16X2 LCD Display Working & It’s Interfacing


In every project we need at least one display unit to show our result or data. There are variety of display unit like LED display, 7 segment display or LCD. Most commonly used is 16×2 lcd display. LCD comes in many combination like 16×2, 16×4, 8×2 etc.16X2 LCD is a display unit which is based on liquid crystal. It is a cheap display unit and used in many electronics projects(DIYs) with arduino, microcontroller, microprocessor or Raspberry pi. It’s interfacing with all these boards are are very simple.

16X2 LCD display
16X2 LCD Display Showing pin description.

Features and Functions of 16X2 LCD display

  • It has 16 columns and 2 rows
  • We have 2 lines and each line has 16 characters to display. Overall we can show 32 characters at a time
  • Each character is made up of 5X7 pixels
  • It has 16 pins to connect in a circuit and very cheap in price
  • We con easily interface with any Microcontrollor, Microprocessor, Arduino, Raspberry pi or any other electronics development board.

Pin description

Pin No.SymbolInput/
01VSSused to connect to ground.
02VCCconnected to +5V power supply
03VEEused to control the contrast of 16×2 lcd display
by changing the voltage at this pin.
04RSInputRegister Select Pin
Set RS = 0 to select command register
Set RS = 1 to select data register
Read/Write Register
Set R/W = 0 for write
Set R/W = 1 for read
Used to Enable display
8 Bit of Data bus( LSB Bit DB0)
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus
8 Bit of Data bus ( MSB Bit DB7)
15ABack light Power(Anode) 5V
16KBack light Ground(Cathode)
Vss, Vcc and Vee pin

Vcc and Vss pin connected to +5V power supply and ground respectively. A potentiometer is connected between Vcc and Vss and the 3rd terminal of potentiometer is connected to VEE pin. So that there is variable power supply to control the contrast of the 16×2 lcd display.

RS Pin

It is a register select pin.

If RS = 0 then it selects the instruction command register so that users can send the command ( like to clear the display, etc.) to the 16×2 lcd display module.

When RS = 1 then it selects the data register so that user can send data to display on this module.

R/W Pin

We can read or write information to this module by writing a value to this pin. Set R/W = 0 to write information and Set R/W = 1 to read information.

enable Pin

This pin is use to enable the display module. To give the data we have to apply a high to low pulse of minimum duration 450 ns.

DB0 to DB7 Pin

These pins are use to send data or receive data from 16×2 lcd display module. It forms 8 bit data which travels between display and Microcontroller/Arduino etc.

How To display characters in 16X2 LCD

To Display Alphabets, Numbers or any other character, we have to send the ASCII code of that character while making RS = 1.

Like if we want to send a character V then we have to put in single quote to represent in ASCII code as ‘V’. Similarly we can send other characters.

We have to send some instruction command code like to clear the display, display on cursor on, increment the cursor or return to home, etc. Below is the list of mostly used command.

List of commands
Hex CodeInstruction command to LCD
01Clear the display
02Return to home
04Decrement the cursor or
move the cursor left
05Shift display right
06Increment the cursor or
move the cursor right
07Shift display left
08Display off, cursor off
0ADisplay off, cursor on
0CDisplay on, cursor off
0EDisplay on, cursor blinking
0FDisplay off, cursor blinking
10Shift cursor position to left
14Shift cursor position to right
18Shift the entire display to the left
1CShift the entire display to the right
382 lines and 5X7 matrix
80Force cursor to beginning of 1st line
C0Force cursor to beginning of 2nd line

How to reduce pins in 16X2 lCD

16X2 LCD display
In this image SPI module 16 pins are connected with 16 pins of 16×2 LCD display.

As we know 16X2 LCD has 16 pins And in many projects where we have many interfacing devices, then in such cases we left with few pins to be used. So we need to reduce the pins. We can do it by using a Serial Peripheral Interfacing (SPI) module. This model is connected to LCD and reduce the number of pins up to 4 from 16 which is quite good. Due to SPI module, the data transfer changes from parallel to serial mode. Because SPI transfer data serially. Here I show you image of SPI module connect with 16X2 lcd.

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