Sound Reactive EL Wire Costume
Bring science fiction to life with a personalized light-up outfit! EL wire is a delightfully futuristic-looking luminescent wire that has the added benefit of staying cool, making it ideal for wearable projects. Combining sensors and a microcontroller with EL wire allow for a wide range of feedback and control options.
This project uses the SparkFun Sound Detector and the EL Sequencer to flash the EL wire to the rhythm of ambient sound, including music, clapping, and talking. You could accomplish the same with the EL Escudo DOS Arduino Shield.
For a video breakdown of the costume, check out the video below.
- EL Wire
- El Wire comes in a variety of colors, so pick your favorite(s)!
- EL Sequencer
- Lithium Ion Battery
- 5V FTDI Breakout (or cable)
- DC to AC Inverter - 3V
- Sound Detector
- Stackable Header pins (15 total: 5 for FTDI BOB, 5 for EL Sequencer, and 5 for sound detector)
- Five (5) Female-to-Female Breadboard Wires (or regular wire is fine, too)
- Note: Purchase three (3) JST connectors for the EL wire, battery, and inverter if these components do not already have connectors.
- Article(s) of clothing
- For a Tron-esque look, go for stretchy black material. Yoga pants and other athletic gear works great!
- Old jacket with large pocket, preferably zippered or otherwise sealable.
- The pocket will house the electronics. If you intend to wear the costume outdoors in potentially wet weather, choose a pocket that is waterproof (i.e. cut a pocket from a waterproof jacket).
- Piece of packing foam or styrofoam (to insulate the sound detector)
- Safety goggles
- Soldering Iron
- Wire Cutter/Stripper
- Epoxy (waterproof)
- Needle + thread OR fabric adhesive
- New to EL wire and/or the EL Sequencer? Check out this tutorial on how to set up the EL Sequencer.
- For a thorough overview of the sound detector used in this project, here's a great tutorial.
- Lastly, this project uses a high capacity lithium ion battery ("LIB"). It is very important to handle these batteries safely. Here's a tutorial on proper care and handling for LIBs.