How to Decide Between GPIO ZERO library and RPi GPIO Library

For DIY electronics projects, the Raspberry Pi computer is a great choice. It comes with a Linux-based Raspbian operating system, along with Python built-in. For beginner coders, this is an amazing choice to get started. Both the RPi GPIO library and GPIO Zero Libraries are excellent choices. Let’s see what the peculiarities of each of these python libraries are and how to decide between them.  

RPI GPIO Blog - Guruface

We have done a blog series on Raspberry Pi earlier. It will be helpful for beginners to get started with Raspberry Pi easily. Check it out below:
What is Raspberry Pi and How to Use It – Part 1

How to Set Up Raspberry PI to Laptop – Part 2

Raspberry Pi LED Light Control Project Guide – Part 3

Let’s get back to the main topic now.

Table of Contents

Which is the ideal choice for a Beginner in Raspberry Pi GPIO?

The Raspberry Pi is a handy gadget that helps with physical computing with its General-Purpose Input/output (GPIO) ports. It allows you to accomplish a variety of Automation /Projects with electronic hardware quite effortlessly.

When we use the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins to connect external devices, we need to import Library files that help us program these pins.

  • GPIO Zero
  • RPi GPIO

These are two libraries that can be used to import Raspberry Pi GPIO pins. The ideal option is still up for debate, but this article will give you a basic idea of both of these library files.

Python’s GPIO Zero module for the Raspberry Pi

It enables programmers to immediately import and operate GPIO pins at the beginning of a program. The majority of Raspberry Pi users use GPIO Zero extensively in the coding for their projects since it is straightforward to set up and comprehend.

Basic commands in GPIO ZERO LIBRARY

from gpiozero import PWMLED// for pulse width modulation

from gpiozero import Button // for interface of button

from gpiozero import LED //interface LED

from gpiozero import RGBLED   //RGB LED

button.when_pressed      // The function to run when the device changes state from inactive to active

button.when_released     // The function to run when the device changes state from active to inactive.

from gpiozero import LEDBoard // A collection of LEDs can be accessed using LEDBoard

 (Below are the two ways to blink an LED USING GPIO ZERO)

Now let us see how we can use RPi GPIO Library and do the same. You may get a better idea of which should be an easy take for you.

Python’s RPi.GPIO module for the Raspberry Pi

To use this library, import it into the Python programming environment: 

import RPi.GPIO

Basic Commands in RPi.GPIO

GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM): Using pins BCM numbers

GPIO.setup(# of pin, GPIO.IN): Determine the pin as input

GPIO.setup(# of pin, GPIO.OUT): Determine the pin as an output

GPIO.setup(# of pin, GPIO.OUT, initial=GPIO.HIGH: Initialization output

GPIO.input(# of pin): Reading input pin

GPIO.output(# of pin, state): Writing on the output pin

Led Blink Using RPi GPIO library - Guruface

It is clear from the above programs that both GPIO Zero and RPi GPIO are used to blink the LED, but in terms of simplicity, GPIO Zero is more straightforward as it only needs a few lines of code to do it.

The reason for this is that GPIO Zero always uses the Broadcom GPIO numbering system to identify the GPIO pins. It has a module that is already imported at the beginning of a code.

As a result, in order to BLINK LED similar to the one used by RPi.GPIO as shown in the code above, the GPIO setup is not necessary.


The majority of Raspberry Pi users choose GPIO Zero because it is a superb tool for connecting Raspberry Pi GPIO pins to your code. It also has an easy-to-read and simple-to-write syntax. The significance of RPi GPIO will still exist because it’s a useful method for connecting your GPIO pins with your code and will undoubtedly improve your knowledge. However, you can import the GPIO pins using the GPIO Zero setup if you’re looking for a quick solution.

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Marini is the Senior Robotics Trainer at Guruface Academy. She holds a Master's Degree (MS) in Electronics and is an experienced Instructor with a demonstrated history of Training students across the Globe in Various Robotics platforms. Marini is also a Professional Stem Educator with sound knowledge of Electronics, Coding, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, etc.