Friday March 01, 2024

How to Use Solderless Breadboards

Step 2: Connecting the LED
LEDs are polarized, which simply means there's a right and wrong way to hook them up.  There are two leads (metal wires) that come out of the LED.  One is the anode (positive) and is usually the longer lead.  The shorter lead is usually the cathod (negative). You can also tell polarity by looking for a flat side on many LEDs, which will be the cathode.  You'll of course want the anode hooked into the postive power and cathode hooked into ground.

Connecting LED

Notice in the picture above the LED's anode (positive as indicated with a PLUS "+") is oriented toward the positive power rail.  Also, it's important to note that the LEDs leads staddle the two middle rows of the breadboard.  This is because all 5 tie points (holes) in those rows are electically tied together.  If the LED was inserted into two holes in the same row, it would create a short circuit and very likely damange components.

Bad LED Connecting

As shown in the picture above, this is what you DON'T want to do.  Since the 5 holes in the two middle rows are all electrically connected, placing both of the LEDs leads into holes in the same row will create a short circuit.  It would essentially be like twisting or soldering the LED's leads together.

This example is useful for any component you'll be wiring into a breadboard.  For an Integrated Chip that has 4 pins or 30 pins, the rules still apply.  You each leg of the chip would want to be in a seperate row, so you'd straddle the two middle rows to achieve this.

Let's add the resistor next..

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Posted 03/22/12 4:44PM by Anonymous Techdoser
Now where do you buy them? I found an interesting place to buy them at Anybody know of some other places?
anonymous techdoser
Posted 01/22/12 2:44AM by Anonymous Techdoser
i did this and blowed an led!
Internal Connection of Breadboards
Posted 12/17/11 10:55AM by ashoksharmaz87
The article is really very good!
Another good link that I found about breadboard is
Short circuit?
Posted 10/16/11 4:34AM by Anonymous Techdoser
Hi, can anyone please explain why putting both the LED leads into holes which are electrically common would create a short circuit? I'd say there would just be no potential difference across the LED, hence it wouldn't light up. Am I wrong?
Posted 04/23/11 1:22PM by Anonymous Techdoser
hello can anyone please help me find out how to connect a switch with the board? Thanks.
attach a switch
Posted 02/23/11 8:11PM by Anonymous Techdoser
how can I connect a six pin right angle slide switch to this set up
Posted 01/05/11 12:09AM by Anonymous Techdoser
This is a clear explantion for anybody tryuing tono about solderlessbreadboard. Thanks a lot
bread board
Posted 10/28/10 8:56AM by ragraghu_k
very good for the learners , its climbing the ladder step by step , i think i can learn a lot
thank you very much
Posted 10/18/10 6:41PM by dvdove
good info,easily understood.
Diagram error
Posted 09/23/10 7:35PM by Anonymous Techdoser
In the diagram showing the LED connection to the battery, the resistor needs to be connected between the positive lead of the battery and the LED. The diagram is shown backwards, therefore, the voltage will be too much and probably blow the LED.
Posted 08/01/10 12:52AM by Anonymous Techdoser
Simple but Useful...:D
Posted 10/31/09 12:01PM by RikiKiki
You've made my day! Very useful!
Thanks for this great site
Posted 10/27/09 3:28PM by Voiseriaffona
Thanks for the information

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You have a good site all very tastefully done!
Posted 10/02/09 6:27AM by rittachkas
You have a good site all very tastefully done! I really liked.
Sincerely Ritt.
Breadboards - How to...
Posted 09/26/09 10:36AM by Anonymous Techdoser
Superb!!! As an electronics novice I'm very thankful for your informative intro...Cheers