Pauses the program for the amount of time (in miliseconds) specified as parameter. (There are 1000 milliseconds in a second.)
ms: the number of milliseconds to pause (unsigned long)
While it is easy to create a blinking LED with the delay() function, and many sketches use short delays for such tasks as switch debouncing, the use of delay() in a sketch has significant drawbacks. No other reading of sensors, mathematical calculations, or pin manipulation can go on during the delay function, so in effect, it brings most other activity to a halt. For alternative approaches to controlling timing see the millis() function and the sketch sited below. More knowledgeable programmers usually avoid the use of delay() for timing of events longer than 10's of milliseconds unless the Arduino sketch is very simple.
Certain things do go on while the delay() function is controlling the Atmega chip however, because the delay function does not disable interrupts. Serial communication that appears at the RX pin is recorded, PWM (analogWrite) values and pin states are maintained, and interrupts will work as they should.
Corrections, suggestions, and new documentation should be posted to the Forum.
The text of the Arduino reference is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Code samples in the reference are released into the public domain.