Introduction: Bounty Hunter Helmet LEDs

Picture of Bounty Hunter Helmet LEDs

   Here is another Helmet that I have been able to modify with some LED lights. This Helmet is something that I had previously created for a Sci-Fi film a while ago. (So I don't have instructions on putting the helmet itself together... sorry) but adding some cool looking "chasing" LEDs is fairly simple to do.

   Materials required:

All oft the LEDs, Connectors, Color Controller, and Battery (Basically everything for the lights) I was able to get from The links attached to the materials list will take you to the corresponding page on their web site.

(1) foot of Solid Color (Purple) LED Strip Light
(6) Inches of Flexible Side View LED Strip Light (Amber)
(1) High Power RF Color Controller
(1) Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack
(1) 16.5' RGB Extension Cable
(1) LED Adapter Splice Cable
Hot Glue
Soldering Iron
Electrical Tape

Step 1: Wiring the Positives

Picture of Wiring the Positives

This is where we will be connecting the positive power line to the strips. The positive line will always be running through the lights, but they will not light up until the negative power comes in as well.

a) First take your foot of Purple LED Strip Light, and cut off (3) 2" Strips. (Cutting on the cut mark of course)

b) Then cut off (2) very short segments of Black wire from the 16.5' RGB Extension Cable.

c) Using your Soldering Iron, solder the short segments of wire to the positive solder points between strips one and two, and between three and four.

d) Then Solder a longer Black wire to the positive solder point at the beginning of the total fixture.

This will be the start of one full segment (ear) of chasing light for the helmet. For my helmet I did this twice. (Once for each "ear")

Step 2: Wiring the Negatives

Picture of Wiring the Negatives

Now we get to the wires that will control the pattern of the lights. The negative lines will be soldered onto each 2" section individually. When power is sent through these, along with the positive line (which is always on) the individual sections will light up. (More on this later)

a) Solder a long red wire from the 16.5' RGB Extension to the first negative solder point on strip 1

b) Solder a long green wire from the 16.5' RGB Extension to the first negative solder point on strip 2

c) Solder a long Blue wire from the 16.5' RGB Extension to the first negative solder point on strip 3

Step 3: Controlling the Lights

Picture of Controlling the Lights

This is where we get to the pattern controls. This is what I think is the fun part.

a) Take the two positive wires from the two "ear", and connect them to the positive connection on the Color Controller.

b) Take the matching Red, Green, and Blue wires from the ears, and connect them to the corresponding negative connections on the color controller.

c) Cycle through the 25 separate modes to find the pattern that you like. (I use either 8-Three Color Jumpy Changing, or 12-Three-Color Running) *This will require power to be run to the color controller. This will be explained later.

Step 4: The Visor

Picture of The Visor

This part in comparison is quite easy compared to the chasing light we did earlier.

a) take the 6" of Amber Side view LED Strip Light, and solder a wire (I used Blue) to the positive, and a wire (I used red) to the negative.

b) cut a small hole next to the visor, and run the wires through.

c) Mount the strip light so that the lights on the sideview strip are pointing down toward the visors "glass"

d) Connect both of these wires to their respective positive/negative connections on the incoming power screws on the Color Controller. (Picture #2)

The power coming into the Color Controller will split between the Color Controller, and the Visor Light so that the visor will always be "on."

Step 5: Power

Picture of Power

Now we get to power up the helmet!

a) Take the LED Adapter Splice Cable, and wire it to the power connection on the Color Controller. Matching positives and negatives once again.

b) Plug the other end into the Lithium Ion Battery.

c) Turn the battery on.

Voila! Let there be light! Now it's time to get out there, and hunt some aliens!


SnivytheMan (author)2016-10-20

Can you show us how to make it?

JesusG33k (author)2015-05-04

What did you use to make that? Looks like foam but I can't tell.

GraphixS6 (author)2014-12-28

Very nice, but as others have said, I want to see a tutorial for the helmet itself. It looks very well made, and doesn't seem to made using pepakura, which a lot of people seem to use, so it's pretty tired out, so I'm curious what methods you used.

xs2000 (author)2014-11-04

please make an instructible for the helmet itself please!!!!

tollef (author)2011-12-13

Do you have an instructable for the helmet itself? if not can you PLEASE make one? the helmet is sweet.

ledsign (author)2011-10-26

It's cool!

jeoncs (author)2011-09-07

Looks pretty sweet I've been working on something similar only going for a Fallout New Vegas NCR Ranger build. I'm about ready to bondo it and sand it smooth then it's time for LED treatment

Hellwolve (author)2011-08-18

What's the advantange of the "Side view LED Strip Light" above any other LED strip? E.g., what does the "Side view" part 'do'?

Zanibar (author)Hellwolve2011-08-18

The side view light is just like a regular strip light, but the lights are smaller, and mounted to shine off of the side of the strip, rather than the top.
Since I needed the strip to bend around the curve of the visor, it made sense to be able to bend the strip with the helmet, and have the lights point down. Had I used a different style of strip light, the light would have been projected forward, and would not have lit up the visor nearly as much.
When I get a chance, I will take some more pictures of the visor, and post them here.

Hellwolve (author)Zanibar2011-08-18

I see, understandable :-) Thanks for the explanation!

tinker234 (author)2011-08-14

is it see through

Zanibar (author)tinker2342011-08-15

The lights are mounted just behind a mesh material, and gives an illusion of "floating" lights.
The only part that is actually see through is the visor.

Tysonwein (author)Zanibar2011-08-18

I understand the sacrifices that prop designers and actors have to make, you hear all sorts of complaints about uncomfortable or restrictive costumes all the time. "I couldn't breathe," "I went home smelling like latex," and "I could hardly move in that thing," are common comments in interviews for even the highest budget movies. So my question about "see-through" is this: With the visor being side-lit, how did that affect visibility? Could your actor see clearly? Comfortably? Did outside lighting conditions make a difference?

Do you have any video of the helmet being worn, or to the film the helmet was built for?

In any case, this is beautiful work, most impressive!

Zanibar (author)Tysonwein2011-08-18

I see what you mean. At the time of shooting, the helmet actually didn't have any lights in it. We had a very small budget, and at the time I didn't know much about LEDs.
The visibility was pretty good. The actress didn't have too hard of a time acclimating to her surroundings. Other than the occasional glance, it was hardly noticeable.
The helmet doesn't fit on me, so I can't tell how easy/hard it is to see out of it. My young daughter however has worn it with the lights on, and told me she could see "fine."
I made sure that the lights are recessed within the top of the helmet, so as not to be shining directly into the talents' eyes. This should greatly decrease the visibility problems.
The Producers of the film are re-working the audio as we speak, and should be releasing it in some form soon, so I don't have any real video of the original actress wearing it yet...

tinker234 (author)Zanibar2011-08-17

ok thanks

loki17 (author)2011-08-14

Awesome helmet! One question- did you use corrugated cardboard or that thick paperboard stuff?

Zanibar (author)loki172011-08-15

Currogated Cardboard. At the time it was more of a necessity as it was readily available, and I had a very small budget. I find that I prefer cardboard in most of my costuming work because I'm used to using it now.

loki17 (author)2011-08-14

Also, where do you get your LED strips?

Zanibar (author)loki172011-08-15

I got all of my LED's, color controller, and battery from The links attached to the material listings should take you to the corresponding pages on the web site.

digichi (author)2011-08-14

wow, i love it

rhanson294 (author)2011-08-14

Is the base material for the helmet an old fencing mask?

Zanibar (author)rhanson2942011-08-14

Actually, this helmet started as a baseball cap that fit the actresses head, then was built up using cardboard, duct tape, hot glue, and craft foam.
The "mesh" material is actually some type of flexible plastic crocheting, or embroidery board that craft stores carry (Like Michael's) My local Michael's has it in the back corner near the yarn.
I am certain that I will be making more helmets in the near future. I will make sure to document the making of these, and post them on Instructables.
Thank you.

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