Most of the time EL wire is used as is, with manual on/off control. However, I wanted to control it with an Arduino, so it would react to results from a sensor. This motion-activated suit flashes when the wearer starts to walk and lights up completely when the wearer runs. Perfect for those late-night runs! (or dance parties - it lights up when the wearer moves, and this includes dancing)

The suit itself is a set of zip-up coveralls decorated with EL wire and controlled via an Arduino Micro. An accelerometer monitors the wearer’s motion and sends that data to the Arduino.


Step 1: Main circuit

This circuit has two parts – the transistor that controls the EL Wire, and the accelerometer. Since I couldn't power the inverter directly from the Arduino (it requires 12VDC), I instead controlled the connection to power. The transistor essentially acts as a switch, connecting the inverter to ground when there is current in the base of the transistor (aka. the pin connected to the transistor is high).

The resistor limits the current going to the transistor to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.

The accelerometer is powered by the Arduino (it requires a steady 5VDC) and has its X and Y outputs connected to digital input pins.

Both the Arduino Micro and the inverter run off 12V, so the battery packs contain a total of 8 AA batteries and were wired in series.
<p>Awesomeness... total awesomeness. </p>
<p>Good info but RadioShack is probably the most expensive source to buy from.</p><p>Check out dx.com , it is typically 1/3rd to 1/5th of RS prices and comparable or even better quality, often better.</p><p>ie; <br></p><p>RS -- Arduino Mini $29.99</p><p>DX -- Arduino Mini $5.25</p>
<p>Yes you're probably right about dx.com being a better source... but the shipping time is at least a month, so I'd rather pay more but have it right away than wait for a whole month when I have a different Idea and I've totally forgotten about the current one.</p>
<p>how do you wash it?</p>
<p>Probably careful spot-cleaning (just wash the part that gets stained) or fabreeze. My electronics are all sewn in, but you could connect them with snaps instead if you wanted to be able to take them out. I don't think you can wash EL wire though.</p>
EL wire is fully contained. I would hand wash or gentle cycle it through a washing machine no worries.
<p>Good to know, thanks! If anyone wants to make a washable version, use connectors rather than soldering everything and make sure you remove things like batteries before you get it wet.</p>
Incredibly awesome ! Very clear, concise, and attractive ! Light up anything, its better.
<p>So who is this sponsored by?</p>
<p>excellent. you have a promising future ahead of you in electronics however, if you really enjoyed this project, i bet you could also have a career in the fashion industry working for top designers on their funky runway shows in new york and paris, etc. something to think about...2 very different lifestyles. </p>
<p>Awesome! It looks so cool in the dark!</p>
<p>very creative! now all you need is a glowing headband </p>
love it! though rather you then me when it comes to the washing ;)

About This Instructable


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Bio: After a fun time making projects for the Instructables design team, I'm now back at school to help start the robot uprising.
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