Last year I met Lina Wassong at Wear It Berlin and she told me she had this great fiber optic skirt. I encouraged her to document her work, and don’t you know she contacted me this past week all excited about her new Instructable. So, jellyfish lovers unite!
Lina knew she wanted to use fiber optics to create a spectacular jellyfish look, but she was unsure how to connect them to LEDs. Well, she ended up grouping the fiber strands into plastic tubes and then joined the tubes with hot glue to create segments. These segments were then attached with tape to a NeoPixel strip. This is a great workaround, but someone really needs to create a 3d printed fiber optic holder that mounts on NeoPixels, right?
The NeoPixel strip was taped onto a belt and connected to a FLORA microcontroller to make fun color patterns. Since this skirt is sans fabric, the FLORA was taped to a piece of plastic to help protect the soldered wires. Lina also added a small button so she could switch between different light patterns.
There were two small tips that were given in the Instructable which are helpful if you want to work with fiber optics. One is to cut the ends cleanly and melt them slightly if you want a brighter look. The other is to lightly sand the tips if you want a more diffused look. The diffused tips look especially nice at the ends of the skirt–like sandblasted glass. Check out the video to see Lina swirling.
Well, perhaps this is giving you ideas for your next costume, so grab yourself some NeoPixel Strip so you can start testing some fab light patterns. You can purchase it by the meter and you have the choice of 30 or 60 NeoPixels for each, so you can decide just how sparkly you want to be. Just make sure you send us a video of your cool outfit.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.