A bar code reader is provided with an LED array containing at least one LED which when energized directs light upon a bar code. A linear CCD array receives a portion of the light directed by the LED array onto the bar code and thereafter reflected from the bar code onto the CCD array. The CCD array receives such reflected light and absorbs the energy therein. This energy has a value at which the CCD array will accumulate a sufficiency of electrical charge during a first period, the CCD array delivering said charge to a shift register during an immediately following second period. A circuit energizes the LED array to emit at least one pulse of light during a small fraction of said first period. The energy contained in the pulse is sufficient to enable the CCD array to properly accumulate the charge.