Controlling Outputs

In this section, we’ll look at a bunch of ways to control, adjust and adapt outputs from your microcontroller. We’ve already looked at one type of outcome, visible light produced with LED’s, in section 1 and 2. Now, we’ll look at motors and actuators which convert electrical energy into movement or motion.

Motion is just one type of output. There’s also programming LED strips like the Neopixel… create sound/noise from a speaker or piezos! We’ll cover this too. You can also use pumps to inflate or deflate pressure vessels (balloons), using fans to blow air, creating heat or cooling stuff down, and lots more!


Neopixels are programmable LEDs and they only need one pin to communicate. Way better than a whole load of individual RGB Leds and much easier to prototype with…


Actuators allow you to control a range of movement and motion based outputs. This section will cover controlling servos - a motor that can be positioned at a specific angle - and motors like solenoids and vibration motors.


A Piezo is a simple electrical component that can be used to create noise. This will provide a short guide to making music with your Particle board:

Controlling outputs

Finally, this set of guides will cover a set of best practices, coding techniques and practice exercises to further explore controlling outputs.

Things to Remember

Coding Techniques

Putting it together

Practice Exercise: Create a countdown timer

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