Glowing Dance Top

For my LED diffusion project I created a dance performance top with accentuated shoulders. Dancers are no longer limited to dancing in the daytime or in lighted environments – now they can bring the light anywhere they go. I created a simple crop top with illuminated shoulders so the dancers shoulder movements are accentuated.

In selecting my diffusion method, I was particularly inspired by this image I found on Pinterest. Unfortunately the link redirected and I could not find the original source but I loved the look of the light through the faceted beads.

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I originally was going to sandwich my LEDs between two shoulder pad batting pieces and then cover the top with beads but this dimmed the LEDs too much. Instead I put the LEDs on top of the two layers of shoulder padding and then covered them with mesh and the beading.

I used five red 10 mm LEDs for each shoulder, adding up to 10 LEDs in parallel. I used a 3 AA battery pack with Ni-MH 1.2 V batteries. With a source voltage of 3.6 V, a LED forward voltage of 3.3 V, and an LED current of 20 mA, this requires a 15 Ohm resistor per LED. I used 22 Ohm resistors to meet this requirement.

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If I were to do this differently I would definitely try to include a few more LEDs per shoulder to get a more uniform glow. I would also try to make the shoulder pads a little more fixed and constrained, as they moved quite a bit when I danced with them.