Standard HD44780 LCDs are useful for creating standalone projects.
20 characters wide, 4 rows
White text on blue background
Connection port is 0.1″ pitch, single row for easy breadboarding and wiring
Single LED backlight included can be dimmed easily with a resistor or PWM and uses much less power than LCD with EL (electroluminescent) backlights
Can be fully controlled with only 6 digital lines!
Built in character set supports most English/European/Japanese text, see the HD44780 datasheet for the full character set
Up to 8 extra characters can be created for custom glyphs or ‘foreign’ language support
necessary contrast potentiometer and strip of header
For more information, check out the
LCD datasheet (marginally useful) or the HD4470 datasheet with useful stuff like the character map. To use with an Arduino, we suggest using our library (see below). This one is faster, more complete, uses 1 less pin and is works with more LCDs.
To use, connect pin 1 (GND) to ground, pin 2 (VDD) to +5V, pin 3 (Vo) to the middle of the pot, pin 4 (RS) to Arduino pin 7, pin 5 (RW) to ground, pin 6 (E) to Arduino pin 8, leave pins 7-10 disconnected, pin 11 thru 14 (DB4-DB7) to Arduino pins 9 thru 12, pin 15 (BL+) to +5V and pin 16 (BL-) to ground. See
For a detailed photo if you’re having difficulty (the pinout is the same for 16×2 and 20×4 LCDs)
If you’re not using Arduino 17+, then delete the old LiquidCrystal library in Arduino/hardware/libraries and in its place copy the updated LiquidCrystal library. Now in the IDE select the LiquidCrystal->HelloWorld example sketch to try it out! (You may need to adjust the contrast pot.) For a detailed guide on using the LCD, check out the the Arduino LiquidCrystal Reference and LiquidCrystal Tutorial
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