Raspberry Pi Model B – Turning on an LED with GPIO

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to turn on and off an LED using a Raspberry Pi (Model B in this case), with a simple for loop in python language.

Parts Required

In addition to your Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, you will need:

  • A Breadboard
  • An LED
  • A 330 ohm resistor
  • Two Male-Female jumper wires

The Raspberry Pi’s GPIO Pins

The left image below, shows the pin layout for a Raspberry Pi Models A and B (Rev 2). The right image shows the pin layout for a Raspberry Pi Models A+, B+, Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. The new 40 pin Raspberry Pi’s shares exactly the same layout of pins for the top 13 rows of GPIO pins.

Image available in: Link, accessed in March 2019

Building the Circuit and Schematic

The circuit consists of a power supply (the Raspberry Pi), an LED and a resistor to limit the current that can flow through the circuit. You will be using one of the ground (GND) pins and a digital output provided by GPIO 17 (pin 11).  When you put the digital output at high state, that means it outputs 3.3 volts, and the LED will light.  Now, take a look at the circuit schematic below:


Step 1 – Turn on your Raspberry Pi and open the terminal window. 

Step 2 – Create a new text file “LED.py”.

Step 3 – Type in the following code to turn on and off the LED one time:

Once you have typed all the code and checked it, save and exit the text editor with “Ctrl + x” then “y” then “enter”.

Step 4 – Run the code by type the follow command:

Now you will see the LED turn on for a second and then turn off.

If you want to turn on and off the LED multiple times you can use the next code with a for loop.


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