Overview

Create a personal blacklight spotlight under this UV parasol.

Most parasols are designed to keep UV light out. This one is designed to bathe you and your snazzy outfit in ALL the UV light, and make you glow like the Rockstar Candy Raver you are. 

This guide details how to work with UV NeoPixels and make a very sturdy and festival-proof prop. It will still keep the harsh rays of the sun away during the day, but flick the switch at night and let the UV pixels underneath light up and put you in the spotlight.

There is a good bit of soldering and wiring required for this project, so be sure you're comfy with a soldering iron. The code, however, is incredibly simple - we'll just turn the pixels on as bright as they'll go! Using the Circuit Playground Express gives you lots of options to add sound or motion sensitivity with no additional wiring or add-on sensors. Make your UV umbrella react to your environment in a way that suits your style.

Parts

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Circuit Playground Express Microcontroller
4 x UV Blacklight NeoPixels
Adafruit NeoPixel UV LED Strip with 32 LED/m
3 x Wire Ribbon Cable
Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable - 4 Wires 1 Meter Long
1 x Fluorescent Pigment
Fluorescent Pigments in Various Colors
1 x On/Off Switch
Tactile On/Off Switch with Leads
1 x Battery
Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery - 3.7v 2200mAh
1 x Clear Heat Shrink
Food-Grade Heat Shrink - 3/8" diameter 12" long
1 x Battery Extension Cable
JST-PH Battery Extension Cable - 500mm

Here's another option for the on/off switch and extension cable. You don't have quite as much control over where the switch will end up, but it does save you a lot of soldering -- this switch is great because it's just plug & play!

1 x Extension Cable with Switch
JST 2-pin Extension Cable with On/Off Switch

Also Needed

  • Umbrella or Parasol
  • Silicone Glue - I like this kind by DevCon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Heat gun
  • Soldering iron & accessories
  • Needle & thread or sewing machine

You'll also need a fabulous black light reactive costume -- but if you're making this project, you've probably already got that in the bag!  The brighter your fluorescence, the better this project will work. The fluorescent pigments linked above work great to enhance your favorite accessories.

This guide was first published on May 28, 2019. It was last updated on May 28, 2019. This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 19, 2019.