How to use SparkFun's LilyPad products to incorporate light into your textile projects!
What I love about the LilyTiny and LilyTwinkle are how much they lower the barrier-to-entry for advanced e-textiles. The jump from extremely basic LED circuits to Arduino projects can be really daunting to those who have no programming experience at all. I should know, I had never looked at a line of code before I started e-textiles, and it's still a foreign language to me. The LilyTiny and LilyTwinkle let people who haven't had a lot of experience with micro-controller circuits start slow -- just building the circuit, using the pins, and enjoying a cool animated effect -- all without coding.
To me, the benefits boil down to three important things:
• If you don't want to learn to program, or aren't ready yet, it will allow you to see and try out some of the cool effects that coded projects can produce.
• It's a great way to learn micro-controller circuit design, so that when you ARE ready to start working with Arduino, you've already got half of the skillset you need under your belt.
Even if you already DO know how to program and build advanced circuits, if all you're looking for is a simple effect on a few pins, reprogramming this board is a cheaper way to do it than with a LilyPad Arduino
If you've wondered how to incorporate these elements into your own projects, we have a new tutorial
up that covers one way to add mini LEDs to textile projects. We added them to a painted and screen-printed canvas, but they would work just as well in an item of clothing! Enjoy!