Experiments in wearable electronic art.

LED attachment test



The care tag on the trench

I ended up doing a bunch of important IT administrative stuff tonight instead of working on the trench, but I did do one important thing – an LED attachment test.

The trenchcoat I have is an “all-weather” trench. I knew it was at least partially synthetic, but it turns out that both the shell and liner of the trench are entirely polyester. That’s great news, because it means that I can burn the holes into the trench for the LEDs. It is not only convenient, but burning the holes also melts the edges, cauterizing the holes so the fabric won’t fray. It’s really perfect.

LED Mounting

Process of mounting an LED in the trench

Tonight I cut a bit of the liner out of the hood (which I’m not planning on using in the final piece) and used it as the subject for an LED mount test. I burned the hole with a large-scale soldering iron, and that was super fast and easy. The actual mounting is nearly the same as with my previous Anthrolume suit – push the LED barrel through the hole from the back, then affix a washer onto the front.

To save weight this year I’m using nylon washers. I’m still trying to find exactly the right size, but in a pinch 0.443" inside-diameter washers work. (I have to actually stretch them slightly before putting them on, but then they stay very well.) These particular washers are tight enough that I would probably destroy the LED trying to remove the washer – so instead I do what you do with nylon wire ties – just cut it off with a pair of flush cutters.

Now that I’ve done this test I’m more jacked than ever to actually mount all these LEDs. I don’t have the washers yet, but you can bet I’ll be burning holes like a madman over the weekend.

Author: regenesis

Seattle New Media artist.

3 thoughts on “LED attachment test

  1. Nice experiment! Given that you are into making clothing special, you might want to take a look at this: . It seems that with LED strips you can achieve quite impressive results. It is true that the clothing here is crafted by some popular designer but to me it does not seem impossible to make it yourself and it does look amazing. Just an idea for your next project 😉

  2. Did you ever find the “perfect size” nylon washer or did you use the .443? I’m looking for some now and it seams the next step up is .505 or so and I’d worried that would be too loose.

  3. @John: The washers I finally settled on are 0.458 inside (=11.63mm) and 0.748 outside (=19.01mm). I bought them in bulk (and, in my opinion, at great expense) from Fastenal. I found that stretching them a little with a pair of needlenose pliars (which gave them slightly conical shape) helped them go on and stay on. I never had a single washer come off at Burning Man, so I declare total success on that front.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s