FLASH SALE!   🛍️   Get a stonking 40% off Inventor 2040 W – an all-in-one board for making contraptions that can move, sense things, make noise, and talk to the internet!!

Rainbow HAT - Experimentation Board

by Pimoroni

Rainbow HAT has a buffet of sensors, inputs and displays. Use it as a weather station, a clock, a timer or stopwatch, a mood light, or endless other things.

We've worked with the Android Things team at Google to create this great add-on board that features displays, sensors, sound, and lots of LEDs! It's the perfect introduction to developing Android Things applications on the Raspberry Pi.

Rainbow HAT also has a full Python API for use on Raspberry Pi OS just like all of our other HATs that you know and love!

The MagPi said that "Rainbow HAT has an impressive number of features crammed into it, making it useful for all sorts of projects" in their four star review.

Rainbow HAT features:

  • Seven APA102 multicolour LEDs
  • Four 14-segment alphanumeric displays (green LEDs)
  • HT16K33 display driver chip
  • Three capacitive touch buttons
  • Atmel QT1070 capacitive touch driver chip
  • Blue, green and red LEDs
  • BMP280 temperature and pressure sensor
  • Piezo buzzer
  • Breakout pins for servo, I2C, SPI, and UART (all 3v3)
  • Rainbow HAT pinout
  • Compatible with all 40-pin header Raspberry Pi models*
  • Python library

* Please note that if you're using Rainbow HAT with a Raspberry Pi with PoE pins (that's models 3B+ and later), then you'll need to use a set of stand-offs to ensure that the new PoE pins do not contact components on the underside of Rainbow HAT.

The board is designed specifically to show off the wide range of protocols available on the Raspberry Pi, including SPI (the APA102 LEDs), I2C (the BMP280 sensor and 14-segment displays), GPIO (the capacitive touch buttons and LEDs), and PWM (the piezo buzzer).

Using Android Things?

Please note that Google are in the process of discontinuing Android Things. You can still use all the goodies on Rainbow HAT with our Python library!

For information on how to get started with Android Things and Rainbow HAT visit the official developer site for Android Things. To put the latest Android Things image on your SD card, see the instructions here. You can find the driver and samples published in the official GitHub organisation: https://github.com/androidthings 

Using Raspberry Pi OS?

You don't have to use Android Things with your Rainbow HAT, we’ve also put together our usual Python library to give you access to all its functions. You can find it here.

If you're interested in controlling your Rainbow HAT from a web page check out this tutorial - it shows you how to incorporate web app functionality into your Python code using Anvil's drag and drop app designer.


Temperature readings are affected by heat radiated from your Pi’s CPU and the onboard LEDs; calibration can help to correct temperature readings. bstrobl, on the Raspberry Pi forums, suggests to use the formula: corrected temp. = measured temp. - (CPU temp. - measured temp.) / 2. Using a Mini Black HAT Hack3r can also help.