LilyPad Basics: Powering Your Project

Contributors: Gella
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In this guide, we will discuss options for powering your LilyPad projects (both e-sewing and Arduino-based), battery safety and care, and how to calculate and consider power constraints on your projects. Creating wearable and fabric projects have their own considerations and we'll also cover when it makes sense to switch from conductive thread connections to wired connections.

LilyPad projects are often wearable or portable, which means using a battery to take the final project on the go. However, there are a few options for powering your projects beyond just plugging in a battery. Read on for sections detailing different power sources and options available for working with the system.

We've compiled some tips for you, to help decide what power source to use, how long it will last on battery power, and other considerations. Knowing how much voltage your project needs, the total current draw of the LilyPad boards you are using in your project, and battery capacity will help you choose the best option for optimal operation.

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law

Learn about Ohm's Law, one of the most fundamental equations in all electrical engineering.

Battery Technologies

The basics behind the batteries used in portable electronic devices: LiPo, NiMH, coin cells, and alkaline.

How to Power a Project

A tutorial to help figure out the power requirements of your project.

Electric Power

An overview of electric power, the rate of energy transfer. We'll talk definition of power, watts, equations, and power ratings. 1.21 gigawatts of tutorial fun!

What is a Battery?

An overview of the inner workings of a battery and how it was invented.