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Library code for character LCD interfacing
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This library is compatible with standard Character LCDs such as: * Adafruit Standard LCD 16x2 * Adafruit RGB backlight negative LCD 16x2 * Adafruit RGB backlight negative LCD 20x4

Installing from PyPI

On supported GNU/Linux systems like the Raspberry Pi, you can install the driver locally from PyPI. To install for current user:

pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-charlcd

To install system-wide (this may be required in some cases):

sudo pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-charlcd

To install in a virtual environment in your current project:

mkdir project-name && cd project-name
python3 -m venv .env
source .env/bin/activate
pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-charlcd


This driver depends on:

I2C & SPI displays also depend on:

Please ensure all dependencies are available on the CircuitPython filesystem. This is easily achieved by downloading the Adafruit library and driver bundle.

Usage Example

The Character_LCD class interfaces a predefined Character LCD display with CircuitPython.

import board
import digitalio
import adafruit_character_lcd.character_lcd as character_lcd

You must define the data pins (RS, EN, D4, D5, D6, D7) in your code before using the Character_LCD class. If you want to have on/off backlight functionality, you can also define your backlight as lcd_backlight. Otherwise, the backlight will always remain on. The following is an example setup.

lcd_rs = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D7)
lcd_en = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D8)
lcd_d7 = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D12)
lcd_d6 = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D11)
lcd_d5 = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D10)
lcd_d4 = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D9)
lcd_backlight = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D13)

You must also define the size of the CharLCD by specifying its lcd_columns and lcd_rows:

lcd_columns = 16
lcd_rows = 2

After you have set up your LCD, we can make the device by calling it

lcd = character_lcd.Character_LCD_Mono(lcd_rs, lcd_en, lcd_d4, lcd_d5, lcd_d6, lcd_d7, lcd_columns, lcd_rows, lcd_backlight)

To verify that your pins are correct, print a hello message to the CharLCD:

lcd.message = "Hello\nCircuitPython"

Custom character example with create_char() is provided within /examples/


Contributions are welcome! Please read our Code of Conduct before contributing to help this project stay welcoming.

Building locally

To build this library locally you'll need to install the circuitpython-build-tools package.

python3 -m venv .env
source .env/bin/activate
pip install circuitpython-build-tools

Once installed, make sure you are in the virtual environment:

source .env/bin/activate

Then run the build:

circuitpython-build-bundles --filename_prefix adafruit-circuitpython-charlcd --library_location .

Sphinx documentation

Sphinx is used to build the documentation based on rST files and comments in the code. First, install dependencies (feel free to reuse the virtual environment from above):

python3 -m venv .env
source .env/bin/activate
pip install Sphinx sphinx-rtd-theme

Now, once you have the virtual environment activated:

cd docs
sphinx-build -E -W -b html . _build/html

This will output the documentation to docs/_build/html. Open the index.html in your browser to view them. It will also (due to -W) error out on any warning like Travis will. This is a good way to locally verify it will pass.

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