IR Control Kit Hookup Guide

Contributors: jimblom, bboyho
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Infrared (IR) is a cheap and (as you'll soon discover) easy way to add wireless control to your project. The IR Control Kit gives you everything you need to take control of the extravisible light waves (or are they particles?), so you can remotely control your custom music box or build a controller for your TV or stereo.

IR Remote interfacing with Arduino

In this tutorial we'll show you how to hook up all of the components included with the IR Control Kit, which includes:

IR Control Kit contents

Required Materials

In this tutorial, we'll be using an Arduino to both transmit and interpret received IR data. On top of the components included with the IR Control Kit, you'll also need these to follow along with this tutorial:

  • An Arduino (or Arduino-compatible board) and a means to program it.
  • A breadboard is optional but recommended to help with the hardware hookup.
  • As with the breadboard, jumper wires are optional but the recommended tool to wire between breadboard and Arduino.
  • The second of the examples uses a common cathode RGB LED to create a fun, IR-controlled RGB LED project. This is optional.
  • The third example uses a simple momentary push-button to trigger an IR code transmission. Optional again.
SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

LED - RGB Diffused Common Cathode

LED - RGB Diffused Common Cathode

SparkFun USB Mini-B Cable - 6 Foot

SparkFun USB Mini-B Cable - 6 Foot

Breadboard - Mini Modular (White)

Breadboard - Mini Modular (White)

Jumper Wires Standard 7" M/M - 30 AWG (30 Pack)

Jumper Wires Standard 7" M/M - 30 AWG (30 Pack)

Mini Pushbutton Switch

Mini Pushbutton Switch


Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.


Light is a useful tool for the electrical engineer. Understanding how light relates to electronics is a fundamental skill for many projects.

IR Communication

This tutorial explains how common infrared (IR) communication works, as well as shows you how to set up a simple IR transmitter and receiver with an Arduino.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Pulse Width Modulation

An introduction to the concept of Pulse Width Modulation.

Button and Switch Basics

A tutorial on electronics' most overlooked and underappreciated component: the switch! Here we explain the difference between momentary and maintained switches and what all those acronyms (NO, NC, SPDT, SPST, ...) stand for.

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Learn the basics about LEDs as well as some more advanced topics to help you calculate requirements for projects containing many LEDs.

Serial Terminal Basics

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.