How to Make an LED Headdress




Introduction: How to Make an LED Headdress

Hello All!

I am a student at the School of Visual Arts studying in a program called Products of Design. One of the assignments in my class was to redesign a piece of trash. I decided a to redesign an iced coffee cup. After designing many edible cups I became really interested in energy and how individuals maintain energy. One of my ideas was to create a device that would encourage power naps over drinking caffeine. In doing research about sleep I discovered that the best way to wake up from sleep is through light.

This LED headdress is a prototype of what essentially is an alarm clock. The two lights would fade on when the user was ready to wake up. This is why the lights are so close to the eyes. In the end, I believe the object works better as a piece of jewelry. I would like to re-design this with one light in the center of the ring.

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through how to make this object.

Step 1: The Materials You Will Need

You will need:

Beads (any material but metal)
Jewelry wire (you can buy this at any jewelry supply store for about $5 or online at, click here)
2 LEDs 
2 x 2032 Coin Cell Battery Holder - 6V output with On/Off switch (can be purchased on Adafruit for $2.50, click here)
2 coin cell batteries
Acrylic glass sheet or some other non-metal material to make a ring (a rubber washer or plastic ring could work as well)

Step 2: Tools You Will Need

You will need:

A soldering iron
Measuring tape
Wire cutters 
Wire strippers
Laser cutter (if you make your own ring)

Step 3: Measure Your Head

First, measure the circumference of your head from the middle of your forehead  to the back of your head (about 20 inches), add 3 inches to the total measurement (about 26 inches) and cut the wire in half (about 13 inches) You will need 5 of these cut wires total. 

Step 4:

String your beads on your jewelry wire. 

Step 5: Laser Cut

You will need a .5'x.5' ring made of anything but metal. Laser cutting a piece of acrylic glass into the shape of the ring is one way to do this. You can also use a plastic washer or leather. 

Step 6: Attach the Beaded Wire to the String

By folding the wire and twisting it over the ring attach all five, beaded wires to the ring; one on the top center of the ring and two on either side.

The couple of beaded wires on either side of the ring will be conducting electricity and will be soldered to your battery holder and LEDs. The top two wires will be your positive wires and the bottom two will be your ground wires. 

Step 7: Attach the LEDs to Your Wires

Add beads to each leg of the LED light. This will keep the legs insulated and avoid any short circuit from occurring. Be sure all of the beads on the jewelry wire are tight with no gaps between the beads. If there are gaps your positive and ground wires could touch which would cause a short circuit.

Step 8: Add the LED

Measure 1.5 inches on either side of the ring. This is where you will attach your LED legs.  Next, create a small hook at the end of each LED leg and attach it to the wire. Be sure to attach the positive LED leg to the top beaded wire (your positive wire) and your ground LED leg to the bottom wire (your ground wire).  

Solder each leg to the beaded wires. Again, be sure no wires are exposed. 

Step 9: Attached LEDs

This image shows what your lights will look like once attached to your beaded wire. 

Step 10: Solder the Battery Holder

Finally, take the two positive beaded wires and solder them to the positive wire on your battery holder. Do the same with the negative wires and solder them to your negative wire. The top beaded wire can be soldered to either battery holder wire. 

Step 11: Finished!

Your headdress is now made and ready to wear. 

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    9 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, you look so much like Olivia Newton John, are you related ?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Athough it seems fine, leds do cause damage to the retina (your eyes). I wouldn't use it this close if I were you. Take care :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Unless she's wearing it all day every day, I don't think she'll have enough exposure to negatively affect her retinas. The LEDs she used don't seem exceptionally bright, so it's probably far less of a risk than one might think.

    I would guess that a light-up headdress is more for a costume party than for constant use...

    or she could use it to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. :) why, yes, I can cite credible sources.

    Great instructable! And it could be adapted to other uses after Halloween.... much cheaper than those ridiculously overpriced lamps, light boxes, and visors.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I also have read some research on photobiological safety, particularly how some blue and cool white LEDs can cause damage to the eyes. I believe it's mostly the royal blue/dental blue stuff that can have the most severe impacts. Still, it may be a good idea to move the LEDs over a few inches so that they're out of your visual space.