GPIO Character-Based LCD Display

The lcd_gpio display platform allows you to use standard character-based LCD displays like this one with esphomelib. This integration is only for LCD displays that display individual characters on a screen (usually 16-20 columns and 2-4 rows), and not for LCD displays that can control each pixel individually. Also, this is the GPIO version of the LCD integration where each of the data pins of the LCD needs a dedicated GPIO pin on the ESP. These LCD displays are also commonly sold with a PCF8574 chip which only need two lines to the ESP, for that see PCF8574 Character-Based LCD Display.

LCD Display.
# Example configuration entry
  - platform: lcd_gpio
    dimensions: 18x4
      - D0
      - D1
      - D2
      - D3
    enable_pin: D4
    rs_pin: D5
    lambda: |-
      it.print("Hello World!");

Configuration variables:

  • dimensions (Required, string): The dimensions of the display with ROWSxCOLUMNS. If you’re not sure, power the display up and just count them.
  • data_pins (Required, list of Pin Schemas): A list of the data pins you have hooked up to the LCD. The list can either be 8 items long (when you have connected all 8 data pins), or 4 items long (if you’re operating in 4-bit mode with either the first 4 data pins connected or the last 4 data pins connected).
  • enable_pin (Required, Pin Schema): The pin you have EN hooked up to.
  • rs_pin (Required, Pin Schema): The pin you have RS hooked up to.
  • rw_pin (Optional, Pin Schema): Optionally set the pin you have RW hooked up to. You can also just permanently connect that pin to GND.
  • lambda (Optional, lambda): The lambda to use for rendering the content on the display. See Rendering Lambda for more information.
  • update_interval (Optional, Time): The interval to re-draw the screen. Defaults to 1s.
  • id (Optional, ID): Manually specify the ID used for code generation.

Rendering Lambda

The LCD displays has a similar API to the fully fledged Display Rendering Engine, but it’s only a subset as LCD displays don’t have a concept of individual pixels. In the lambda you’re passed a variable called it as with all other displays. In this case however, it is an LCDDisplay instance.

The most basic operation with LCD Displays is writing static text to the screen as in the configuration example at the top of this page.

Each of the three methods (print, printf and strftime) all optionally take a column and row arguments at the beginning which can be used to print the text at a specific position. These arguments are set to 0 (column) and 0 (row) by default which means the character at the top left.

  - platform: lcd_gpio # or lcd_pcf8574
    # ...
    lambda: |-
      // Print 0 at the top left

      // Print 1 at the second row and second column.
      it.print(1, 1, "1");

      // Let's write a sensor value (let's assume it's 42.1)
      it.printf("%.1f", id(my_sensor).state);
      // Result: "42.1" (the dot will appear on the "2" segment)

      // Print a right-padded sensor value with 0 digits after the decimal
      it.printf("Sensor value: %8.0f", id(my_sensor).state);
      // Result: "Sensor value:       42"

      // Print the current time
      it.strftime("It is %H:%M on %d.%m.%Y", id(my_time).now());
      // Result for 10:06 on august 21st 2018 -> "It is 10:06 on 21.08.2018"

# (Optional) For displaying time:
- platform: sntp
  id: my_time


If you’re not seeing anything on the display, make sure you try turning the contrast potentiometer around.

Please see Formatted Text for a quick introduction into the printf formatting rules and Displaying Time for an introduction into the strftime time formatting.