Get crafty and make a light up fairy crown using NeoPixels and an Adafruit Gemma. The coding is easy with MakeCode -- just drag and drop blocks of code to get the custom animations of your dreams. In this project we'll explore the Photon function in MakeCode to create a twinkling rainbow gradient effect.
This is a perfect project to do with kids, or use this same concept in your artwork to add lights to your Etsy store products or craft fair booth inventory.
These LEDs are perfect for wearables -- they're pre-soldered for you, and encased in plastic so they're waterproof, bend-proof and squish-proof! They're also small enough to be hidden in your project, and the silver connector wires are easy to disguise. What are you waiting for?
I've included two different ideas for powering your lights: a LiPoly battery or a AAA battery case. There are pros and cons for each method. The LiPoly batteries are lighter, smaller, and will last a good long while -- perfect for hiding in wearable costumes. However, they do come with some dangers: they can catch fire if they get mangled or wet, the leads can break fairly easily, and they require a special charger which makes it harder to swap out batteries in the middle of a festival or event.
AAA batteries are easy to find and easy to use. They are a lot bulkier, and harder to hide in a costume, but if you're making things for sale, they make a bit more sense. You don't have to sell a separate charger and show customers how to use it, and don't have to worry about any liability if kids end up wearing your creations.
My rule of thumb: if I'm making a costume for a cosplay photo shoot or a professional event where looks matter a lot, I'll use LiPoly. If I'm making something as a gift or for sale, I'll use AAA.
It never hurts to have both kinds of batteries / battery cases on-hand. If my LiPoly batteries die in the middle of an event, I can always replace them with AAA at a moment's notice since the connectors are the same.
One more benefit of the AAA battery holder is that it has an onboard on/off switch. The Gemma has an on/off switch, but if you leave your battery plugged in all the time it will slowly drain, even with the Gemma switched off. The easiest way to add an accessible power switch to your project is one of these JST connector switches. Simply plug it inline with your battery (either LiPoly or AAA) and your project has an easy-to-find clicky switch that will turn your project completely off.