36mm RGB LED pixel strand suit build questions...

Hello Everyone! I am new to this site, and new to Arduino. I realize I have a ton to learn, but I believe that I understand the basics(the absolute basics). A friend of mine gave me a strand of 20 36mm LED pixels. I purchased Arduino Leonardo, and a 12V 5A switching power supply to start learning on before I take on my bigger project. I have a few questions on feasibility though if you guys can help me wrap my head around it.

My plan is to make my wife and I LED suits for burning man 2014. I'll plan on using full body white jumpsuits. I want to cover them head to toe( shoulder to ankle i guess). I've estimated that I'll need ~250 pixels for mine, and maybe ~175 for my wife's. I want to run them symmetrically on the suit, up and down, side to side. First issue is power. I'm still figuring out how to calculate this, and I know it's a matter of how many of them are on at one time, and at what brightness. I own a couple of these things that run my photography flashes: http://www.paulcbuff.com/vm120.php I'm thinking this would likely be ample power if I use the 12V power supply I purchased. This thing is fairly small, and only 3.5 lbs..it could easily be carried in the backpack I keep with me in the desert.

My second question...Each of these pixels all have their own controller, so that means I can control each one individually from the Arduino, correct? I would like to control the lights in a couple different fashions, can you tell me if any or all of them are possible? I would like to have them start from the bottom, and progressively move to the top, in a wave, while changing colors. Is this going to be doable? Can I have a similar movement controlled by sound? I'm assuming I could do basic color transitions while the whole suit is lit up? What level of difficulty is this programming? I am a total n00b, but I'm going to start by learning on a single strand of 20.

Thanks for any input you have on this! I have 8 months to get these done, and I'm willing to put in the work to learn. I've done EL wire suits in years past, but I'm looking to step it up this year. I'd love to hear from someone who's done something similar. I'm very much looking forward to joining this community, and learning more!

You don’t want to be dealing with an inverter, dangerous voltages in clothing - nope!

For many 12V LED strips an 11.1V lithium pack may be enough (you have to test a
sample of the strip at full range of temperatures expected (LED forward voltage goes
down a little at higher temperatures).

I’d recommend picking LiFePO4 batteries, much safer from the fire risk than other
lithiums. You don’t want to be the burning man!

If you can get the individual addressable LEDs that’s a bonus - look at ladyada.net I
think there’s some good stuff on there with POV using LED strips.

I've never been to burning man, but you need to take into consideration that you will be in the middle of the desert in late August, early September, so plan on testing your gear in extra heat. Obviously you also need to think about hydration from wearing such a suit. From all accounts the dust gets into everything, so you need to think about protecting the electronics without cooking it. So be sure to plan your suits to survive such conditions. I would also expect electricity for recharging might be a scarce commodity, unless you bring solar recharging gear.

MarkT:
You don’t want to be dealing with an inverter, dangerous voltages in clothing - nope!

For many 12V LED strips an 11.1V lithium pack may be enough (you have to test a
sample of the strip at full range of temperatures expected (LED forward voltage goes
down a little at higher temperatures).

I’d recommend picking LiFePO4 batteries, much safer from the fire risk than other
lithiums. You don’t want to be the burning man!

If you can get the individual addressable LEDs that’s a bonus - look at ladyada.net I
think there’s some good stuff on there with POV using LED strips.

Thanks for your insight. Am I wrong in assuming that the 12V 5A switching power supply that would plug into the power inverter I listed, would reduce the power to an appropriate amount, and wouldn’t deal w/ any fire/heat issues? I’ll like into LiFePO4 batteries. Again, I’m going to have to look into power consumption and what will provide enough power once I get a little deeper into this project.

MichaelMeissner: I've never been to burning man, but you need to take into consideration that you will be in the middle of the desert in late August, early September, so plan on testing your gear in extra heat. Obviously you also need to think about hydration from wearing such a suit. From all accounts the dust gets into everything, so you need to think about protecting the electronics without cooking it. So be sure to plan your suits to survive such conditions. I would also expect electricity for recharging might be a scarce commodity, unless you bring solar recharging gear.

I have considered the dust problem somewhat. I've taken expensive cameras into the desert before. I used painters tape to tape off all seams possible. It did kill a $1400 lens' autofocus abilities. This is why I would plan on taking back ups to replace parts that could destroy the function of the suit, including a repair kit. Being a illuminated suit, it would only be used at night. Temperatures dip down pretty low (30f'ish) at night in the desert, even in the middle of the summer. We will also have an RV with generators, so recharging wouldn't be the slightest bit of a problem.

I will like to see the final project… Nice…

ChangchungLeds: I will like to see the final project... Nice...

Me 2! Does anyone have any input in coding capabilities? Is the leonardo the right board?