Step 2: Tools

In the photo, clockwise from the top:

- Helping hands: indispensable. (Pro tip: Put heat shrink tube over the alligator clips so its more gentle on your components.)

- LED tester (optional): this is just a 9V batter, a resistor & some alligator clips to test the rows and columns of LEDs as they're sewed together. Optional, but satisfying to see each row light up as you finish sewing them.

- Soldering iron & stand

- Locking forceps: helpful in threading near the top of the umbrella where its difficult to reach.

- Seam ripper: for mistakes. 

- Scissors

- Tape measure: For spacing the LEDs on the umbrella

- Large-eye needles

- Wire Cutter

- Needle-nose pliers

- Breadboard: I find its always a good idea to test my circuits before making them permanent. I tested the ardunio in conjunction with the MAX7219 board on a tiny 8x8 LED matrix I had around.

- lighter: for the heat shrink tube

- Multimeter

- Solder sucker: mistakes were made

- Wire stripper

That's it. Lets get building...
<p>I should have said '... am having difficulty ....'</p>
<p>Nice project!</p><p>Can you advise me?</p><p>I'm planning to build something using MAX7219s but am difficulty understanding the theory behind the calculation of Rset. I assume Rset sets the forward voltage and current through the LED array. Assume that Vf = 2.0 V and If = 20 mA, then then RSet must drop 3 V (if Vcc = 5 V) @ 20 mA = 150 ohms. But the table on Page 11 of the MAX7219 datasheet says that RSet in this case is 28k ohms.A huge difference I don't understand!</p><p>Any help most welcome. </p>
im not really sure if it is posible to do a matriz of stripes, https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11750, and it also can help to make it waterproof with the right enclosure for the components
Wow!!!! I saw this <a href="http://www.skyspanstructures.com" rel="nofollow">commercial about umbrellas</a> that looked a lot like the lights one! I want one!
also, athough I know it would help, I do not know anything about electronics. Is this project something someone who has zero knowledge of electronics should be able to attempt? or should I save my money and not bother ordering the parts?
This is great! I walk stilts for a living and need a lite up umbrella for my costume.! I would buy yours if it were for sale haha. Thanks for posting.
Great post! Thanks for sharing! I'm gonna try making one using an LED sequencer and 12v led strips cos the arduino stuff costs too much and it's complicated for me. This one from www.ledsequencer.com would work great!
Great Instructable. I know you posted this sometime ago but did you write any sketches for the mic input.
This reminds me of the luminescent umbrellas in the movie &quot;Blade Runner.&quot;
I saw an item on thinkgeek.com that was a replica of the ones from Blade Runner.
That's just a visual joy! And yes, shades of BladeRunner... I'd like to see one of those umbrellas reproduced actually...
Like it! very good idea
Nice one, maybe you should really think about making it somehow waterproof then. Would help seeing ppl during rainy days/night better. BTW: regarding the LED driver two comments: You mentioned that you would like to add local, or at least string dimming. I know two parts, one is similar to the MAXIM which can do this: AS1115-18 (Here you can do the dimming per string) <a href="http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/eng/Products/Lighting-Management/LED-Driver-ICs/AS1116 ">http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/eng/Products/Lighting-Management/LED-Driver-ICs/AS1116 </a><br> AS1119 (This one can do 8bit PWM per LED and drives up to 144LEDs, but it is completely different from programming.)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/eng/Products/Lighting-Management/LED-Driver-ICs/AS1119">http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/eng/Products/Lighting-Management/LED-Driver-ICs/AS1119</a><br> BTW: For MAX7219 there is cheaper 1:1 drop in called AS1106 or AS1107 from austriamicrosystems too. And for free samples two sources always come handy :)
Great suggestions, Forcebringer, I'm definitely going to check those out.
you should of mounted the LEDs on the underside of the umbrella so it wud be waterproofed. Great instructable though!! :)
Can you actually use this in the rain?
No, it would probably not react well to water. Its really non-functional as far as traditional umbrella uses, i.e., keeping out rain or sun.
love this! but it's way beyond my skill set! lol Nice job.

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