Building An LED Suit

[Rob] has been hard at work designing and building this LED suit which he can wear to parties. He’s got it working, although right now it’s just a pair of pants. It reacts to sound, and has the potential to be controlled from a smartphone via Bluetooth. You’ll find a video description of the build embedded after the break.

The planning started off by selecting driver hardware for the LEDs. [Rob] wanted the suit to pulse to the music in the room so he grabbed an MSGEQ7 chip. When connected to a microphone and opamp this chip will output a signal which can be used as a VU meter. He built the hardware into an Arduino shield, then got to work on the LED driver board. He’s using LED strips, but they’re not individually addressable. Instead he cut loops which wrap around the wearer’s legs. Each loop connects the pins of a TLC5947 LED driver chip which sinks a constant current and offers PWM abilities. He’s using PNP transistors on the high side.

For anyone that’s ever worked in a Tyvek suit before you’ll know they don’t breathe. Sweat will literally be pouring off of you. And we’d bet that’s what cause the short that burned the back of [Rob’s] leg at a recent party. Then again, your light-up pimp coats are going to be hot to wear too.

12 thoughts on “Building An LED Suit

    1. I don’t know if I agree entirely truebassb, for starters EL Wire is (at-least for me) ALOT more expensive than LEDs. not to mention the issues driving it; high-voltage supplies (much higher consumption = moar batteries.) , triacs, and I wont be able to (easily) use those awesome TI driver chips that can be daisy-chained and have 24 channels of 12-bit pwm each!!

      So I wont get true RGB control, nor 4096 brightness levels per channel! the LEDs do have their downsides (mainly mounting them and diffusion) but that can be overcome with an improved design I think..

      Open to ideas thou! shoot guys :D

    2. agreed, but with EL wire, the least bit of beer spillage and your DEAD! well, i mean if it spills in the wrong spot and theres a crack in the insulation ect

      after all it IS about 100 vAC

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