Choosing the right LCD for Arduino

Thread Starter

Juan Andrew Sasongko

Joined Dec 4, 2017
18
Hi

I'd like to find a LCD that has low power-usage, since I'll be using a battery for my device.
Lower than LCD 1602

And I saw this LCD


I'm still looking, wha's the name for this LCD? And can this LCD be programmed using Arduino?
Thanks please share ur respond!
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Hi

I'd like to find a LCD that has low power-usage, since I'll be using a battery for my device.
Lower than LCD 1602

And I saw this LCD


I'm still looking, wha's the name for this LCD? And can this LCD be programmed using Arduino?
Thanks please share ur respond!

What is the battery you are going to be using? I have not looked at the data sheet but my first thoughts are the Arduino isn't exactly the best choice for a project run off battery.

Does the display need to be on all of the time? If not pretty much any LCD can be used. Turn it on with a button press, turn it off with a timer.

But before you select an LCD, first take a look at the total power consumption of your product vs the battery you are choosing to power it.
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
3,027
I'd like to find a LCD that has low power-usage, since I'll be using a battery for my device.
Lower than LCD 1602
Any character LCD display like a 1602 will draw far less current (assuming no backlight) than the Arduino itself, even if the Arduino isn't supplying any current to any other I/O modules or breakout boards. The Arduino operating current is approximately 45 mA, whereas a 1602 character LCD such as this one draws only 1-2 mA.

Thus, your total battery drain is going to be almost entirely due to the Arduino.
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
2,945
I agree with the others - the Arduino is your biggest problem in terms of battery life, especially if you're talking about the popular Uno model. There are lots of other Arduino models, as well as Arduino-compatible models that consume much less power.

If you really want to maximize battery life you'd probably step out of the Arduino environment entirely and learn all about timer interrupts, getting your device in and out of sleep-mode, etc. But, even if you don't want to put that much work into it, you can still shop around within the Arduino world for lower power consumption.

Just as one example that I'm already familiar with, the Adafruit Feather M0 consumes about 11mA of current, or less than 1/4th what the Uno draws (according to their website: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-feather-m0-adalogger/power-management.) I'm pretty confident that there will be plenty of Arduino compatible options with lower current consumption (maybe the Attiny line?) but I haven't looked in detail. Certainly avoid the Uno and other power-hungry models if battery life is an important factor!
 

Thread Starter

Juan Andrew Sasongko

Joined Dec 4, 2017
18
Hi! I'd like to clarify my description.

1. Yes the LCD needs to be active at all time when turned on.
2. Arduino Nano is the Arduino I'll be using. I saw at https://tlextrait.svbtle.com/arduino-power-consumption-compared that the Arduino nano draws 35mA where its DC current per I/O pins draws <=40mA https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/67092/how-much-current-can-i-draw-from-the-arduinos-pins
3. I'm using the battery 18650 x 2 pcs. The spec at the battery cover is 4800mah. And I've checked with multitester it's maximum voltage while charged fully is 4,20V.
4. Based on https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/399041/how-much-current-does-an-1602-lcd-draw , the LCD itself doesn't draw a lot of operating current. But the problem is the typical current of its backlight around 50-200mA, which will consume a lot of battery. That's why I'm thinking if I can use the transparent LCD like that (that doesn't need backlight), it would be a huge help for me.

To reduce Arduino Nano's consumption, maybe I'll be utilizing the code I got from https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/reducing-arduino-power-consumption/all
 
Last edited:

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,084
You could try pulling the back light out and replacing it with a mirror. Or maybe just a white piece of paper. That may help you to read it, but only if there is light available.
Otherwise, have a push button to turn on the back light as required. An added resistor in series with the backlight can reduce current too.
There are E-paper displays available but they cost a bit more. But they will need a light when it is dark.
First, though, what info do you need to display? And will it be needed at night?
In one of my projects, the Arduino spends most of the time asleep.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,084
To reduce the current further, use an Arduino, like a Pro Mini, that does not have the USB on board, but uses an external programming adapter.
Although the Nano may be able to turn the USB off in sleep mode.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Hi! I'd like to clarify my description.

1. Yes the LCD needs to be active at all time when turned on.
2. Arduino Nano is the Arduino I'll be using. I saw at https://tlextrait.svbtle.com/arduino-power-consumption-compared that the Arduino nano draws 35mA where its DC current per I/O pins draws <=40mA https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/67092/how-much-current-can-i-draw-from-the-arduinos-pins
3. I'm using the battery 18650 x 2 pcs. The spec at the battery cover is 4800mah. And I've checked with multitester it's maximum voltage while charged fully is 4,20V.
4. Based on https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/399041/how-much-current-does-an-1602-lcd-draw , the LCD itself doesn't draw a lot of operating current. But the problem is the typical current of its backlight around 50-200mA, which will consume a lot of battery. That's why I'm thinking if I can use the transparent LCD like that (that doesn't need backlight), it would be a huge help for me.

To reduce Arduino Nano's consumption, maybe I'll be utilizing the code I got from https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/reducing-arduino-power-consumption/all

You will need to wire the 2 batteries in series. Wired in series you will have 8.4 volts. Most LCDs require 5V. The Arduino Nano can tolerate from 7-12V input. And other information I have read is it is 6-20V unregulated. Unless the Nano has a 5V out you wil want a switch mode regulator for the LCD,

IMHO, the technical information the the Arduino is absolutely deplorable. At least what I have been able to find on their site.

Don't worry about what the pins can supply. At least not in your power consumption calculations. You just need to worry about what each device consumes plus maybe a fudge factor.

Digikey has a calculator here

https://www.digikey.com/en/resources/conversion-calculators/conversion-calculator-battery-life
 

Thread Starter

Juan Andrew Sasongko

Joined Dec 4, 2017
18
FYI, you need to test your battery voltage under load not just with a multimeter. What is the battery rated at?
Hi yeah after putting all the load the voltage drops around 10Volt, which is 8.10Volt in maximum charged situation
Yeah the problem is I don't have the device to measure the current consumption of the device, I'm just accumulating it from each device's datasheet. Using multimeter I have (DT9205), the current is written 0.48mA, while the backlight LCD already consumed >50mA if I followed the link

To reduce the current further, use an Arduino, like a Pro Mini, that does not have the USB on board, but uses an external programming adapter.
Although the Nano may be able to turn the USB off in sleep mode.
Hi yeah the arduino will be used for 1 digital button, LCD Analog (sda,scl) and analog input from sensor. I'll be using it in a room with sufficient light, so the backlight actually isn't needed. I'm only using the backlight right now since "without it" the display would be too dark to see.
 
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