Project consultation using Lilypad - Constellation quilt

Hi there!

I am a long-time quilter that is completely new to circuitry. I have made this beautiful quilt before as a gift for a friend. I have since learned about the Lilypad and thought it would be SO COOL to make the quilt again and add a lighting component to it.

Let me be clear, I am a complete novice at the whole process but I am willing to put in the time and effort to learn. What is the feasibility of adding LED's to substitute the stars on this quilt? Would I need multiple lilypads? How would you recommend going about this project? I am curious what the experts on this board might recommend. Any help would be sincerely appreciated!

What you need depends on what you want to do with the LEDs. The Lilypad has 6 analog and 14 digital pins, 6 of which are PWN. PWN pins mean you can fade the leds in and out instead of just turning them on or off. Usually one LED per pin.

How many LED's do you estimate you will need?

Warning: Don't power the LilyPad Arduino with more than 5.5 volts, or plug the power in backwards: you'll kill it. Microcontroller ATmega168V or ATmega328V Operating Voltage 2.7-5.5 V Input Voltage 2.7-5.5 V Digital I/O Pins 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output) Analog Input Pins 6 DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA Flash Memory 16 KB (of which 2 KB used by bootloader) SRAM 1 KB EEPROM 512 bytes Clock Speed 8 MHz

Nice project, good luck.

Do you need to control the LEDs one at a time or in a group? Do they need to dim or just be on / off.

Only when we know your requirements can we make useful suggestions.

Pauly: I counted around 420ish stars. So a lot of LEDS.

Grumpy_Mike: Ideally I'd like to have them all turn on and off at the same time. Dimming would be neat but not essential (twinkling lights would look amazing, maybe I could do that with a few of the constellations, but again, not essential). It sounds like from Pauly's comments I would need many Lilypads in order to accommodate a dimming option on all of the LEDS.

Pauly:
What you need depends on what you want to do with the LEDs.
The Lilypad has 6 analog and 14 digital pins, 6 of which are PWN.
PWN pins mean you can fade the leds in and out instead of just turning them on or off. Usually one LED per pin.

How many LED’s do you estimate you will need?

Nice project, good luck.

sp. “PWM” - it’ll make Google seaches easier.

I would need many Lilypads in order to accommodate a dimming option on all of the LEDS.

I would say not.

I counted around 420ish stars. So a lot of LEDS.

This sounds like you would need to use an LED strip as wiring up 420 LEDs is a bit of a none starter for a beginner. Although you only need white LEDs the white LED strips can only be cut up in groups of 3. I would suggest the WS2812b LEDs on the small PCBs, something like this:- PCB mounted That is just the first supplier I picked you can get more in bulk. They are known as NeoPixels and they chain together so that you only need 1 Arduino output to drive them all. Each one has a 5V and ground with a data in an data out. All get connected to the 5V and ground and then the data out of one gets connected to the data in of the next.

Try a small sample first to see how you get on with them. Look for the AdaFruit NeoPixel Library.

Grumpy Mike: Thanks for the suggestion. The PCB mounted you linked to are not waterproof. If I were to try and make a quilt of this I would need them to be able to withstand a wash. I suspect this project will end up becoming a wall-hanging... this could actually be a really cool art piece now that I think about it.

On a different note, is it possible to program different LEDs to display different levels of brightness? Maybe I need to re-think this project and make it on particle board as a framed wall hanging before I try to sew it.

The PCB mounted you linked to are not waterproof.

You can use silicon sealer or you can buy waterproof strips.

is it possible to program different LEDs to display different levels of brightness?

Yes it is the whole point of those LEDs, not only that but different colours as well.

Thanks, Grumpy_Mike! I sincerely appreciate your guidance.