Ordering Character LCDs For New Designs, Easy As 1,2,3

Character LCDs are one of the most common and low-cost display technologies for new product designs. Why?

  • Easy to program with a built-in controller providing an eight-bit interface (buss)
  • Sunlight readable
  • Optional LED backlight
  • Rarely obsoleted
  • And best of all: in stock

Choosing the best character display for your new design is as easy and 1,2,3,4,5.

1. Choose configuration (20×2, etc.)

The configuration is the set of numbers that tell how many characters the display contains.

An example of this is a 20 x 2, which means there are 20 characters on each line, with two (2) lines for a total of 40 characters.

The most common configurations are: 8×1, 8×2, 16×1, 16×2, 20×2, 20×4 and 40×4.

2. Choose backlight options (LED, none)

Alphanumeric displays are available with or without the LED backlight. Adding a backlight increases the cost between .50 to $1.00 each and allows the display to be read in the dark. But if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

3. Choose colors

Monochrome displays have one color background and one-color character.

Standard colors include yellow/green, black/white, blue/black and many others.

4. Choose voltage

Displays are built to accept 5V (most common) or 3.3V (best for battery applications). There is no difference in price or lead-time for either voltage.

5. Go to Online Components or Master Electronics to find what you need

This is the easiest step. Quickly locate the best character LCD, then click away and it’s on its way to you. Master Electronics offers quantity price breaks and stocking packages to help with production orders.