Introduction: Interfacing LCD With Arduino Using Only 3 Pins

About: iam a B.E Electronics and Communication Engineer. I have great interest on electronics.

To interface LCD we need six digital pins from Arduino. To save your Arduino pins and easy interfacing

IC 74HC595N Shift Register is used.Using this shift register we can interface LCD using 3 pins.

Step 1: Components Required

  • LCD 16x2
  • Arduino Uno
  • IC 74HC595N
  • 1K Potentiometer

Step 2: Operation of IC74HC595N

IC 74HC595N shift Register accepts serial input data and converts into parallel output.This shift Register contains 3 input pins and 8 output pins.By updating LiquidCrystal libraries the arduino generates serial data in single pin and give it to input data pin of IC74HC595N and the shift Register converts these serial data into parallel output and these parallel data is given to LCD.

IC 74HC595N contains 3 input pins

  • Data pin: Data is sent in serial mode.
  • Clock Pin: A clock runs on this pin
  • Latch Pin: This pin is used to toggle so that shift register shows 8 bit data on output.

Step 3: Updating Libraries

To interface LCD using 3 pins you need to Update the ARDUINOLiquidCrystal libraries.Which is located at the following location

Local Disk(C)-->Program Files-->Arduino-->libraries-->LiquidCrystal.

Open the LiquidCrystal folder and there are some files inside that folder.Cut and paste these files Some where on your pc. Because you need to use these files when you interface LCD using 6 pins.

Now Download and Extract the following libraries.Which is an updated Liquid Crystal libraries to use LCD with 3 pins.Copy the extracted files and paste it in the following Location

Local Disk(C)-->Program Files-->Arduino-->libraries-->LiquidCrystal.

Note: open the folder of Liquid Crystal and paste it.
Now you have updated your Arduino Liquid Crystal libraries

Step 4: Schematic Diagram

I have also attached Schematic in RaR format.

Step 5: Program Code

#include <Wire.h>

#include <LiquidCrystal_SR.h>

// Defining LCD and Pins for interfacing.

LiquidCrystal_SR lcd(6, 5, 9); // Pin 6 - Data Enable/ SER, Pin 5 - Clock/SCL, Pin 9 -SCK

void setup()


lcd.begin(16,2); // Initializing LCD

lcd.home (); // Setting Cursor at Home i.e. 0,0


void loop()


lcd.print("3 Pin LCD"); // Print Something on LCD

delay(2000); // Waiting for a while

lcd.clear(); // Clearing LCD






I have attached the Wire library.Add the library before compilation of the code otherwise you will get error.


Step 6: Download Program Code

I have attached program in RaR format

Download and extract it and open it in Arduino IDE

Step 7: Video

Epilog Contest 8

Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8

Arduino Contest 2016

Participated in the
Arduino Contest 2016

Make it Glow Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2016