LED Bar Graph

Subscribe to our newsletter for an update when new projects are published. We would love to feature your project. Contact us for more information!

overview and Video

The objective of this project is to learn how to create an LED bar graph.

The bar graph is a series of LEDs in a line, similar to what you might see in an audio display. It is controlled by an analog input (the potentiometer), but it could be anything else that puts out a varying analog signal, such as a microphone.

When this project is successfully built, you can rotate the potentiometer knob, and the LEDs will light up or go dark one at a time, in sequence.

This is project 3 from the Arduino Project Handbook, V1 by Mark Geddes.

We built this project on a WorkBench Project Development Kit from Phase Dock.



LED Bar Graph Project with Arduino controller

you will need

Major components

  • Arduino Uno

  • One 400 pin breadboard

  • “Always-on” battery (optional; this project can be powered from your computer)

Small components

  • Nine LED lights (red, yellow, green)

  • Nine resistors (330 - 500 ohm work best)

  • Potentiometer (50k or above)

  • Jumper wires

WorkBench 1007 with two 2x3 Clicks, one Arduino Slide

  • Optional: one 2x3 or 1x3 Click depending on the size of your battery

  • Optional: 1007 Cover


Resources

Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 1, by Mark Geddes; this is Project 21


Get a WorkBench PDK from Phase Dock.






IMG_2436.JPG

Tips

1. We found using a 330-ohm resistor worked better than a 220 ohm. The 220 ohm is exceptionally bright. A 500 ohm resistor should work fine as well.

2. LEDs can short out if you are not careful about how you handle and install them. A lack of resistors can cause them to short out. We also suggest leaving your potentiometer in the closed position (fully counter clockwise) until ready to use.

3. Depending on the quality LED’s you have, some may fail to work right out of the box. If one LED doesn’t light but the rest do, try replacing the LED with another before you troubleshoot the circuit. Be aware If the LED doesn’t light…you may have it in backwards. (LEDs are directional and they only work one way.)

4. Leave at least one space on the breadboard between the LEDs. You will find it easier to insert the resistors and the control wires if the LEDs are not packed together too tightly.