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Display modules for Electronic projects

After writing an article about batteries, I thought it’d be great to write something about displays/screens that are available for electronic projects — especially small ones before going into detail on each of them at a later article. You’d simply be amazed at how easy it is to buy small displays these days if you want to make an electronic project — you have options from LCDs to OLEDs. The displays I found can be as small as 0.91 inch diagonally or as large as 2.4 inches diagonally. Of course there are bigger sizes if you need them.

At the very least, two types of display modules are very common in the market right now — LCD displays and OLED displays. LCD displays are often bulkier but cheaper while OLED displays are a bit more expensive but offers a smaller footprint. Both technologies have available monochromatic and multi-color displays available in the market. Choosing a display will depend on the size, required no. of colors and budget for the project.

The single color LCD displays, which by the way is the oldest of the technologies I have written on this post, are the cheapest. Also the required software to make them work on electronic projects are more readily available. But it is the bulkiest of all in my experience. Checkout the photo of an LCD display below.

If you need colored LCD displays, buying one shouldn’t be much of a problem. Of course they are a bit pricier than the single color LCD. Software drivers for these type of screens are also readily available on the Internet which work on both the ESP8266 and ESP32 chips. Shown below is a 1.8 inch colored TFT display module.

But the ones I really like right now are the OLED display modules. Although the priciest of the types of displays I’ve mentioned on this article, they are thin and therefore occupies less space. They also consume less power which is great for battery-powered projects. You can buy something as small as a 0.9 inch display which is great for small projects. Shown below are three common screen sizes of OLED screens (0.91, 0.96, 1.3) which should easily work on the ESP8266 and ESP32 chips.

The available selection of display modules in the market should be sufficient for most electronic projects. The small ones are really perfect for those tiny IoT electronic cool stuff that you might be concocting. Most of them should be available and will work if you’re into ESP8266 and ESP32 projects. I like the OLED stuff because they occupy less project space. But you’re certainly free to choose the display to use without much worry about the availability of software drivers. Prices often range from as low as $3 depending on which one you choose. For instance, a 1.3-inch OLED display costs something like less than $5 (about 250 Philippine pesos which is my local currency).

The important thing is that the display module you choose should be able to convey the needed information to the user of your project so choose wisely.

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.

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