Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby kiss-o-matic » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:31 am

junglesmacks wrote:You're telling me. I did the math today and between my light suit and project gifts for 3 other people, I've officially hand soldered 4,550 LEDs and 910 resistors in the last 2 months.


You've definitely taken it to the next level. I think I might forego the bicycle thing and deck out the helmet. Nobody where's them here except us whities (and other foreigners)... save the bike messengers. Mine is covered in stickers so I already get tons of looks. Don't have to worry about sticky fingers.

I get a headaches when soldering, so what you're doing is out. I have to stick to the strips. Trying to figure out what board is better for what. The real trick is hiding the battery packs though.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:49 pm

melaniejane wrote:Hey DustHand, I'm sorry if you have already posted this but can tell me where you got the LED strips?

Many thanks


Sure!

I used these LEDs, about 4.4 rolls per coat
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flexible-strips-and-bars/led-product/646/

And I bought this hookup wire to connect the strips. They sell some quick connectors, but I don't trust them on a moving coat. I'm soldering everything and then encasing in hot glue.
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/bar-strip-accessories/led-product/45/


This is the controller I'm driving them with.
http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=796

Batteries are a work in progress
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:59 am

Quick update...just got the coats back from my friend in NOLA. Linings are IN and they look awesome! I have some minor soldering to do for the remote controls, and they will head off to San Diego next week!

I will try and post some photos of the lining, etc. this weekend.

I am excited............... :D
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:10 am

The coat looks great!

Between you and jungle, you guys are going to give me another hobby. Jet will not be pleased. :mrgreen:
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:18 am

CapSmashy wrote:The coat looks great!

Between you and jungle, you guys are going to give me another hobby. Jet will not be pleased. :mrgreen:


Let's do it :twisted:
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:45 pm

OK, the coats are in the hands of UPS. Nothing more to do.
Here are a few additional photos of the coats...I only got one shot of the lining in the coat, but I added a "monogram" of sorts.

Image
The battery pack, where it will be, but it is now in its own little velcro closure pocket.

Image
Controller, also now in its own velcro closed pocket.

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One of the additional inside pockets, also with velcro closure. My not-so-fancy monogramming.

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Had my friend Jenny sew on two metal rings on the back. One is at the collar, the other near the base. When we get on the bikes, we will hook them together with the carabiner as to keep the coat out of the rear wheel. Fortunately we discovered this issue in 2010...my friend had on a coat with tails. Better that coat, than one full of electronics.

Image
Remote control vinyl pocket on sleeve. Infrared LED emitter has been removed, and wires soldered to remote. LED is now soldered to other end of wires, and LED is taped to the controller. This way we don't have to remove the remote from the pocket to make mode changes.

Image
Only shot I have of both coats turned on. Draped over chairs in the shop at work.

Next images and update will be post-playa. I know there will be repairs, but as long as I get a couple of good nights out of them, I will be pleased.

Oh, and I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to my friend Jenny Campbell.
http://mermaidworkshop.com/
http://jennycampbellonline.com
She recently moved to NOLA and works as a designer here:
http://sccnola.com
No affiliation, involvement, kickbacks or anything else. I just think she is AMAZING and want her to succeed! Her work on these coats (she made the coat and the lining...I did the LEDs) surpassed my wildest expectations.

Hoping they will be epic! See you all in the dust!
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby SquirrelHead » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:49 pm

DustHand those coats are very cool indeed! I started looking at LED fun a little too late this year but I figure I now have a head start on next year! :twisted:
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Machina » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:07 pm

Damn, there are some NICE COATS in this thread!

I am almost done sewing a faux fur coat and am debating trying to light it up. It was a pain and a half to sew; it turned out enormous but kind of awesome. I'm having trouble finishing some of the seams "properly" because the faux fur is just too thick for my sewing machine at this point. Going to try fabric glue and hope for the best :?

For those of you who use LED strip lighting: Sorry if I missed this in the thread, but did you poke little holes for the LEDs to shine through, or do they just shine straight through your faux fur?

It doesn't seem like they'll show up through the faux fur I've chosen (I've done a fest tests); it's too thick and it's not white. So, just curious.

Thanks!
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:33 pm

The two coats I made were white, so the lights shine right through. Not sure how it would work with darker fur...we chose white specifically for the LEDs. My original plan was to make holes, but there were SO many LEDs, I would still be making the coats.
Testing is the best way to know. I used a scrap of fur and a few LEDs to try different methods, which is why I decided NOT to cut the holes.
Can't comment much on the complexity of the sewing...I don't have a machine so I employed the services of a friend who is a professional costume fabricator. She did the coat shell, I did all the wiring, then she did the liner.

After taking the coats to the playa this year, I can give you some notes on my experience:
1. The coats are F#c%!ng HOT. They have cotton liners in them as well. Thinking of adding another battery pack and adding fans. It was unbearable at times...and we only wore them at night.
2. I had issues with the strips failing on the sleeves, where they run down the inside of your elbow. Specifically the drinking arm. Adding some additional wire so they are fed every 3 LEDs, so hopefully if there is a break, it will still be fed from the next solder pad.
3. The AA battery pack I used (8 AA batteries) was MORE than enough power. I had 3 of them for each coat, and we usually changed it once a night...could have probably done it a second time, but you eventually don't care. :wink:
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby trilobyte » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:17 pm

Yeah, for such a dusty year, it wasn't all that windy or cold (by comparison 2004 was absolutely freezing, at least 10-15 degrees cooler by day and 20 or more degrees at night).

I've only done lighting tests using white fur, and it glows through. Darker fur wouldn't really glow, and making holes in the fur for each LED would only really be effective if it's a shorter fur. Yeti fur, for example, may partially or completely obscure some of the lights if it mats down over them.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Machina » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:36 pm

Thanks for the response :D

Yeah, the fur I used is like this:

Image

It's awesome, but not much shines through it. You have a good point about poking a million holes. I think I may leave this coat as it is (i.e., finish it), and try a slightly smaller project with LEDs, perhaps a fur vest with white fur. Good suggestion on testing; I'll take some type of LED to the fabric store and test first next time.

I wonder if my coat will be hot as balls now, too... it's super HEAVY so far, and I lined it with kasha liner (a winter liner that's smooth/silky on one side and felt-like on the other) as well. When I purchased the materials, I was having flashbacks to freezing at 5 am on the playa, so I may have gone a little bit all out... lol, WHOOPS!

I am certain I will refer back to this thread once I start on a vest... thanks for the inspiration :D
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Ratty » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:20 pm

That fur is beautiful. It looks just like some chicken feathers. (I mean that as a compliment.).
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:37 pm

Uhhh... tell me that's not just faux feather type fabric?
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:55 am

trilobyte wrote: Yeti fur, for example, may partially or completely obscure some of the lights if it mats down over them.


Trilobyte makes a good point...when I was testing the fur with holes, I noticed that the fur could obscure one of the tiny RGB LEDs, say just the red, etc. Depending upon the color being made at the time, it could make some of the LEDs look like a different color to your eyes. The fabric softens the mixing of the 3 colors, making the color mix smoother.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:56 am

Machina wrote:Thanks for the response :D

Yeah, the fur I used is like this:

Image



I like the fur! What color is the backing material?
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:03 am

I like the pattern too, I've seen it in other colors (I think we've got a few yards of it in burgundy), the backing is black if I remember correctly.

The trouble with fur coats is that yeah, they might be too hot… but they might also be exactly what you need (there have been some really cold years out there). Depending on your sewing/design skills, you could hedge your bets by designing something hybrid (mix of materials, fur in strategic places, ventilation holes, etc) or make a shorter/lighter coat.

If you know what kind of lighting system you want to use (LED, EL-wire, etc), you could make a short test section that you bring with you when shopping to get a precise idea on how it'll work. Less exact but much easier is to just bring a small LED flashlight. Test it on some fabric you have at home and have played around with, then use it to check fabrics you're looking at and you can get a decent approximation of how well it might work. We go with the little flashlight since it's easier (we also got a little UV LED flashlight to check UV reactiveness on fabric for a project this past year).
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:13 am

You could also forgo the strip LED and use single 5mm dome LEDs pushed through the top of the fabric and wired inside. They would burrow down in and eminate through the fur depending on how low you sat them down. Experiment..
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Machina » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:48 pm

Yes, it's fake--100% polyester glory! But it does look like feathers (and thus could potentially piss people off, haha). The back of it is gray/black splotches, looks kind of like a cow pattern, and is not at ALL comfortable against skin (scratchy), so, liner of some sort is necessary. Debating an elastic in the waist and then I need to finish sewing the lining in, do buttons/button holes (yep, I'm going there) and I'll post a pic. It makes me look like an enormous playa owl. I'm cool with that.

It's a ton of work though; I'm a novice sewer so it has been a bit painstaking but hopefully I leveled up my sewing skills.

Regarding dome LEDs, I'm sure you guys must have seen this already, but I think that's what this guy used: http://rgbledcoat.blogspot.ca/. I do really like the effect, but I feel like the strip lighting may be easier to work with for someone with pretty much NO wiring experience. :D
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:12 am

That's an entirely different setup using 3 color RGB LEDs along with a mini-computer to run them all. Just using single color loose LEDs is really not that big of a deal! Use this as a learning experience! There are tons of people here that would be willing to help along the way.. all you need show is just the initiative to do it.. :wink:
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Zhust » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:13 am

Machina wrote:Regarding dome LEDs, I'm sure you guys must have seen this already, but I think that's what this guy used: http://rgbledcoat.blogspot.ca/. I do really like the effect, but I feel like the strip lighting may be easier to work with for someone with pretty much NO wiring experience. :D


There's mine as well. I only used 50 RGB LEDs (http://rgbledcoat.blogspot.ca/ had 256) and my coat was dark colored. I wired all the LEDs first then cut little slits and poked the domes through and hot-glued them in place. I didn't use little circuit boards so there was no way to poke the wires through and solder them in place (as in http://rgbledcoat.blogspot.ca/). Well, I did have little boards, but they were shift-register boards that controlled 5 LEDs each; I'd run short wires from the boards to the LEDs.

I didn't have any power problems but I did have mechanical issues: the wires would break if I had run them too taut from the boards to the LED's. I figured the coat was not very stretchy, but they broke anyway. I think I lost about 3 or 4 that way.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby Machina » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:23 pm

Sweeet... love the dark coat with the LEDs! It's a nice look, kind of refined and blingy :D Thanks for the inspiration. And yeah, the forums have been invaluable in terms of instruction/inspiration for these types of projects.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby maryanimal » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:16 pm

DustHand wrote:OK, haven't posted much, but a lot of progress has been made, and lots of testing too. The outer shells of both coats are complete, with some rough edges that will get finished when the lining is inserted.
The layout of the LED strips has been determined, (4.6 rolls of LEDs...should be close to 650 RGB LEDs!!) and all LED parts have been ordered. Here are some photos of tests with the lights and scraps of faux fur, plus a shot of the one strip I have laying under the fur. No holes will be needed, the lights diffuse amazingly well when just glued to the underside of the fur. Hot glue sticks exceptionally well to the inside fabric, and the lights shine through better that I ever could have imagined.

I am getting really excited!

Let me know if there are issues viewing these photos.

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Me when the coat was delivered. My friend Jenny did an amazing job!!

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Side view of 3 LEDs under the fur.

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Long strip sort of draped under the coat, just to get a general diffusing idea.

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8 LEDs laying directly under fur, no holes.

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Me and my friend, coats before LEDs. There may have been some drinks involved in this photo, so apologies for the lack of focus.

And here is a youtube video of the 3 LEDs glued to the fur, the center LED is through a hole, the rest are just glued to the backing fabric. It IS a little bit brighter, but not worth the loss of integrity and the huge amount of time to cut almost 650 holes! (I know the video is vertical and shouldn't be...)



what is the specific name of this type of material for your fur coat. I'd like to maybe make one similar to yours. I love it! I have 2 fur-type coats called Borgana. The exact same style swing type coat. they're in excellent condition. I got both for free and would like to make a playa coat out of one. The fur is more dense that your coat!
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby trilobyte » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:49 pm

That looks like a standard white yeti fur.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby DustHand » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:47 am

trilobyte wrote:That looks like a standard white yeti fur.


Correct. I captured, skinned and tanned a family of Yeti. The tricky part is keeping the blood off of the white fur.

In all seriousness...my buddy ordered the fur online...I will see if I can locate the vendor he used.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:20 am

Pretty much any white fur will work the same.
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Re: Building an LED / Faux Fur Coat

Postby maryanimal » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:49 am

Thanks you guys for the info!! Yeti fur? hehehe
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