Light Up Leggings

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Introduction: Light Up Leggings

About: Former Instructables employee CHECK OUT MY WORK www.carleyjacobson.com

Create a light show with these light up LEDs.  Wear them dancing and all eyes in the room will be on you.  Wear them running and drivers will know to get out of the way!

This is super easy to do even if its your first time building a circuit.

I submitted these leggings to the Soft Circuit Contest!  Check out all the awesome projects submitted and submit a project yourself!

Step 1: Materials

1. Leggings
2. Conductive Thread
3. 2 Coin Cell Battery Holders
4. 2 Coin Cell Batteries (3V)
5. 2 220 ohm resistors
6. 12 LEDs
7. Metal Clasp or Snap (not in picture)
8. Needle
9. Cardboard - 5" wide and 9-12" long, cut the edges so they are rounded, this cardboard insert will be used to help you sew

Step 2: The Circuit

Plan out your circuit on paper first.

Each leg is a separate circuit with 6 LEDs.  The LEDs are wired in parallel.  The rest of the circuit is in the back of the leggings.

This circuit can be transfered onto a t-shirt, bracelet, you name it!

Step 3: Prepare LEDs and Resistors

I usually use LED beads but I had some small blue LEDs that I decided to use for this one.

Using a pair of pliers or tweezers curl the ends of the LEDs and resistors so they are easy to sew.

Step 4: Prepare Leggings

Using a pen, mark where you want the LEDs to go while the leggings are on you.

Put the cardboard insert in the leggings where you are sewing so you have a surface to sew on.  If you don't use this you will need to have one arm in the leggings as you are sewing and this will be hard.

Step 5: Sewing the Circuit

Start with the LED closest to the foot of the leggings. Sew the positive end to the leggings. Sew up the leggings attaching only the positive ends of the LEDs.

Use the cardboard insert to help while sewing. When you run the needle in the leggings let it hit the cardboard and bring it back up through the leggings.

Continue sewing around to the back of the leggings.  Connect the thread to the resistor.  Sew the rest of the pieces in place as illustrated in the diagrams.  Leave some thread slack when connecting one of the clasp ends so you can screw them together.

The other end of the clasp will be connect to the (-) end of the LEDs.  Sew back around to the side of the leggings and end at the first LED you sewed on.

Step 6: Light 'em Up

Put in the battery and twist the clasp together!

Its that easy : )

Soft Circuit Contest

Participated in the
Soft Circuit Contest

Halloween Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Contest

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    35 Comments

    0
    AshleyM166
    AshleyM166

    11 months ago on Step 6

    Would this not be easier using some battery powered fairy lights? I have some from the dollar store that use 2 AAA batteries so the battery pack is not large at all. Plus they were like $4. But I do like this idea. Maybe fiber optics would work nicely also.
    I also had a black tutu with fiber optic light strands in it for Halloween and it got torn or something. So I took the lights out (basically fishing lines) and I put them in a headband to hide the battery pack!! Turned out pretty cool!

    0
    jkroeber
    jkroeber

    9 years ago on Introduction

    These are awesome! Where did you buy these LED lights? I'm having trouble figuring out what kind to use!

    0
    An Najm
    An Najm

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You could use the lights found on christmas ornaments ;)

    0
    Tibicen_Linnei
    Tibicen_Linnei

    10 years ago on Step 6

    I'm totally making a few pairs of these to dance the nights away while I'm doing the festival tour this year. Thanks! :]

    0
    physicistlisa
    physicistlisa

    10 years ago on Step 6

    Yeah it is a GREAT idea i'd never thought of! much cheaper and easier than an actual switch makes me wonder if a hook and eye could work well on a stretch fabric too!

    0
    inness
    inness

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I immediately thought of, um, well, a *different* placement for the lights, perhaps for a more 'adult' party or an intimate tête-à-tête. Proper insulation will probably be crucial. ;)

    0
    crak-a-bottle
    crak-a-bottle

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    On the other hand, strategically placed, little electric shocks can be quite good fun ;)
    if you're into that, although reading your comment I'm not particularly worried about offending you anyway

    0
    inness
    inness

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    No offense taken and agreement rendered. It's all about the wattage. :D

    0
    crak-a-bottle
    crak-a-bottle

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    :D it's good to find someone like-minded.
    I normally get odd looks when I make that sort of comment xD

    0
    DieCastoms
    DieCastoms

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Disguising some LEDs among rhinestones on a jean jacket would be awesome and equally nice looking when powered or not!

    0
    NoseyNick
    NoseyNick

    11 years ago on Step 2

    They SHOULD be in series. You don't want to put multiple LEDs in parallel on one resistor - you'll find the small manufacturing differences in the LED forward voltages will essentially mean one or two of the LEDs will hog almost all the current and the others will be too dim.

    If you connect them in series, they all share the same current so will all be approximately the same brightness, however you'll have to add up the total forward-voltage, and subtract from the supply voltage (which must be greater) to determine the best value for the current-limiting resistor.

    ... then, if you wish, you can put several of THOSE CHAINS (each with their own resistor) in parallel if you wanted more LEDs.

    EG:

    + LED LED LED LED LED LED RESISTOR -
    + LED LED LED LED LED LED RESISTOR -
    + LED LED LED LED LED LED RESISTOR -

    0
    NoseyNick
    NoseyNick

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 2

    Actually, I've done some maths... IF you're running off +3V, you don't have enough voltage to break the forward-voltage of 6 in series. Typical forward-voltage of a red LED is about 1.7V-2V, leaving about 1V from your 3V supply. 1V across a 221ohm resistor gives about 5mA, which is pretty low even for one LED, but even worse divided between 6 in parallel, especially if the one with the lowest forward-voltage steals almost all the current off the others. Really you'd need one resistor per LED, then connect the resistor-LEDs in parallel, like:


    + LED resistor -

    + LED resistor -

    + LED resistor -

    [etc etc]

    Alternatively, find yourself something like a 9V battery, then you could do:


    + LED LED LED resistor -

    + LED LED LED resistor -

    + LED LED LED resistor -

    [etc etc]

    ... with (let me see) (9V-2V-2V-2V)/0.1A = 300ohm resistors

    0
    LongToe
    LongToe

    11 years ago on Step 2

    Looks Great! It would be good for Halloween too.

    Not to be overly critical but if I remember circuits correctly, one of the sketches shows the LEDs in series rather than parallel. Perhaps that was part of the design process.

    0
    Jack A Lopez
    Jack A Lopez

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I concur. Just to be clear, I attached a diagram of, what I'm guessing, is the way she actually wired each leg. 6 leds are wired in parallel with each other, and that group of 6 is wired in series with a single resistor and a switch.

    6leds_in_parallel.jpg