Adafruit I2C Controlled + Keypad Shield Kit for 16x2 LCD

Product ID: 715
Qty Discount
1-9 $9.95
10-99 $8.96
100+ $7.96


We really like the range of LCDs we stock in the shop, such as our classic blue & white as well as the fancy RGB negative and RGB positive. Unfortunately, these LCDs do require quite a few digital pins, 6 to control the LCD and then perhaps another 3 to control the RGB backlight for a total of 9 pins. That's half of the pins available on a classic Arduino!

The 16x2 Character LCD is NOT, repeat, NOT, included in this product listing.

With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for people to get these LCD into their projects so we devised a shield that lets you control a 16x2 Character LCD, up to 3 backlight pins AND 5 keypad pins using only the two I2C pins on the Arduino! The best part is you don't really lose those two pins either, since you can stick i2c-based sensors, RTCs, etc and have them share the I2C bus. This is a super slick way to add a display without all the wiring hassle.

This shield is perfect for when you want to build a stand-alone project with its own user interface. The 4 directional buttons plus select button allows basic control without having to attach a bulky computer.

The shield is designed for 'classic' Arduino shaped boards such as the Uno, Metro, etc. But will also fit "Mega" sized boards because the I2C pins used are the ones labeled SCL/SDA. Best of all, this used to come as a kit but now comes as an assembled SMT design, so a lot less soldering is required.

An LCD is not included, you will need to order one of our fine 16x2 Character LCDs. If you don't already have an LCD we suggest picking up a 'pack' which includes the LCD and will save you a bundle: RGB Positive Pack, RGB Negative Pack and Basic Blue&White Pack.

Assembly is easy, even if you've never soldered before, you just need to put the headers on to plug it into your 'duino, takes about 5 minutes.

Of course, we even wrote an easy-to-use Arduino library that you can easily add to your project. It acts just like the built in LiquidCrystal library, but automatically uses the shield pins. You can also easily query the 5 keypad buttons to get input through the library, so you get extra buttons without using any more pins.

At this time, the library and shield can control the RGB backlight of our character LCDs by turning each LED on or off. This means you can display the following colors: Red, Yellow, Green, Teal, Blue, Violet, White and all off. There is no support for PWM control of the backlight, so if you need to have more granular control of the RGB backlight to display a larger range of colors, this shield can't do that (the I2C expander does not have PWM output).

Technical Details

Product page with tutorials, documentation and assembly information

Revision History:

  • As of May 29th, 2024 – The design of the PCB has been updated. Now it comes with the  buttons, chips and other components already soldered into place. You will still need to solder on the shield headers and the LCD, but its a lot easier.


RoHS 2 2011 65 EU Compliant
RoHS 2 2015 863 EU Compliant


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