Interactive LED Shoes That Anyone Can Build!

Normally when we see blinky projects these days, it’s using addressable LED strips with WS2812Bs, or similar alternatives. However, old-school blobby round LEDs are still on the market, and can still be put to great use. These DIY LED shoes from [TechnoChic] are an excellent example of just that.

The shoes use big 10mm LEDs that have color-changing smarts baked in. Simply power them up and they’ll fade between a series of colors. They’re run from a coin cell sewn on to the side of each shoe, with the LEDs jammed into the rear of the sole. A conductive product called Maker Tape is then used to create a circuit for the LEDs and the coin cell, along with a pressure switch inside each shoe. When the wearer puts weight on their heel, the switch conducts, lighting up the LEDs as the wearer takes each step.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a pair of shoes bedazzled with LEDs, but it’s arguably the easiest version of the concept to grace these pages. This is a quick way to create interactive flashing LED gadgets, and a great way for beginner makers to jazz up their projects.

4 thoughts on “Interactive LED Shoes That Anyone Can Build!

  1. I would agree that this is a creative solution that any crafty middle schooler could manage. Pre-COVID I was an instructor at a hands-on kids’ technology summer camp, and this is the sort of build we had them do. The kids would have worked a microprocessor into the design, but this is quite clever. I especially like the assembly of the heel switch.

  2. That switch is neat. And easy to understand. Not like micro components these days which are pretty much voodoo, especially to a kid.

    I would not put the LEDs on the heel, they’ll get stepped on like once a month. Once a week with kids.

  3. More household than Marker Tape is common tin foil. If you cut strips (a little smaller than a roll of sticky tape) from it, then put sticky tape on both sides, they become very strong and tear-resistant. Apply tape on only one side where you want two things to connect. Warning, from experience I know this becomes quite hot at “higher” amperages (like 0.25A when lighting one 6v “rice grain” bulb)

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