, which would probably have a similarly educational effect.)

  2. @bruce: “the process of painting your nails like that, you’d probably commit the codes to memory pretty well”


  3. Yeah, the effort some people go through to “cheat” is often more than the work itself in the first place; irony at it’s best.

    Tying a physical activity to a visual cue to aid in memorization = big win.

    Love the creativity.

  4. As it was pointed out in the comments link the colors do follow an obvious progression. From black to violet they follow the colors in the rainbow. Start with black (no light), brown is sorta-kinda infrared. Then top off with gray and white which is like going full intensity in two steps. Silver and gold don’t fit in there well but are only used in the precision band. Then again we have precision bands of other colors for those 2, 1, and .1 percent jobs. (I haven’t seen many of those in use, and then again they have three significant figures resulting in five color bands, sometimes six if you add one for temperature!)

  5. Genius.

  6. Where is the rainbow? Ignoring indigo, black, brown…gray white.

  7. I had never thought of using nail polish to memorize resistors values, but if it works, it works. Very clever!

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