LED there be light!

September 6th, 2014 3 min read


This post is part of the Power Suit series. Check out the other posts here:


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    Last week, my Football Suit became a Power Suit. But a Power Suit is no Future Power Suit without light effects. A lot of light effects. Therefore it’s time to add some NeoPixel gems. 72 NeoPixels to be exact.

    The suit will be fitted with one 24 pixel ring in the center of the suit, two 16 pixel rings around the eyes, and two 8 pixel strips on the shoulders.

    My heart will go on!

    But before I start, let’s do some simple LED testing using an Arduino Uno.


    Of course, I need some real time action hero testing. So grab the suit, hang the neopixel on the right spot and put on my best smile.


    Cool, everything is working fine. So the next step is to mount it to the speaker grill. Initially I try out the exact location with the help of some metal wire, but eventually I’ll go wild using a hot glue gun.


    Note that you won’t see the hot glue gun on any of the pictures, since most of the time I’m too busy fighting against all the tiny glue wires. If you’ve every used a hot glue gun. You know exactly what I’m talking about.


    Magic Goggles make me look geeky!

    The next step is to create the magic goggles based on welding goggles I bought via eBay. When I received them in the mail, I made a picture. A picture to remember that I should never EVER wear one of these goggles when I go out …


    The rest of the process was very straight forward, but took some time to get it right. After it was finished, I found out Adafruit has an awesome tutorial on how to built a LED Ring Goggles.


    In my first tryout I used Duct Tape to fix the NeoPixel rings to the glass. But after reading the Adafruit tutorial I figured my hot glue gun once again was the way to go. Fight the glue wires!


    Additionally, I also replaced the dark glasses with the clear glasses. Mainly because I bumped into the wall 6, maybe 7 times. Note to self: Welding glasses look cool, but are no night-time shades.

    Put your shoulders in the spotlight!

    The two 8 led-strips on the shoulders are mounted using tie-wraps. It gives them some flexibility and prevents damage when I (once again) bump into the wall. But don’t worry, the lights are so bright you won’t notice.

    Psstt.. In this picture you’ll see a sneek peak of the suit’s color. But don’t tell anyone yet. It is supposed to be a secret.


    The end result looked pretty awesome. It might have something todo the my facial expression of a tough super hero. But I think I nailed it. I’m sure Marvel will ask me to audition as Mr. Stark Jr.


    Now, as you might understand: those magic light effects won’t work without some awesome computer power. Next week I show you how this piece of fine electronics is built. Make sure you check it out, it’s the most awesome part of the Power Suit!

    For now, please leave your audition tips in the comments and help me get that Mr. Stark Jr. role!

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