As Halloween was approaching, and our local doggie daycare announced their pet Halloween costume contest I was trying to figure out what costume to make for my dog Jericho. At some point I realized that since Jericho is black, and you can't see him at night, some sort of contest involving light would be perfect, no to mention extra safe.
Then I thought about how we have LED strips, I decided on an LED spider. The LED strips almost touch the ground so they look like moving spider legs. I have a video at the end of this instructable.
After going through the process of making this costume I realized that it would also make a great decoration. Rather than attaching it to a pet harness, just attach a string and hang it up.
In the first step I will go through all the materials needed to make the LED spider, both as a costume and as a decoration.
After that I will go through preparing the box, preparing the strips, setting up the electronics, and putting it all together.
The first step is to gather all of the materials and tools you will need to make the costume.
- 8 LED Strips
Alternatively, if you are find with doing a lot of soldering you can get a roll of strips and cut them to the desired length and solder on the connectors. This method would definitely be a lot cheaper.
- 1 clear box
I used the Digilent project box because I happened to have one. It has thin enough walls to cut through, but stays securely shut. It is also the correct size to sit on my dogs back.
- Clear Small Zipties
They don't necessarily need to be clear, since this will mostly be seen in the dark, but it looks nicer.
- Clear Spray Paint (Optional)
In one version of this costume I sprayed the clear box with clear spray paint so that it looked cloudy. I found this helped diffuse the light better so the box looks more like one shape rather than a bunch of dots.
- Solid Core Wire
You'll need wire to do the bread-boarding for the LED strips. Solid core is easier to use with breadboards. It would be best to have at least 4 colors of wire so that you can differentiate between the different signals, i.e. power, ground, data, etc. The wires from this wire kit work really well for this.
- Half Size Breadboard
A half size bread board will fit best inside the box and obstruct less light, plus you only need a few rows.
This will tell the strips the color and brightness.
- 8, 3-pin headers
To connect the strips to the breadboard.
- 4 AA, Battery Pack
To power the board and strips.
- AA Batteries
- Hot glue gun and Hot glue
- Exacto Knife
This isn't required, but starting the holes with the drill makes it a lot easier.