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Intro

Using fabric the light of the LED or Neopixel is filtered, softened. All transparent or semi transparent materials can be used to obtain special effects from LED’s. The distance between the LED and the material matters, so in this case filler was used.

Using a programmable RGB  LED- provides even more effects – changing the color and the intensity, depending on context. The neopixel is easy to program, and can be chained to other neopixel – LED’s to make strings.

This fabric light bulb can run on an 3V coin cell battery, and with the small ATtiny85 this set is extremely small and portable, easy to use in garments.


Materials:

fabric and filler – white fabric is showing the different colors best, but please experiment further.

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Circuit:

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Electronic components

Neopixel for RGB colors, with 4 connections: plus 3-5V, Ground, data IN, data OUT
ATtiny85 which is programmed to make the colors of the neopixel change.
a chipholder for the ATtiny – or solder directly to the legs of the chip
3V coin cell battery –
battery holder – we can make this from fabric and ALU foil, by gluing the ALU foil to the fabric using vliesofix
switch – this can be a textile switch


Making the electronics

Solder the circuit, program the ATtiny85 using a Tiny AVR programmer (or others). Download the NEOpixel lib of Adafruit. Start for example with the Rainbow script.


Script

Use the Adafruit Strandtest script of the neopixel examples in the ARDUINO environment to start.


Experimenting

An LDR sensor could be added for interaction. You can change the script, imagine your own patterns. It becomes even more fun when you combine several fabric light bulbs. You can also make other shapes with the filler, or bind the bulb shape using threads to give it a special shape.


Chaining neopixels

By using the data in and data out connections, the neopixels can be chained together. In the script you change the number of neopixels to the number you use, and the information about the color is sent down the chain.

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Image:

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Used for a skirt in my Bremen show, December 2018:

Captura de pantalla 2019-05-09 a las 7.30.08 Captura de pantalla 2019-05-09 a las 7.29.58

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