Micro:bit RGB LED

Vary the light intensity of an RGB LED module with micro:bit

Purpose of this tutorial:

In this tutorial we will automatically vary the light intensity of an RGB LED module with the micro:bit card.

Required components

Micro:bit board

Micro:bit is a small, low-cost microcontroller board that was developed by the Micro:bit Educational Foundation for use in computer education. It is designed to be easy to use and accessible to a wide range of users, including children and beginners. The Micro:bit board measures about 4cm by 5cm and features a 25-pin edge connector, a 5×5 LED matrix, two programmable buttons, an accelerometer, a compass, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module, and a USB connector.

The Micro:bit is programmed using a variety of programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Microsoft Block Editor. It can be used to control a wide range of devices and projects, including robots, drones, lights, and more. The board can be powered by a USB cable or a 3V coin cell battery and can be programmed using a computer or mobile device.

The Micro:bit is widely used in education, providing a hands-on learning experience for students of all ages to learn computer programming, logic, and problem-solving. It’s also used by hobbyist and makers to create fun and interactive projects.

Microbit GPIO board

A Micro:bit GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) Expansion Board is an accessory that can be used to extend the capabilities of a Micro:bit by providing additional input/output (I/O) pins. These pins can be used to connect sensors and actuators, such as LEDs, buttons, motors, and other electronic components.

The expansion board typically connects to the Micro:bit using a standard edge connector and provides a set of male headers that can be used to connect external components.

RGB LED module

An RGB LED module is a compact package that contains one or more RGB LEDs. The module may include additional components such as a controller or driver circuit to allow for easy control of the LED’s color and brightness. These modules are commonly used in a variety of applications such as lighting fixtures, displays, and other electronic devices. They can be controlled by a microcontroller or other electronic device to create different color effects and animations. Some RGB LED modules also have a IR receiver, which allows them to be controlled by a remote control.

connecting wires

Connecting wires are used to connect various components in an electronic circuit. They allow for the transfer of electricity, data, or signals between different devices and components.

When connecting wires to an Arduino or other microcontroller, it is important to pay attention to the correct pinout. The pinout refers to the arrangement of pins on the microcontroller and the corresponding function of each pin. The Arduino pinout can be found in the documentation provided by the manufacturer, or in various resources available online.

test plate

A test plate, also known as a test jig, is a device used to test electronic circuits and components. It is a board or plate that has been designed to hold and connect various components and devices in a specific configuration, allowing for the easy testing and measurement of their performance.

A test plate can be used to test various types of electronic circuits and components, such as microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. It typically includes connectors and sockets for connecting wires, power supply and measurement devices such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, and power supplies.


We connect:

  • the pin Po of the micro:bit board to the pin (R) for the red color of the RGB LED module
  • the pin P1 of the micro:bit board to the pin (G) for the green color of the RGB LED module
  • the pin P2 of the micro:bit board to pin (B) for the blue color of the RGB LED module
  • the pin GND of the micro:bit board to pin (GND) of the RGB LED module

The mounting methods are numerous and here are some examples:

Mounting (1)

Mounting (2)

Makecode program

Here is the makecode program which automatically varies the light intensity of an RGB LED with the micro:bit card.

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