This new Adafruit Pi Plate makes it easy to use a blue and white 16x2
Character LCD. Unfortunately, these LCDs do require quite a few
digital pins, 6 to control the LCD and then another 1 to control the
backlight for a total of 7 pins. That's nearly all the GPIO available
on a Pi!
With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for people to get
these LCD into their projects so we devised a Pi plate 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 R-Pi! 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 pi plate 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
The plate is designed for both Revision 1 and Revision 2 Raspberry
Pi's. It uses the I2C (SDA/SCL) pins. We have a special xtra-tall
26-pin header so the plate sits above the USB and Ethernet jacks.
This product comes as a kit! Included is a high quality PCB and all
the components (buttons, header etc). A 16x2 Character blue&white
monochrome LCD is included! Assembly is easy, even if you've never
soldered before and the kit can be completed in 30 minutes. Check the
product tutorial page for assembly instructions before purchasing 
We also have some handy Python code to help you easily talk to the
LCD and buttons  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. The buttons are automatically de-bounced inside the
At this time, the code and plate can control the white backlight on
or off. There is no support for PWM control of the backlight at this
time, so if you need to have more granular control of the backlight,
this plate can't do that (the I2C expander does not have PWM output).
Product page with tutorials, documentation and assembly information
* Dimensions: 2.2" x 3.35"
* Comes with a 16x2 Blue & White LCD
* Plug and play with any Raspberry Pi
* Uses only the I2C (SDA/SCL) pins