LED Costumes and Clothing

3ledCostume

Our tips line recently received an influx of wearable LED projects, both for casual and professional wear. [Elizabeth] and [Luis] have created the Lüme wearable collection, aimed at accessorizing by adding adjustable accent colors to jackets, t-shirts and dresses. The electronics are custom-made, built around an ATMega32u4, and each is Bluetooth enabled to interact with a user’s cell phone. From the phone, you can change colors, sequences, set up events, and even take advantage of an “inkdropper-style” feature that matches the color of the LEDs to any object you point your camera at.

[Michal's] project is an entire suit for a dance and laser show entitled “Tron Dance”, which uses several RGB LED strips placed on key points of the wearer’s costume. It looks like [Michal] has intentionally avoided the joint areas to prevent any problems with breaks or bends, but still manages to place enough to cover the entire body. We aren’t sure what controls everything, but you can watch it go through various sequences and survive an onstage performance after the break.

Finally, in yet another kind of performance, magician [Kiki Tay] has built a jacket that’s overflowing with RGB LEDs. [Kiki] wanted wearable LED control that could be used in various situations without having to re-invent the wheel each time, so he developed his own board – the LED Magician: an Arduino-compatible solution. The board has 12 outputs channels, drives 50+ LEDs per channel and features 12 on-board LEDs that display a preview of the output. To make interactions user-friendly, [Kiki] has provided 32 built-in sequences and adjustable speeds that the user can program via 4 buttons on the board. If that isn’t enough control, there are some options for external control as well. The jacket itself runs off a hobby LiPo battery and is blindingly bright: stick around after the break for a video.

The Lüme Collection:

Tron Dance:

Kiki Tay’s Jacket:

21 thoughts on “LED Costumes and Clothing

  1. I’ve seen some of these before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Lume. I think I like it best because it’s conservative, yet stylish, and I think diffused light is best for clothing (LEDs can get pretty bright, and hurt those of us with sensitive eyes!)

    Though, I wonder how my washing machine would handle it…

    1. From the video, the electronics are detachable, so clothes are cleaned separately. I agree that for day to day usage, the Lüme strategy is very stylish, and possibly usable for day to day.

  2. And none of it can survive the cleaning part that all clothing needs. That is the biggest fail of the “wearable electronics” revolution. none of it can survive the washing machine and dryer.

    1. Hm? Why would electronics not survive a washer/dryer cycle? They survive being soldered at 220C (430F) and being washed in ultrasonic baths to clean up the flux residues.

      The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is non-waterproof tactile switches that might retain some moisture even after the drying.

      As long as the batteries are removed the electronics would come out just fine from the “ordeal”…

      1. my led suit actually simply strapped on over top what I was wearing. All the LED strips were sealed/waterproofed. The suit lasted a full 3 nights at the outdoor festival, with plenty of roughhousing taking place. However, my button on my controller box did break the last night, so i just hard coded the different effects to change on their own. I keep meaning to do a blog on all of my led projects, but alas too busy.

  3. I saw an absolutely awesome festival costume last summer at Shambala in the UK. Two guys walked past me with their costumes and I dropped everything to go and speak to them. Their costumes were motorbike armour covered in strips of rgb LEDs . there were 4 separate strips on each costume and had preprogrammed modes or a sound sensitive mode. They had built all the electronics themselves and it was a highlight from my summer last year

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