LEDs are very shiny, impressive and … maybe a little bit intimidating? I thought the same until I figured out how easy it all actually is!
It glows! That was easy, wasn’t it? As you can see, all you need is a power source (battery) and a LED. I used a simple 2032 button cell battery, which provides exactly 3 volt. This is exactly how much this tiny light wants. You don’t need any calculations, any soldering and don’t have to think about which materials and tools you might have to get. If you want, you can just wrap some tape around, squish it into your costume and you are good to go!
Yes, this actually works with all colors, even if other LEDs require less power. I did this for years and it worked perfectly! Oh, and if you are wondering: This setup lasts for around 12 hours. Afterwards just get a new battery.
Curios? There is more! Here are a few examples to make you even more excited!
Here is built Symmetra’s Photon Projector from Overwatch.
And here my Druid Tier 8 armor from World of Warcraft.
All you need is a battery and and LED to light up your costumes. Wires, switches, battery holders and everything else is just optional. Don’t be scared of maths and just try things out!
If you want a more visual example, here is a little video I did where I explain it all!
Check out my Book of Cosplay Lights – Getting Started with LEDs. I wrote it for someone who has no idea about LEDs at all, just as I did a few years ago. It’s really easy to understand. And the best: No math is required!
And if you still haven’t had enough, there is also a way to animate your LEDs. I’ve used this technique for costumes like my Nova from Heroes of the Storm…
… or my Zinogre armor from Monster Hunter.
While these LEDs installations are a little bit more complicated, they are still totally doable even for beginners who’ve never soldered before. I personally really enjoy learning new things and really loved how helpful all the tutorials on www.adafruit.com were. So, if you’re curious, I did a video tutorial about this topic as well!
I also wrote a handy guide on this topic as well: Advanced Cosplay Lights – Animated LEDs. It’s called advanced, but it really isn’t. Even if you have no idea about programming you can still get amazing results with moving lights. You just need to know how. I kept this book very basic and easy to follow. You don’t need to be an engineer to look like a sparkling x-mas tree!
As you can see, LEDs don’t need to be scary! Yes, it took me a few years until I finally got out of my comfort zone and dared to buy a soldering iron, but I noticed very quickly that I didn’t had to worry at all.
Learning electronics is really easy with the right source and super fun! Plus you will be incredibly proud once you turn on your lights for the first time. I promise you!
More interesting reads:
As 3D printing continues to get cheaper and more accessible, now might be the right time for you to start too! The software is free and you’ve got nothing to loose! Let’s have some fun!
Cosplay is an amazingly creative hobby that connects passionate fans and artists from all over the world. Never tried it? You should!
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