What is the best way I can hook this 5x7 LED matrix to an Arduino board?


4 Answers 4


I used a very similar 5x7 matrix on Arduino a while ago.

Here is how I hooked it up and a small sample sketch, http://www.local-guru.net/blog/2009/04/03/5x7-led-matrix-on-my-arduino.


A quick look at the datasheet shows that the individual LEDs are multiplexed, meaning that a single line can drive more than one LED. In this case, all of the anodes in a column are electrically connected, and all of the cathodes in a row are electrically connected (or vice versa, depending on the model). That means, whenever you manipulate a pin, you are manipulating that whole row or that whole column. By choosing one column and one row, you can control an individual LED. You can then manipulate all rows and one column, which will allow you to control a whole column at once. To control all of them, you'll need to switch each column in sequence, changing which rows are active. If you do this fast enough, it will look like they're always on. This is called time multiplexing, or time-division multiplexing, since each column gets a slice of time in sequence.

Here's an example of a project that uses a 5x7 matrix and time mulitplexing:


Run with that for a while, and come on back if you have further questions or add comments to refine the question.


I have not done it yet, but you can address 5x7 matrix's using a maxim max7221 IC. This can be controlled via a serial port connection to the duino.

There are more details here

I have just ordered an arduino and have the max chip sat beside me. I will be driving Common Cathode LED 7 segment displays with mine.


i followed the instructions posted here: http://ericlathrop.com/electronics/LedGrid.php This one works.. i tried it using a 5x7 Led Matrix display with arduino.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It seems you have a reasonable answer, but we don't like relying on a external link for the main content here. Perhaps you can explain a bit more what you did here, and use the link for background reference only. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2012 at 23:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ link is now broken \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg Woods
    Nov 18, 2013 at 15:52

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