Lighting Project

I am a college student at SUNY Fredonia and I am looking for guidance on a project I'm doing. The assignment is to create a prop that lights up. This simply is not enough. I have come up with the idea of putting on a light show in class. My idea involves gloves that light up at the fingertips and blink on and off corresponding to beats in music. I would like to use Arduino to make this happen, but being a college student, this can get very expensive very fast. Is this possible on a tight budget? What are some other ways I can approach this idea? So far, at this stage of the process, I know how to wire the glove via battery. The problem I'm having is will I be able to program this wirelessly and on both gloves? I am posting on this forum to get any feedback I can; positive feedback, constructive criticism, potential aid, etc. Thank you very much for reading my idea.

Hi Anthony and welcome to the forum.

Getting your lights to flash with music is not easy if you want to do this by picking up the sound and analysing it to determine the beat. That would be too advanced for a beginner I think. But there are easier ways that might be good enough. The simplest would be to attach a potentiometer to the Arduino and use that to adjust the speed of the flashing to match the beat. Or you could add a switch that you tap a few times in time to the beat. The Arduino could measure the average time between taps and then continue to flash the lights based on that speed.

Not sure why you say you want to program wirelessly. I would look at a small Arduino, like Pro Micro or Lilypad. These could be sewn into the back of each glove. They could be powered using wires running up the sleeves of the wearer to a battery pack in their pocket. Perhaps the switch idea I mentioned above could be wired into the palms of the gloves so that the wearer claps for a few beats so the Arduino can learn the beat. These switches could be simply metal contacts sewn into the palms of the gloves so that the 2 Arduinos could detect when the palms meet during clapping.


This could be a lot of fun I think. While finding the actual beat might be hard, it should be easy to set a threshold such that you fire every second or two? Maybe even put the microphone in the palm and cover it up as needed?

Then use the detected output ('loud now') to light a LED on one output line. Then, say .1 second later shift it to the next output (making the original low again if there's no sound at that instant) and shifting each high up the line for say 12 steps, a little over a second history constantly scrolling up the outside of the glove from wrist to each finger tip? Wire the 5 LEDs at each level in series and drive them all together.

You could read (using another analog input) a DC level from a hidden pot to control the clock rate for the shift register manually.....

Fun idea. Good luck with it.