Head-mounted Light Display Takes Holiday Cheer On The Go


Most holiday light displays we see this time of year are stationary, or at least confined to somebody’s home. [Marco Guardigli] wanted to take his lights on the go, and thought that a light up winter hat would be perfect for showing off his holiday spirit.

In the winter he sports a sturdy wool felt hat, which was ideal for mounting LEDs. He picked up a basic LilyPad Arduino that uses a small LiPo battery as its power source, mounting it inside the hat with a bit of glue. He wired up a series of SMD LEDs around the perimeter of the hat which blend in quite well in the felt, leaving them nearly invisible to the naked eye when powered off. When he flips the LilyPad on however, there’s no missing the bright blue LEDs nor the music emanating from the tiny speaker he also mounted in the hat.

We think that [Marco’s] display is great, and if we were to build one, we would likely include a copious amount of red and green LEDs in ours. Do any of you take your Christmas light display on the go? We’d love to see them, so be sure to let us know in the comments.

Stick around to see a short video of [Marco’s] hat in action.


12 thoughts on “Head-mounted Light Display Takes Holiday Cheer On The Go

  1. Wow, what a coincidence! I just got back from the inaugural run of my Christmas LED hat (it drew compliments from no less than five different people). I took a set of battery-powered Christmas LEDs from CVS (purchased on sale for $.99) and wired them to a custom ATtiny13 circuit that I mounted inside an Altoids tin. I then taped the lights inside the brim of a Santa hat. The lights can be enabled in four different modes, under the control of a simple push button. The final report can be seen on my blog:

    Blog post detailing my Christmas hat

    There are earlier posts which detail some of the process I went through, including the code for the ATtiny. I haven’t got the schematic up yet, but it should be pretty obvious what’s going on.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. “” Do any of you take your Christmas light display on the go? We’d love to see them, so be sure to let us know in the comments.””


    1400+ lights and a 400w inverter. Plenty of custom wiring between strands to allow door opening, etc.

    Hot glued on, as it is getting MAJOR bodywork this spring.


    1. Volkemon, that’s just fantastic! Are the lights returning in some form after the bodywork is finished?

      I’m pretty sure Caleb would love that, as he’s our resident VW Bus aficionado around here.

  3. My hat was pretty simple this year. It consisted of a strand of evergreen garland wrapped with hand-soldered LED lights (each with its own dropping resistor). All powered by a 9v battery.

    I wore it for the Winter Solstice and a few days after. Received many compliments from my co-workers.

    Since I’ll be getting an arduino soon, I’ll make my next one (either for Imbolc or Yule) somewhat fancier.

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