Switch (case) Statement, used with serial input

An if statement allows you to choose between two discrete options, TRUE or FALSE. When there are more than two options, you can use multiple if statements, or you can use the switch statement. Switch allows you to choose between several discrete options.

This tutorial shows you how to use switch to turn on one of several different LEDs based on a byte of data received serially. The sketch listens for serial input, and turns on a different LED for the characters a, b, c, d, or e.

Hardware Required

  • Arduino Board

  • 5 LEDs

  • 5 220 ohm resistors

  • hook-up wires

  • breadboard


Five LEDs are attached to digital pins 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in series through 220 ohm resistors.

To make this sketch work, your board must be connected to your computer. In the Arduino IDE open the serial monitor and send the characters a, b, c, d, or e to lit up the corresponding LED, or anything else to switch them off.

switchCase2 bb





  Switch statement with serial input

  Demonstrates the use of a switch statement. The switch statement allows you

  to choose from among a set of discrete values of a variable. It's like a

  series of if statements.

  To see this sketch in action, open the Serial monitor and send any character.

  The characters a, b, c, d, and e, will turn on LEDs. Any other character will

  turn the LEDs off.

  The circuit:

  - five LEDs attached to digital pins 2 through 6 through 220 ohm resistors

  created 1 Jul 2009

  by Tom Igoe

  This example code is in the public domain.



void setup() {

  // initialize serial communication:


  // initialize the LED pins:

  for (int thisPin = 2; thisPin < 7; thisPin++) {

    pinMode(thisPin, OUTPUT);


void loop() {

  // read the sensor:

  if (Serial.available() > 0) {

    int inByte = Serial.read();

    // do something different depending on the character received.

    // The switch statement expects single number values for each case; in this

    // example, though, you're using single quotes to tell the controller to get

    // the ASCII value for the character. For example 'a' = 97, 'b' = 98,

    // and so forth:

    switch (inByte) {

      case 'a':

        digitalWrite(2, HIGH);


      case 'b':

        digitalWrite(3, HIGH);


      case 'c':

        digitalWrite(4, HIGH);


      case 'd':

        digitalWrite(5, HIGH);


      case 'e':

        digitalWrite(6, HIGH);



        // turn all the LEDs off:

        for (int thisPin = 2; thisPin < 7; thisPin++) {

          digitalWrite(thisPin, LOW);




See Also

Last revision 2015/08/11 by SM