Last-Minute Halloween Costume: Human LED

Don't have time to make a costume this year? We have you covered with this cute, super-quick costume for all ages!

Favorited Favorite 2

Halloween is less than two weeks away, and I know that at least some of you are still procrastinating your costume build. I thought I would share a fun and easy last-minute Halloween costume that a) takes almost no time to build, b) still impresses the pants off your friends and c) is appropriate for all ages. I call this little ditty the Human LED.

To make your own, you will need the following supplies:

I made the shirt first, which will represent the anode and cathode of the LED. Take the electrical tape and cut it into two pieces. One should be about 2 inches shorter than your shirt, and the other about 4 inches shorter. On each piece cut one edge into a point. Then place them on the shirt parallel to each other, pointing downward from the collar. Set this aside.

Place the hat on whoever will be wearing the costume --- or someone with a head similar in size. Fold up the bottom to make a small lip. Starting in the back, hot glue the LED strip to the hat, wrapping it around the hat from the bottom and moving up. Cut the LED strip when there is about 1 to 2 inches of hat left at the top.

Take the hat off and count the number of LEDs on it. Use the program provided below to program your Qduino. You will need to make two small edits. First, update numPix variable to the number of LEDs on your hat. Then find the four colorWipe commands in the loop function. You will notice that I have included red, green, blue and white. Comment out the lines that are not the same color as your hat. If you have not already, you will need to install Adafruit's Neopixel Library and the Qduino board into your board manager in Arduino. For more instructions on how to do this, please visit this Qduino Hookup Guide and our Arduino Library Installation tutorial. Upload your program using the code below:

//Melissa Felderman for SparkFun Electronics. Functions have been taken from the adafruit neopixel library example code. 

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>

#define PIN 2

int numPix=150;

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(numPix, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

void setup() {

strip.begin();; // Initialize all pixels to 'off'

void loop() {
  // comment out all lines except the color you want on your hat.
  colorWipe(strip.Color(255, 0, 0), 50); // Red
  colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 255, 0), 50); // Green
  colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 0, 255), 50); // Blue
  colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 0, 0), 50); // White


// Fill the dots one after the other with a color
void colorWipe(uint32_t c, uint8_t wait) {
  for(uint16_t i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
    strip.setPixelColor(i, c);;

Solder the LED strip's leads to the Qduino. The DIN lead should go to D2 on the Qduino, VCC to VCC, and GND to GND. Pop in a LiPo battery to your Qduino and turn on to test.

Put on the black shirt and then the hat. Fold the bottom edge over again to make a lip. Hide the Qduino and LiPo inside, and then turn it on. Now you are a human LED!

alt text

Share your last-minute costume ideas with us in the comments below, and stay tuned next week for a more robust costume build!

Interested in learning more about LEDs?

See our LED page for everything you need to know to start using these components in your project.

Take me there!

Comments 0 comments

Related Posts

Recent Posts


All Tags