Introduction: LED Staff

Hello! I made this for Halloween last year and people loved it.

I love adding LEDs to my costumes to give them that added WOW factor and for safety reason (so cars have an easier time seeing me and my kids).



  • Adafruit Feather 32u4
  • Adafruit Prop-Maker
  • Battery
  • Clear 2 meter tubing
  • 4 meters of LEDs
  • parchment paper (optional)


  • Arduino IDE
  • Fusion 360

Step 1: Step 1: Assembly

I started by stacking the Prop-Maker on top of the Feather. There are many ways to do this but I soldered Female Stacking Headers on top of the Feather and then Male Stacking Headers on the bottom of the Prop-Maker.

Next I attached the LED strip to the Prop-Maker using the 3 pin JST connector.

WARNING: Make sure you look at the spec sheets for your LED String and the Prop-Maker to attach everything correctly or you might burn out the strip or the board.

You can also attach the LiPo Battery now if you want to start charging it.

Step 2: Programming!!!

Here is where the magic happens. I used lots of libraries and tutorial to get this working (and some luck!) but I will give you an overview of whats happening.

Using the Arduino IDE I put together some code using the FastLED library and others (Adafruits code for the boards, SPI for communications, SleepyDog for saving battery life,.....). Shout out to for programming the great LED Effects. I couldn't have done this without their code. There are many great tutorials out there on how to use the IDE and add libraries. Download the Arduino IDE here if you don't already have it.

The code checks the accelerometer on the Prop-Make to see if a 'step' has occurred.

One steps causes a bright light to shoot down the staff (I used the meteorRain effect).

Double Tapping the staff plays a Special Effect! Choose the ones you like and put them in the playEffect() function.

I put plenty of comments in the code but it is by no means perfect. Play around with it and put your own spin on it.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

I 3D Printed a Cap and Base for the staff. Nothing special, just something to hold the LED strip at the top and something put all the hardware in the bottom. If you don't have your own printer check if your area has a Maker Space or check with your local Library to see if they have a printer.

Fold the LED strip in the middle and fish it through the tubing. This makes sure there are LEDs showing on both sides of the staff. I found using parchment paper inside the tube worked as an excellent light diffuser and gave it a great look.

Put the battery, boards and extra wires in the Base. Put the top on the Staff and you are done.

LED Strip Speed Challenge

Participated in the
LED Strip Speed Challenge