This new Adafruit shield makes it easy to use a 16x2 Character LCD. We really like the range of LCDs we stock in the shop, such as our classic blue & white as well as the fancy RGB negative and RGB positive. Unfortunately, these LCDs do require quite a few digital pins, 6 to control the LCD and then perhaps another 3 to control the RGB backlight for a total of 9 pins. That's half of the pins available on a classic Arduino!
With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for people to get these LCD into their projects so we devised a shield that lets you control a 16x2 Character LCD, up to 3 backlight pins AND 5 keypad pins using only the two I2C pins on the Arduino! The best part is you don't really lose those two pins either, since you can stick i2c-based sensors, RTCs, etc and have them share the I2C bus. This is a super slick way to add a display without all the wiring hassle.
This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2012. It was last
updated on Oct 16, 2018.
This page (Overview) was last updated on May 04, 2015.
This shield is perfect for when you want to build a stand-alone project with its own user interface. The 4 directional buttons plus select button allows basic control without having to attach a bulky computer.
The shield is designed for 'classic' Arduinos such as the Uno, Duemilanove, Diecimilla, etc. and uses the I2C pins on Analog 4 and Analog 5. It will also work perfectly with Arduino Mega R3's. Earlier Mega's have the I2C pins in a different location and will require you to solder two wires from the I2C pins on the shield and plug them into the different I2C locations.
This shield will not fit easily on top of an Arduino Ethernet because of the Ethernet jack height. You can use a set of stacking headers to give the shield more 'lift' above the jack.