LED Matrix Glasses Keep All Eyes On You


Instructables user [llopez-garcia] was looking for something that would make him stand out at music events or clubs, and decided that an LED matrix built into a set of sunglasses would do the trick.

He grabbed some LEDs and the biggest pair of sunglasses he could find at WalMart, then he got down to business. He had no experience in programming micro controllers, so he chose a PICAXE 20X2 to run his glasses, figuring that it would be easier to program in BASIC for his first project than C.

He drilled holes in the lenses and wired up two 5×5 LED grids, connecting them to the PICAXE as a single 10×5 array. That setup was chosen because the 20X2 limited him to 15 usable pins and he wanted to avoid using a shift register or LED driver to keep the part count down. The rest of the build is relatively straightforward with resistors in all the right places, and a pair of AAA batteries to power it – one strapped to either temple.

We think these are pretty cool, though we’re not sure if he can see anything while wearing them. Then again, who cares? You don’t need to be able to see with glasses this awesome.

If he had to do it all over again, [llopez-garcia] says he would beef up the LED structure a bit, as well as choose a different micro controller that can be programmed in C since he felt the PICAXE was a bit limited by BASIC.

Stick around to see a quick demo video of the glasses in action.


17 thoughts on “LED Matrix Glasses Keep All Eyes On You

  1. Just be careful you don’t trigger any seizures with the strobe function! Also you could program them to have show “eyes” [winking, angry, squinting, smiling, rolling & etc.]
    Nice job!

  2. Why cant anyone make these that are comfortable to wear and where you can actually see? Everyone is using big old round LED’s someone please use surface mount and some conductive paint to make one that is functional comfortable and does not turn you into Stevie wonder while you are wearing them?

  3. Cool. I would have added some sort of pause/delay when the animation transitions from one side to the other so the perceived motion of light traveling doesn’t jump the gap, which would create a smother effect.

  4. @ren What nonsense, it’s for ‘music events and clubs’ and I have to assume that’s not Bach recitals and the bookreading club but rather places where people who are that sensitive would not venture anyway.

  5. Hi! I’m the guy who made these.. The biggest question seems to be whether or not it’s possible to see with them on. Yes, you can see, the led spacing luckily lets you mostly see through them. However since they are sunglasses, you can barely see anything when when it is dark such as at a nightclub / concert…

  6. @fartface
    people want to cover their eyes with lights. you can’t do this if you want to see properly. i understand what you are saying, but i don’t see what your problem with 5mm rounded leds is. you just make tiny bits of paper to shield them from your eyes. also, the emission spectra of leds is not broad enough to make you permanently blind. unless, of course, you use ultraviolet leds, duh.

    besides, i think the next time i go to a rave i’ll just wear my plasma cutter glasses (shade 5) and save my eyes the stress of all the strobes and such. if someone did this with a cheap pair of welding goggles that would be awesome.

  7. @ fartface
    I got a few pairs leftover from a cave job I used to work. The el wire snaps out of the glasses frame to make whatever you want too later :) 3 modes iirc.

    As for the HaD project, I’m sorry but these LED glasses won’t attract any kind of positive attention outside of a cub scout campout. Perhaps you could relink this led grid to an osc and make a diy bassline sequencer with tweak pots for voltage/notes ;) Much more rave friendly.

  8. It just needs two pinhole cameras and two small LCDs so you can actually see. You would still be lacking in peripheral vision, but at least you could see straight ahead.
    @ Mr. Duh: Nobody said they would make you blind permanently… “while you are wearing them.”

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