High-Level Programming Language

High-Level Programming Language

A high-level programming language is a set of syntax rules and characters that closely resembles human language and that enables people to create computer programs and interact with machines or devices more effectively and efficiently.

Programming languages broadly fall under high-level, medium-level, and low-level (machine language). As you go from the highest to the lowest, the syntax and characters used to develop programs and interact with machines become less and less like human language.

Given that programs are basically instructions to achieve a desired outcome, consider the scenario of controlling lights using both a high-level programming language and machine language.

Activating smart lights using a high-level language like JavaScript is possible with the right tools and their proper configurations. Getting the setup right, you’ll be able to use the following JavaScript code to manipulate your lighting system:



const hue = require(“node-hue-api”);

const HueApi = hue.HueApi;

// Replace with your Philips Hue bridge IP address and username

const bridgeIp = “YOUR_BRIDGE_IP_ADDRESS”;

const username = “YOUR_HUE_USERNAME”;

const api = new HueApi(bridgeIp, username);


* Display the result of API calls.


* @param {Object} result – The result to display.


const displayResult = function (result) {

console.log(JSON.stringify(result, null, 2));



* Control the smart light.


const controlSmartLight = async () => {

try {

// Discover available lights

const lights = await api.lights();

console.log(`Found ${lights.length} lights:`);

lights.forEach((light) => {

console.log(`Light ${light.id}: ${light.name}`);

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// Replace with your light’s ID (you can find this from the list above)

const lightId = 1;

// Turn the light on

await api.setLightState(lightId, { on: true });

console.log(“Turned the light on.”);

// Turn the light off after 5 seconds

setTimeout(async () => {

await api.setLightState(lightId, { on: false });

console.log(“Turned the light off after 5 seconds.”);

}, 5000);

} catch (error) {

console.error(“An error occurred:”, error);



// Call the function to control the smart light




As you can see, the high-level code might be long. But many of the words therein are recognizable as words in the English language.

It is also possible to control lighting using machine language with the right hardware and software configuration. According to an interactive Central Connecticut State University programming tutorial, a particular setup can enable you to use the following machine language commands to manipulate a light bulb.

Machine Language Command Outcome
00000000 Stop program
00000001 Turn bulb fully on
00000010 Turn bulb fully off
00000100 Dim bulb by 10%
00001000 Brighten bulb by 10%
00010000 If bulb is fully on, skip over next instruction
00100000 If bulb is fully off, skip over next instruction
01000000 Go to start of program (address 0)

To use the machine codes above to turn a light bulb on and off twice and eventually diminish its brightness, you have to put the right commands in their proper main memory addresses (that is, the main memory of the light bulb controller), like so:

Address Machine Language Command
0 00000001
1 00000010
2 00000001
3 00000010
4 00000001
5 00000100
6 00000100
7 00000100
8 00000100
9 00000000
10 00000000
11 00000000
12 00000000

In the interactive tutorial mentioned, you can actually rearrange and modify the machine language commands above in such a way as to turn the light bulb on and off intermittently without stopping.

As you can see from the contrasting examples above, using high-level programming languages is more manageable because they use letters and characters that more closely resemble written human language. This is partly the reason why, generally speaking, it is easier to update and improve apps using high-level programming.

Additionally, since high-level languages are more abstracted from the hardware architecture, using the same programming language on different platforms and devices is possible.

High-level languages simplify development in such a way that it allows developers to focus on solving problems rather than dealing with intricate hardware details or cumbersome 1’s and 0’s. High-level programming tools often come with built-in libraries, extensive frameworks, and other features that enhance productivity.

JavaScript is an example of a high-level programming language with a library and framework. This language has Angular and React as its compatible framework and library, respectively.

High-level language development tools

Many tools for building apps these days use high-level language, such as Python, Java, C++, JavaScript, Kotlin, and Swift. The tech giants behind the iOS and Android operating systems closely support the latter two languages. Hence, Kotlin and Swift are top-notch tools for creating world-class mobile apps. After all, iOS and Android are the planet’s leading mobile operating systems.

High-level language use cases vs. low-level language use cases

While high-level programming languages are prevalent, there are situations where low-level languages are still used, such as in systems programming, embedded systems, and areas where fine control over hardware is critical. However, high-level languages are the preferred choice for most application development and computer programming use cases due to their ease of use and the productivity and scalability benefits they offer.

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