Introduction: Getting Started With Arduino - Blinking LED

About: Tutorials provided by BA/BSc (Hons) Digital Art and Technology at Plymouth University

In this tutorial we walk you through the steps involved in getting your first arduino project up and running.

Step 1: Build Your Circuit

For this project you will need one Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Some LEDs can be used on their own, others require a resistor to prevent them from burning out (or overheating the arduino). The easiest way to avoid problems is to buy LEDs that come supplied with the correct resistors.

It's often simplest to solder the resistor onto the positive (the longer) leg of the LED - just like the red LED in the photo.

Insert your LED with the longer leg into pin 13 on the arduino and the shorter leg into the GND pin (as shown in the photo)

Step 2: Write Your Code

The next step is to write some code to control the LED.

Download the Blink.ino file and open it up in the Arduino application.

You can tinker with it if you like, or just use it as it is.

Step 3: Upload Your Program

Make sure you have the your arduino model selected and the correct serial port ticked (see screenshot).

Then just click the upload button

Note: With some arduino models (e.g. Leonardo) you need to reset the arduino when uploading:

  • Hold down the plastic/metal reset button on the board
  • Click the upload button in the arduino application
  • Wait until the "uploading" message appears at the bottom of the arduino window
  • Let go of the reset button on the arduino

Your code should now upload (might have to practice your timing to get it right ;o)

Step 4: Enjoy

If everything works, the LED should begin to flash slowly (one second on, one second off)

Congratulations - you've written your first arduino program !!!

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