I tried to edit the Fade sketch such that the max intensity the PWM reaches is controlled by a potentiometer. I used analogRead() on the potentiometer and converted the 10bit value to 8bit equivalent(by dividing by 4 and rounding) to feed into analogWrite. I am new to arduino and I dont know a more elegant way to do this, sorry!

It worked generally but sometimes while turning the potentiometer, the LED would be stuck at a fixed level of brightness. I have to reset the Arduino or turn the pot to the extremes to remove this "loop". I set up serial monitor to look at the values of brightness. It does not always happen at the same position of the potentiometer.

I deduce that it is a mathematical error causing this loop, likely due to my poor use of the if() function. Can anyone offer me a reason for this?

*I tested with both the Uno and Nano, as well as TinkerCad simulator with similar results.

Basically like this but with positive lead on pin 11 instead of 13 Brightness stuck at specific values

-----------------------------Fade sketch edited by me----------------------

 Fade, edited with maximum intensity controlled by potentiometer reading

int led = 11;           // the PWM pin the LED is attached to
int brightness = 0;    // how bright the LED is
int fadeAmount = 5;    // how many points to fade the LED by
int potPin = A0;    // set the pin that reads the potentiometer voltage
int potValue = 0;   // declare and initialize potValue
int potValueConverted = 0; // 10bit potValue converted to 8bit equivalent

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {
  // declare pin 9 to be an output:
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);

// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
  //read the voltage at the pot
  potValue = analogRead(potPin);

  //convert 10bit input into 8bit output by dividing by 4, rounding to avoid need for float variable
  potValueConverted = round(potValue/4);

  // set the brightness of pin 11:
  analogWrite(led, brightness);

  // change the brightness for next time through the loop:
  brightness = brightness + fadeAmount;


  // reverse the direction of the fading at the ends of the fade:
  if (brightness <= 0 || brightness >= potValueConverted) {
    fadeAmount = -fadeAmount;

  // wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect

  • Dividing an integer by an integer yields an integer. There is no need to round.
    – Majenko
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:31
  • Interesting! Thanks for pointing that out.
    – n2oaddict
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:48

2 Answers 2


It seems like the problem occurs when brightness is a lot higher than potValueConverted.

For example, lets say our brightness=100, potValueConverted=50, this triggers the latter "if" condition, i.e.

brightness >= potValueConverted

and at the next iteration, brightness = 105 (or 95), both of which will satisfy the condition for fadeAmount to flip its polarity, thus resulting in the brightness value oscillating between 105 and 100 (or 100 and 95). This results in the LED getting stuck at the same level of brightness.

a quick hack fixes this problem (as far as I can tell)

 if (brightness <= 0 ) {
    fadeAmount = 5;
 if (brightness >= potValueConverted +5 ) {
    fadeAmount = -5;

**note the +5 for the second if statement is to ensure that the brightness value does not become negative.

  • > if (brightness >= potValueConverted +5 )
    – Sam Yong
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:34

the LED would be stuck at a fixed level of brightness.

that's by design: think about what happens when potValueConverted is very small.


to change the brighness, I would do this:

  brightness += fading; //change brightness;
  if ((brightness < BRIGHTNESS_MIN) || (brightness > BRIGHTNESS_MAX)) {fading = -fading; brightness += fading;} //bound brightness to _MIN and _MAX
  • if potValueConverted is very small then the LED will cycle very quickly with output like 0,5,0,5,0,5... causing a very dimly lit LED. However, when the LED gets stuck, the brightness can be 80, 100, or 250, it doesnt always stay dimly lit, it simply gets stuck.
    – n2oaddict
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:54

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