Cheap 16×2 LCD Comparison

HD44780-compatible 16×2 LCD’s are cheap (<$4), and easy to use with Arduino via the LiquidCrystal library. To reduce the pin count considerably, the Adafruit LCD backpack is a nice little add-on that converts them to work via a two-wire I2C or SPI interface.

I bought two types to compare for use with OpenEVSE and LeafCAN. One has white lettering over a blue background, and the other one has black lettering over a yellow background. Here is an indoor comparison:

My camera can’t take good photos of the blue LCD indoors. The blue background is actually a good bit darker than in the photo, and the contrast is much better than it appears. Factoring that in, I guess I would still give the yellow LCD a slight edge indoors.

Now, here they are outdoors, in direct sunlight:

Again, the blue LCD didn’t photograph well. It looked slightly better than depicted in the photo. However, it’s a clear win for the yellow LCD. It works as a reflective LCD in direct sunlight, with very high contrast.

2 thoughts on “Cheap 16×2 LCD Comparison”

  1. Hey – I’m trying to compile openevse 5.0.1 with PCF support. I don’t see any document saying what to do. LCDRGB makes things even worse. First thing:

    // if using I2CLCD_PCF8574 uncomment below line and comment out LiquidTWI2.h above
    #include “./LiquidCrystal_I2C.h”

    but there is no LiquidTWI2.h above in the code 🙁

    Also I have changed openevse.h and replaced
    #define RGBLCD
    #define I2CLCD

    I get some garbage on the LCD.

    I have LiquidCrystal_PCF8574.h in my arduino and using it works fine.


Leave a Reply