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A sport coat that has hundreds of little lights sewn into it. Answered

I once saw a local musician play the guitar and sing in a small venue. For one song, they dimmed the lights on the stage almost completely, and the sport coat he was wearing suddenly "switched on" and he had hundreds of tiny little light beads sewn into the jacket that you could not see before. They were not string lights, like for a Christmas tree. They seemed to be much more LED like, and bright, and most of all, small to the point of being invisible. 

I hate to be a copy cat... but I want to make a jacket like this too. I do not care if it is portable. i.e. if I have to plug it in, that's fine. Anyone have any ideas for where I might start?


Your talking about a category of electronics called wearables. A range of components and micro controllers designed to be sewn into your clothing using conductive thread as the wiring.


The tutorial your looking at is basically an LED throwie with cloth. Single coin cells can only run a few LEDs at once. Those regular LEDs draw more power than the ones used in wearables. If you want to recreate something like you saw the products in my link will give that too you. Add a micro controller to it and you can have it flash all sorts of cool patterns. With the right electronics behind it you can turn the jacket into an LED display. Vary difficult and expensive to pull off though.

Here is a SparkFun tutorial that I think is a nudge in the right direction: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/281

It uses small LED bulbs that require just a mall resister and a coin sized-watch battery. I would need at least 200 of these to accomplish what I'm looking for. So just for the bulbs (95 cents ea.) I think I am just going to bail out on this idea altogether. I do not want to spend $300, plus 40 hours sewing together a light-bulb jacket just to have a weird light-bulb jacket.