DIY LED Light Costume
Hey everyone, my wife helped our son find a very cool DIY LED Light Costume for Halloween. This costume was easy to make and it received many compliments. Keep reading to find out how to make this costume for any occasion.
My son will be 12 years old in December; therefore, finding a Halloween costume which sparks his interest is challenging. To be honest, I sighed a bit when Stacey and our son approached me about this DIY LED Stick Figure Light costume.
I have a ton of stuff going on right now and simply have little time to devote to making a Halloween costume.
However, my mind quickly changed as soon as they showed me this costume. It’s interesting how we tend to make time for things we are interested in doing. 🙂
Luckily, another person created this LED Light costume and wrote instructions about the process. You can find his article here.
I normally don’t blog or make videos on projects already done by someone else. It simply doesn’t provide value to my readers (you).
Ultimately, I chose to make an exception for this project because I will go into detail on a few important steps such as soldering.
Stuff I Used
The materials of for this project are fairly cheap and they can be used for many other projects. I’ve included a list of the same materials I used below:
- LED Waterproof Light Strip 16 ft
- 12V DC Rechargeable Battery 3500 mAh
- Adapter Plugs – Male and Female
- Wood Embroidery Hoop 9 inch
- Soldering Iron Kit
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hot Glue Sticks
- Heat Shrink (Optional)
- Old or Cheap Sweater Hoodie and Pants
- The Hot Glue will ruin the clothes.
Step 1: Measure the LED Lights
First, I measured the amount of LED Lights needed for the project.
I used a string to make the following measurements:
- Top of foot to top of pants below bellow button (both legs)
- Bottom of shirt (below belly button) to forehead and add 6″
- With arm spread out, measure from one wrist to the other wrist
Below is an ugly diagram you can reference for the rest of this post
Step 2: Cut LED Lights
Next, I cut the LED light strips according to my measurements in step 1.
Be sure to cut the LED light strip in the correct location. Otherwise, the LED light strip cannot be spliced together.
The LED light strip I used clearly indicated where to make the cut.
Step 3: Soldering Leads for Power Supply
In this step, I connected the power supply with a male connector adapter. But first, I want to mention a few things about soldering.
Soldering is a skill that people should learn. Why? Because it is a useful skill. You can splice LED light strips, fix electronics, and much more.
Soldering is the process of using a filler (solder) material to join pieces of metal together at a relatively low temperature (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit). It may look daunting at first glance, but it is really quite simple.
This kit has everything you need to get started with basic soldering at an affordable price.
In this blog post, I’ll provide basic soldering tips which should cover the fundamentals.
Connect Power Supply
The power supply for the DIY LED light costume is rechargeable and small enough to fit in the pants pocket.
In order for the power supply to easily disconnect from the LED lights and provide enough slack to rest in the pants pocket, I soldered a male plug.
First, I identified the positive lead (red) and the negative lead (black).
Next, I heated my soldering iron and placed it on the connections to get it hot.
Then, I placed a tiny bit of solder on both ends of the each connection point (4 in total) as this makes it easier to make the connection.
I matched the wires (red to red and black to black), verified the metal was touching, placed the soldering iron and solder on top, and melted them together.
When soldering, the wires (top left of picture above) only need to be protruding from the cable jacket about 1/16″ to 1/32″.
The white connection cover on the power supply was already in place.
Step 4: Solder LED Light Strips
In this step, I soldered a lead on the LED light strips for the pants.
First, I stripped the outer silicone coating to expose the 2 connections on the LED Light Strip.
I slowly removed the top of the LED light strip at an angle in small amounts in order to not damage the LED light strip.
Next, I prepared the wires and LED light strip metal connection points by putting a small amount of solder on each.
Then, I soldered the 2 together.
Step 5: Bottom Wire Connections
In this step, I soldered the bottom connections to merge the leg LED lights, power supply, and a male plug for the top LED lights.
There are a lot of connections in this step and can be confusing. The connections are as follows:
- Red Right Leg, Red Left Leg, Red Female Plug for Power Supply, Red Male Plug for Top.
- Black Right Leg, Black Left Leg, Black Female Plug for Power Supply, Black Male Plug for Top.
NOTE: To join the LED Light strips on each leg to the other wires, I used the wires from a male and a female plug. I just cut the plug off and used the wires.
I’m certain there is a ‘cleaner’ method for doing this, but I was in a rush. Halloween was roughly 2 hours away when I started this project.
I stripped about 1/4″ of the wire jacket.
Next, I twisted the wires together, heated them with my soldering iron, and put solder on them to hold them together. I repeated the process for the negative (black) leads.
Then, I used heat shrink wrap to protect the exposed wires. Electrical tape can also be used; however, shrink wrap is more permanent.
Step 6: Connect Bottom to Top
I used 2 wires that were fairly long (roughly 8″) to connect the bottom LED light strips and battery pack to the top.
First, I cut a small incision in the top of the pants near the left pocket for the battery wire.
Next, I cut a small incision on the opposite side. I ran the wire through the incision, under the shirt, and out an incision I made in the chest area.
Step 7: Top Wire Connections
I repeated the same process to connect the top wires as I did on the pants in step 5.
Next, I connected the top and bottom together with the plugs to ensure it worked properly before proceeding.
Step 8: Hood Hoop
I used the wood embroidery hoop to keep the hood sturdy.
To do this, I wrapped the edge of the hood around the hoop and used hot glue to secure it.
Step 9: Secure LED Light Strip
I used hot glue to secure the LED light strip to the pants, shirt, and hood hoop.
In order to accomplish this, I simply placed the LED light strips where I wanted them and secured them in place with hot glue.
It is important to remember to remove the back adhesive protective paper if the LED light strip has it.
After I finished gluing the LED light strips, I realized the strip was a bit short. Roughly 6 inches too short.
This is the reason I recommended in step 1 to add 6″ to your measurements.
I turned off the lights to see how the DIY LED Light Costume looked in the dark.
This project was fun to make because it was different and helped me rediscover my soldering skills – or lack thereof.
I especially enjoyed watching my son wear something I made for him with pride.
How do I know he was proud to wear the DIY LED Light Stick Figure Costume? Because he didn’t complain when Stacey asked him to take pictures as he normally does. 🙂
I hope this project provided you with some value because this is, and always will be, my ultimate goal.
If you would like to support me at no additional cost to you (doesn’t cost you a penny), please consider sharing this post via social media, subscribing to my youtube channel, or making purchases through the links in this post or from My Tools page.
I am truly grateful for your support.
Until next time – Imagine…Create…Share
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