The Functions of a Breadboard

A breadboard is a device used as a construction base in developing an electronic circuit. Breadboards can be solderless, which allows them to be reusable. A solderless breadboard is made of plastic and perforated with numerous holes. Small tin-plated bronze or nickel alloy clips are located under the perforations and provide contact points or "nodes" to attach electronic pieces to create a circuit. A breadboard is used for multiple functions to create a variety of products using electricity.

A breadboard is also called a protoboard.


Wires are components used with a breadboard to create a functioning circuit. Use solid, not stranded, wire to connect a circuit in a breadboard. Stranded wire is thin and strands may separate when applying wire into a node. Solid wire is insulated with plastic and comes in different colors to help the engineer creating the circuit to differentiate between paths. Use a pair of pliers or wire cutters to gently cut into the plastic and strip off the end, leaving exposed wire to connect to the breadboard. The breadboard functions as a host for wire connections.

Power Supply and other components

A breadboard has a long row of holes or nodes at the top and bottom of the board. This serves as an area for power supply additions for circuits. A special attachable battery is one type of power supply and provides energy to light up lights, send information or complete a circuit.

A breadboard also functions as a host for a variety of other electrical components. A component called a transistor can amplify or turn off the electrical current to certain parts of the circuit. Circuit breakers are used to control the flow of electricity, coming in the form of a power button or a slide switch. A consuming device or load is what provides the circuit end function. Light bulbs, electric fans and radios are examples of circuits with a consuming device.

Light Emitting Diodes

When creating a circuit, using a breadboard in conjunction with a light emitting diode (or LED) helps circuit creators test the functions of a circuit to make sure it is running properly. LED's are removable and are placed next to the circuit parts to ensure the power supply or electrical current is running in the proper direction.