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Author Topic: SMD leds on cloth strip  (Read 5804 times)
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I have to admit, I was a little lazy and haven don't my research on available sources before asking the question.

On Valérie's page mentioned in this posting is a nice dress with some led applied. I liked the idea and as I was drafting some patterns anyway, I though it might be a nice idea to try this too.

No I have here some smd led laying around and would like to mount them on a cloth strip (eg twilled tape) and wonder how to achieve that best. The tape will then be sown into the garment to provide some surprising illumination. As I wish to control the led individually and have some carrier that works well with a sewing machine, I don't really know if there's a ready made led band for such applications at reasonable costs.

Does soldering them directly to some high gauge wire work well enough?
Any other ideas? I would prefer to avoid having big carriers for the led as I wish them to be inconspicuous.

Korman
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have you looked into the led's from the lillypad arduino series? search on sparkfun or robotshop or the supplyer of your choice... I find them quite nice. Personally, I would not want to use high-gouge wire in clothing.

even with using ver low gouge wire, if its all over your material it starts feeling more like an exosceleton than a peace of clothing you would want to wear quite fast :-)
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Yes, I've looked at those modules, and they're too big by a factor of five. When I'm back from my holidays, I'll have a try at soldering them directly to cables.

As to the stiffness, I think that isn't so much of a problem for the intended use. It will be just one ribbon on the dress.

Korman
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Quote
Does soldering them directly to some high gauge wire work well enough?

Several months ago I ran into a blog about just that topic.  The person had very carefully soldered an SMD LED and resistor together and then "pigtailed" the pair with very tiny wire.  I'll see if I can dig up a URL...
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Not quite what I remember but, if you have steady hands, worth a look...
http://chebe.dreamwidth.org/16632.html
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..., if you have steady hands, worth a look...

Thanks, that's more or less what I had in mind. And I'm sure, after soldering 50 or so LED, I will have steady hands.

Korman
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Have you considered these:-
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=306
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Why can't you just use LED tape it would be alot easier. Have a look at the website
http://www.led-tape.com
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@joewatts:  How does one go about using that product on a garment?  With an Arduino?
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Why can't you just use LED tape it would be alot easier. Have a look at the website
http://www.led-tape.com

Joe,

If I understood the specs correctly, you can't address the LED on the tape individually, which is something I fancy doing.

Korman
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Hi Korman!
Using Lilypad LEDs (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10045) would be a nice idea because they have the resistors attached, however the downside is that you have this purple PCB as well...

Otherwise, you can try attaching something like crimp beads (found in craft, fabric and bead stores: http://www.google.com/search?q=crimp+beads&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=857&bih=463) and then looping conductive thread through them.  You can compress the crimp bead with pliers to secure the connection. 

Check out this blog for how to get creative with soft circuits:
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8549

Conductive Thread: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8549
(4ply is considerably less resistive than 2ply, so I would recommend this)

You can also cut down on your sewing by using a combination of iron-on conductive fabric as well as conductive thread.  For example, you could make the grounds all one long strip of conductive fabric, and only sew the individual data connections to the Arduino.
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Thanks for the tip. The Lilipad LED seem to be too big, but the link with the beads is quite good. I'm going to try something along those lines.

Korman
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