I’m going to a masquerade ball with some friends this December, and one of these friends wants something special to wear. I’ve built her a colour changing necklace, and extended-battery life fairy lights for festivals and such before, but for a one-night-only affair  I think I can pull off something a bit more punchy and attention grabbing. So, what better to do, than to make her the star of the ball. And we all know stars are actually huge, burning super-novae, that output huge amounts of light.

So, here’s my shopping list;

  • 10m of “5050” 12V Red/Green/Blue LED strip (eBay)
  • I had wanted to use 5V HL1606-or-similar strips, to give animation capability, but the lead time in getting them shipped from China was too long. Even 5V straight RGB strips were only available from the US, which would also have taken too long to arrive. Rather than swap out thousands of current limiting resistors, I’ll just up the LED supply voltage. 

RGB LED Lighting Strip

  • 2 x 11.1V 20C 2300mAh Li-Po battery packs from eBay. These should provide enough juice to run the 12V LED Strips!

Lithium Polymer Battery Pack

  • Hand built 3 channel MOSFET controller, because of time constraints. Heck, I may even work in wireless control if I get time!
  • And a “Crinoline“, provided by my friend. I had no idea what this was either, but here’s a picture of what hers looks like;

A Crinoline.

It’s a combination of hoops and netting, and it’s also pretty translucent, which should work well with the lighting effect.

The idea is to spiral the 10m of RGB LED strip around the inside of the crinoline, having the colour controlled either by a pre-set program, or using a Nordic RF key fob to alter parameters. Pretty simple, but there’s only 2 weeks till the event. I’ve just ordered the LED strip and Li-Po’s, so they should be here by next weekend, which leaves me a week of evenings to do the actual build. I’ll get some photos of the construction when it starts.