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What kind of led to use in cloth? Answered

Would like to know what would be a good size/ type led to use to have all over a garment such as a shirt, or pants, or hat etc., and would like to make them flash randomly (possible halloween/ new years/ party outfits, etc.). I like the look and brightness I've seen in the ones that are in the led strips, but don't know if or how those surface mount led's, such as 3528's, 5050's, etc., can be bought individually (and operated without chips), and if so, how I might go about attaching/ sewing them into, or onto the cloth. I need small but as bright as possible. They would probably need to be able to operate on anywhere from 3 to 12 volts (maybe carry battery/ power pack in pocket?). Do they make some kind of led I just don't know about for this kind of thing? I'm not looking for prefab units that attach to your clothes by just clipping or sticking or pinning. Could also use any ideas on wiring (to include flashing means-maybe 555, or other method?) Thanks for ideas.


Surface mount LEDs glued to the cloth with the wiring made with Bare conductive paint.

Then a 555 IC press the pins through the cloth and bend them over do the same with resistors and capacitors and use conductive paint for all your connections.


Why conductive paint when you can get conductive threads? There is a whole sub culture of this called e-textiles. You can find micro controllers and other components that come on small PCBs made to be sewn to cloths with conductive thread to complete the circuit.

mpilchfamily-Do you know of any particular websites I could research these on? I'll look into it! Thanks for the info!

Josehf Murchison-Thank you also. I was wondering if you had any further information about how to use the 555's to accomplish what I would like. Maybe 50-100 small, but bright Led's, all flashing randomly. Thanks!

I could swear i answered this exact question before providing several links to a site that offers e-textile kits. But here they are again. All come with some conductive thread.

$60 kit with arduino based micro controller, LEDs and other handy components.

$20 great little kit with flasher and LEDs.

$10 smaller flasher kit but only has 2 LEDs.

$120 large bundle completed with arduino based controller, components, small starter kit and a book full of e-textile projects and ideas.

$6 Small bobbin of conductive thread

Also look up Adafruit Flora line of e-textile products.

Thank you very much for all of this information and taking the time to get it to me. It will surely help me out a lot. I'm sorry if you meant that you had posted these before for me and somehow I missed them or didn't get them. So, thanks again. I'm looking right away!

the trouble with conductive paint it's water soluble

Well I wouldn’t wear electronic clothing for a production of, "Singing in the Rain" in the first place and the circuits can be sealed against water.