Introduction: Control LED Light Color Via an Arduino and an IPhone Over BLE

This tutorial will show you how to control an RGB LED via an Arduino and an iOS device. It will utilize the LightShow app which lets you set a single color or create a light show with a sequence of colors.

If you want to control a Light Strip check out this tutorial instead.


  • 3 x 220-ohm resistors
  • nRF8001 BLE board
  • Arduino Uno
  • iOS device

Step 1: Attach the RGB LED

Use a common cathode RGB LED and three 220-ohm resistors.

  • The longest pin of the LED is the cathode and should be connected to the common ground.
  • Connect a 220-ohm resistor between each of the LED's anodes and the Arduino.
  • Connect the Red, Green, and Blue pins to digital pins 3,5, and 6 respectively.

Step 2: Connect the Bluetooth Low Energy Board

Connect the nRF8001 Bluetooth LE breakout board to your breadboard. Connect the BLE pins to the Arduino as follows:

  • SCK - 13
  • MISO - 12
  • MOSI - 11
  • REQ - 10
  • RST - 9
  • RDY - 2

Further information on the using the nRF8001 BLE board is available here.

Step 3: Upload the Sketch to the Arduino

Clone or download the LightShow GitHub repository at

  1. Copy and paste the Adafruit_BLE_UART folder located in the libraries directory into your Arduino/libraries/ folder.
  2. Launch the Arduino IDE and open the LightShow/LightShowArduino/LightShowArduino.ino sketch. Upload it to your Arduino board.

Step 4: Download and Install the LightShow App

Download and install the iOS LightShow app from the iTunes App Store.

Launch the app and press the Action button on the top right. Locate your bluetooth device, named "HSLight" by default, and connect to it. Go back one screen and you should be able to remotely control the color of your LED.


Sembot (author)2016-12-13


I use a common anode RGB LED , Is that possible , what should I change in the Arduino code please

Kind regards

ShivaganeshguptaS (author)2016-07-08

Did you write something from scratch for the iOS or did you use a toolkit like that above? and is it work for HM-10 Blue tooth

my mail id is

filmote (author)2016-04-24

Interesting - however not having the source code to the iOS app detracts from the project. How can I use the techniques you show to do something else?

kitefaster (author)filmote2016-04-24

You can use the nRF UART app to prototype sending commands via a UART terminal from your iOS device to the Arduino.

filmote (author)kitefaster2016-04-24

Thanks for the reply. Did you write something from scratch for the iOS or did you use a toolkit like that above?

kitefaster (author)filmote2016-04-25

I started by using the Nordic code base, getting that to work, then building my custom UI on top of it. In the end I only ended up keeping the UARTPeripheral class.