What are Arduino digital inputs and outputs and how do they work?

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Advances in technology have advanced to the point where they allow you to do activities you don't have much knowledge of, but actually enjoy. This is the case of the development of Arduino, high-level embedded electronic boards emerged to provide solutions to people with little knowledge of electronics and programming .

However, it will always be useful for you to know the basics of the Arduino environment, because this way you will have a better view of these tabs and what you can do with them. In this post, we will show you what Arduino digital inputs and outputs are and how they work.



Arduino applications

There are various applications that you can give to each of these Arduino boards, and among other things you can control different systems (Industrial, Domotic, Domestic) to get the desired results, without the need to be present and monitor the system.

For this it is necessary to use modules connected to these plates that contain sensors, relays and other elements that help to control and supply the necessary power to motors, valves, pistons, locks, among others.

Among the applications that may interest you, you have, for example, the development of your smart home using devices such as Arduino and home automation. However, to develop a home automation system you will need to deepen yours knowledge of communication networks and topologies , as well as electronics and programming.

Arduino board connection pin

In addition to the common Arduino board power pins which are 5V and GND , you will have several pins that you can use as inputs and outputs according to your needs. At this point you will see that you will find digital inputs and analog inputs, this is where the ingenuity of the creators of these systems comes in, as they have left the designation of some pins free so that you can use them as you see fit.



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Pins or most of them can be used as inputs and outputs, in this article we will deal with the digital signal, which are based on the logic representation 1 or 0 . In other words, a logic 1 represents the appearance of 5V on that pin, if used as an output, it will provide 5V and if used as an input, it will receive 5V.

The opposite occurs with logic 0, as it neither receives nor supplies voltage on that pin. Now, to clarify these terms, it is necessary to think of a simple system, for example a lighting circuit .

In it you will have a switch, cables and at least one electric lamp; In this case the Switch represents the input, since with it you decide whether to turn the lamp on or off, while the lamp is the output, since it turns on or off only according to the order received from the Switch. One of the first experiences you can have with these boards is learning how to turn on LED strips with Arduino.

How to set pins as digital inputs or outputs on Arduino

The first step before setting the pins as digital inputs and outputs on the Arduino boards is to download the Arduino software from the official website, because in it it is You can make the appropriate adjustments to set the pins on the board as digital inputs or outputs. Once you have downloaded the software, you need to proceed with the installation and open it, then follow these steps:


  • Create a new program and enter the name you want
  • Start the definitions in "void setup" to set the pins as inputs or outputs (depending on the type of card you purchased, you will see that you will have more or fewer inputs and outputs)
  • In general, the word pinMode (x, Input) o pinMode (x, Output) defines the pin as input or output. Note that the letter "x" determines the number of pins you will assign as an input or output.
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Finally, you should know that these boards are gaining more strength and presence in the field every day development of various applications , then you could broaden your knowledge by visiting the official Arduino page and reinforcing the information we have provided to you.


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