Glowing Element

In this guide, you'll learn how to build a bright glowing light that can be used for cosplay elements, decor and wearables. The circuit and components are fully contained in a 3D printed cylindrical enclosure. An integrated switch allows you to turn the circuit off without having to take it apart. The circuit is powered by an Adafruit GEMMA M0 or v2 and a small 150mAh lithium polymer battery. The NeoPixel Jewel contains 7 individual LEDs that can be programmed to display different colors and animations. With all of the components fitted inside the enclosure, this makes for a very tight package that can be used in all sorts of projects.

Inspired by Logan's Run

This project was inspired by the "Life Clock" in 1976's epic Sci-Fi film, Logan's Run. In the story, each person is implanted at birth with a "life-clock" crystal in the palm of their hand that changes color as they get older and begins blinking as they approach their "Last Day". This DIY version is different than the original prop seen in the film, and not at all screen accurare, but it does resemble the iconic object.

Project Ideas

I can see this being used in cosplay, imagine energy beams and fire balls. This could be used as a lighting element for photography. The NeoPixel Jewel can output some pretty bright light, so this can give a great source of illumination. The circuit and enclosure are moderately small so this allows you to put it in different things. It doesn't have to be stuck on your palm. Get creative and remix this project to make it your own. 

This guide was written for the Gemma v2 board, but can be done with either the v2 or Gemma M0. We recommend the Gemma M0 as it is easier to use and is more compatible with modern computers!

Prerequisite Guides

This guide assumes you have basic soldering skills and know how to upload code an arduino. For beginners hobbyists looking to get started with the basics, we recommend walking through the following tutorials and get familiar with the components.

Tools & Supplies

You'll also need the following tools and supplies to complete this project.

This guide was first published on Apr 05, 2017. It was last updated on Jan 25, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 27, 2017.

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