Homemade LED helmet


We’ve all seen Daft Punk helmet builds, but [George's] project is a homemade LED helmet that takes no shortcuts and packs the visor full of hundreds of individual lights. He started with a prototype that uses a PIC 18F4580 microcontroller connected to a MAX7221 LED driver, which gave him control over some dot matrix displays to test the wiring and sample script. He then used this prototype setup to develop a scrolling text function.

With testing complete, [George] wired hundreds of LEDs into 8×8 block sections, using a cardboard jig to keep everything straight. He could have stopped there, but [George] took the build further, adding an LCD display and a 7-segment clock module to the inside of the helmet, in view of the wearer. The clock displays the helmet’s current beats per minute rate, while the LCD shows the content being displayed (pattern, text / Pacman, stripes). It’s possible to see out between the bottom of the display and the chin of the helmet. If you need better visibility we’d recommend a bike helmet matrix that isn’t as dense.

You can watch a video of the helmet running different patterns below. (Warning: music). When you’re done with that, why not LED all the things: from Infinity Mirrors to LED Sneakers.


  1. FutureCyberdyneEngineer says:

    Great editing on the vid. Like to see more of the helmet in action, but maybe it’s still work in progress…

  2. Robert Wagner says:

    Doctor is going to love pulling that equipment out of your head if you get into a crash.

  3. Veyo Exxon says:

    Too bad the video is not available in Germany due to the music & our friend GEMA.

  4. dizot says:

    i still want tom jenkinson’s rig :

  5. bithead942 says:

    Very nice! I built something similar for Halloween last year. I used Picaxe to drive a small set of LEDs in the visor of a helmet, and also embedded a voice changer into the mouth guard.


  6. one says:

    Please, please, please, to any one considering putting up videos on YouTube with music: DON’T !
    They don’t improve a technical video in any way and they have a 90% chance of being blocked in Germany and perhaps other countries.

    This video is actually one of the better ones but I have to use spyware in order to be able to see it.

    Or just use a different video platform, like Vimeo. Strangely enough, Vimeo might not be blocked by a lot of corporate proxies.

  7. Mike Shawaluk says:

    I can’t believe he didn’t include a classic Cylon animation.

  8. 3gfisch says:

    fu*k you gema

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,467 other followers