BLOG > Product Road Test: Lumex Backlit 16×2 LCD Display

This is a review of the Lumex LCR-U01602DSF/DWH 16×2 Backlit LCD Display.  It was provided to me for evaluation by element14/Newark Electronics.  You can purchase it or learn more here. I tested its performance by using it with an arduino and the excellent LiquidCrystal library.  I will post an arduino tutorial on LCD screen interfacing soon.

Lumex LCD Display


Product Info:

LUMEX LCR-U01602DSF/DWH -16×2 LCD Display (Visit Newark Product Page)

  • 4 or 8 Wire Parallel Interface
  • Integrated 12V Heating Element
  • Character Count x Line: 16 x 2
  • Backlighting Color: White
  • Character Size: 9.66mm
  • Supply Voltage: 5V
  • Display Mode: Transflective
  • Display Area Width:99mm
  • RoHS Compliant: Yes

First thing’s first – this is a BIG 16×2 LCD display.  Upon opening the package, I was fairly surprised to find just how big this thing is – I hadn’t conceptualized the dimensions when viewing the product specifications online.  The viewable portion of the display measures about 100mmx25mm.  The construction is sturdy, and 8 retaining clips are used to hold the display cover in place on the PCB.  I’m convinced that I could throw this display against a wall and it would be just fine.

As with most 16×2 displays, this LCD utilizes a 4/8pin parallel interface plus an RS, enable, and R/W line.  Four more pins allow you to power the backlight and heater circuits. A Vo line connected to a 10k potentiometer makes adjusting the contrast a breeze.  I found the contrast range to be quite large, though it could probably go a little darker.  Because it uses the standard parallel interface, control is well documented and straightforward with just about any microcontroller.  Unfortunately, the provided datasheet only provides dimensions and electrical characteristics/pin-outs.  I had to search elsewhere for documentation on how to communicate with the display controller interface.

The logic operates at 5V, and I was able to use the 4pin interface to do just about everything I needed to.  The LCD backlight requires about 6V, and the heater circuit requires 12V.  Neither needs to be plugged in for the display to operate, but the backlight does make a tremendous difference in the viewing experience.    The heater, an option not found on many smaller 16×2 displays, ensures that the display will continue to hum along even in cold conditions.

The display quality is sharp, and the ghosting effect is minimal when viewing animations on the display.  The up/down viewing angle is very good – I can still make out the text even with my eyes nearly at the level of the display.  The left/right viewing angle is significantly less – if I move my eyes any more than 45 degrees from the center of the display, I’m no longer able to read the text.  The large size of the display makes it well suited for those with poor vision.  With the backlight enabled, you can read this LCD easily from across the room –an impressive feat for a simple 16×2 display.

Overall, I’m very happy with the product, and I’m looking forward to using it in future projects.

You can buy this LCD Display here, or visit the Newark Lumex Page to view other LCD Displays.

The photos below show the testing setup that I assembled:


  1. hello jeremy,

    i have replaced my LCD library with a new LCD library which have been downloaded at arduino playground. does it give any effect to upload the LCD code to my arduino board? i tried to do exactly like your tutorial 13 but fail to get the same result. can help me please..

  2. Where can I find information on how to program the LCR-U01602 display. The product is being used in an electrically noisy environment and I have seen the display get scrambled. I would like to see if there is a register I can poll to determine the health of the display. If there is no response, I want to reset the display from the main processor.

    1. I don’t think there is anyway to determine display health. You could just reboot it every few minutes by controlling the power pin with a transistor.

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