Shine like a galaxy with this twinkling LED shirt that lights up when you move! This shirt sets the darkness ablaze with 19 LEDs and 8 different LED colors!
For this project I was inspired by another instructable – the Fiber Optic Dress. Instead of using fiber optics though, I wanted to use RGB LEDs. I was also inspired by the Leidy’s Comb Jelly because this particular jellyfish lights up similar to a rainbow LED strip. I wanted that rainbow quality, but I wanted it to be even more organic looking and not have all the lights in one straight line or grid pattern. I decided that I wanted to buy my LEDs from Adafruit and after a little researching on their site, I came across their wonderful wearable projects. They have a LED light up skirt project and it was this project that I took a lot of my knowledge from. I have noticed that most LED clothing are dresses and skirts. I did not see an LED shirt so I wanted to create a shirt because it didn’t seem like something that was as common.
I have been wanting to create some sort of ‘wearable art’ or unique clothing for a while now and so throughout the creation of this light shirt I have been very excited and motivated. Sewing all 3 connections down all 19 LEDs was lots of work. I spent at least two whole days sewing all the connections, but I was taking my time to be sure everything would work properly.
Despite my careful sewing, I did have some bad connection issues and after freaking out a little about having issues after all that time put into sewing, I calmed down and was able to easily fix my problems. The bad connectivity was my biggest hurdle and really it wasn’t anything that bad. I made a few silly mistakes along the way as well, but there was nothing I wasn’t able to easily fix or catch.
While I found many helpful tutorials for this project, I started losing track with which tutorial said what so when I had to reference a certain step to make sure I did it correctly it took some hunting to find the exact tutorial that mentioned that step. So while my project may be similar to other LED wearable projects, I hope that this will be a good comprehensive guide so that you do not have to go all over the place to find all of the information and I also hope that I answer some questions or show some images that other tutorials have failed to mention or show.
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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.