Overview

This guide works all Raspberry Pi Models that have headers. That is every model except for the compute modules which do not have headers.

LED backpack displays are a great way to add a simple, bright LED display to your project. These displays get their name because of the controller chip attached to the back of them like a 'backpack'. This HT16K33 controller can drive up to 128 multiplexed LEDs in matrix, bar graph, 7-segment numeric, and even 14-segment alpha-numeric configurations. It handles the LEDs with a constant-current driver so the light is bright and consistent even if the power supply varies.

While we already have a great tutorial and Arduino library for our handy and easy to use LED backpacks, if you're wondering how you can make use of backpack-enabled LED displays on the Pi, this guide will help you get started!

What You'll Need

  1. A Raspberry Pi
  2. A Pi Cobbler Plus
  3. One of our many 8x8 or 4-Digit 7-Segment backpack-enabled displays

Related Information

If you're looking for help on how to assemble one of our backpack-enabled LED displays, have a look at our earlier guide, Adafruit LED Backpacks.  It contains a lot of complimentary information on these displays, including step by step soldering and assembly instructions.

This guide was first published on Aug 24, 2012. It was last updated on Aug 24, 2012. This page (Overview) was last updated on Nov 14, 2019.