Highly transparent zinc oxide (ZnO)-based thin-film transistors (TFTs) with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) capable of detecting visible light were fabricated through spray pyrolysis on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate. The spray-deposited channel layer of ZnO had a thickness of approximately 15 nm, and the thickness exhibited a linear increase with an increasing number of sprays. Furthermore, the ZnO thin-film exhibited a markedly smoother channel layer with a significantly lower surface roughness of 1.84 nm when the substrate was 20 cm from the spray nozzle compared with when it was 10 cm away. Finally, a ZnO and Au-NP heterojunction nanohybrid structure using plasmonic energy detection as an electrical signal, constitutes an ideal combination for a visible-light photodetector. The ZnO-based TFTs convert localized surface plasmon energy into an electrical signal, thereby extending the wide band-gap of materials used for photodetectors to achieve visible-light wavelength detection. The photo-transistors demonstrate an elevated on-current with an increase of the AuNP density in the concentration of 1.26, 12.6, and 126 pM and reach values of 3.75, 5.18, and 9.79 × 10-7 A with applied gate and drain voltages. Moreover, the threshold voltage (Vth) also drifts to negative values as the AuNP density increases.