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In this project you will learn how to wire a button to control the Arduino and have it turn on an LED light.

Unlike general use single board computers like the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino – like other microcontrollers – does not have an easy way to receive commands. That is, it lacks a simple human-machine interface. By programming your Arduino to respond to something like a button, you begin to harness the power of this microcontroller.

So, yes, this project helps familiarize you with the basics of circuits and switches. But more importantly, it gives you a taste of what you need to know to send a command to the Arduino.

This is project 1 from the Arduino Project Handbook, V1 by Mark Geddes.

We built this project on a WorkBench Project Development Kit from Phase Dock.


Major components

  • Arduino Uno
  • One 400 pin breadboard
  • “Always-on” battery (optional; this project can be powered from your computer)

Small components

  • Button, momentary tactile (we used the one in the Elegoo 37 Sensors Kit, V2.0)
  • LED light
  • Two resistors (10k ohm and 220 ohm)
  • Jumper wires

WorkBench 1007 Project Development Kit (PDK)

  • Two 2×3 Clicks
  • One Arduino Slide
  • Optional: one 2×3 or 1×3 Click depending on the size of your battery
  • Optional: 1007 Cover


Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 1, by Mark Geddes; this is Project 1

WorkBench PDK from Phase Dock.

ELEGOO Upgraded 37 in 1 Sensor Modules Kit with Tutorial (for the momentary tactile button)

Links are provided for your convenience; as an Amazon Associate Phase Dock Inc. earns from qualifying purchases. These products may be available from other sources.


1. The button in the Elegoo Kit has a different format from the one shown in the Arduino Project Handbook. It functions exactly the same way, however. You may want to review the lesson on Breadboards found on pages 4-5 of the Arduino Project Handbook if you need a little guidance.

2. The fritzing diagram shows the LED toward the back — behind the button. We suggest reversing the position of the LED and the resistor as shown in one of the project photos in the handbook to bring the LED to a more visible position.

3. If the LED doesn’t light…you may have it in backwards. (LEDs are directional and they only work one way.)