Introduction: Controllig LED by Potentiometer

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Previously, we have used Serial Monitor to send data to the control board, which may be enlightening to know a new software. In this lesson, let’s see how to change the luminance of an LED by a potentiometer, and receive the data of the potentiometer in Serial Monitor to see its value change.

Step 1: ​Components

Step 2: ​Principle

A linear potentiometer is an analog electronic component. So what’s the difference between an analog value and a digital one? Simply put, digital means on/off, high/low level with just two states, i.e. either 0 or 1. But the data state of analog signals is linear, for example, from 1 to 1000; the signal value changes over time instead of indicating an exact number. Analog signals include those of light intensity, humidity, temperature, and so on.

Step 3: The Schematic Diagram

Step 4: ​Procedures

In this experiment, the potentiometer is used as voltage divider, meaning connecting devices to all of its three pins. Connect the middle pin of the potentiometer to pin A0 and the other two pins to 5V and GND respectively. Therefore, the voltage of the potentiometer is 0-5V. Spin the knob of the potentiometer, and the voltage at pin A0 will change. Then convert that voltage into a digital value (0-1024) with the AD converter in the control board. Through programming, we can use the converted digital value to control the brightness of the LED on the control board.

Step 1:

Build the circuit.

Step 2:

Download the code from

Step 3:

Upload the sketch to the Arduino Uno board

Click the Upload icon to upload the code to the control board.

If "Done uploading" appears at
the bottom of the window, it means the sketch has been successfully uploaded.

Spin the shaft of the potentiometer and you should see the luminance of the LED change.

If you want to check the corresponding value changes, open the Serial Monitor and the data in the window will change with your spinning of the potentiometer knob. This experiment can also be changed to others as you like. For example, use the potentiometer to control the time interval for the LED blinking.

Step 5: Code

led by potentiometer

//Rotate the shaft of the potentiometer and you should see the luminance of the LED change.




const int analogPin = 0;//the analog input pin attach to

const int ledPin = 9;//the led attach to

int inputValue = 0;//variable to store the value coming from sensor

int outputValue = 0;//variable to store the output value


void setup()


Serial.begin(9600);//set the serial communication baudrate as 9600



void loop()


inputValue = analogRead(analogPin);//read the value from the potentiometer

Serial.print("Input: "); //print "Input"

Serial.println(inputValue); //print inputValue

outputValue = map(inputValue, 0, 1023, 0, 255); //Convert from 0-1023 proportional to the number of a number of from 0 to 255

Serial.print("Output: "); //print "Output"

Serial.println(outputValue); //print outputValue

analogWrite(ledPin, outputValue); //turn the LED on depending on the output value




Step 6: Code Analysis