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Description: The LilyTwinkle is a tiny little LilyPad board designed to add some twinkle to your project. Even though it’s as small as some of the LilyPad sensors, this board actually has an ATtiny microcontroller on it so it’s actually pretty smart! Simply sew on 4 LEDs and connect a battery and the LEDs will twinkle-fade (a lot like fireflies… or lightning bugs, if that’s what you call them). LilyTwinkle is a quick and easy way to add twinkling lights to a project without any programming or a bulky Main Board.

If you’re an advanced user and want to re-program the LilyTwinkle, the ICSP programming connectors are broken out on the back.

LilyPad is a wearable e-textile technology developed by Leah Buechley and cooperatively designed by Leah and SparkFun. Each LilyPad was creatively designed to have large connecting pads to allow them to be sewn into clothing. Various input, output, power, and sensor boards are available.

Note: A portion of this sale is given back to Dr. Leah Buechley for continued development and education of e-textiles.


  • 20mm outer diameter
  • Thin 0.8mm PCB


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Customer Comments

  • bboyho / last month * / 1

    ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Maximum Number of LEDs on the LilyTwinkle?

    I am not sure what the maximum number of LEDs that you can use with the LilyTwinkle [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11364 ]. It depends on the battery that you are using, how you are wiring the LEDs to the I/O pin, the specs of the LED’s color, the current limiting resistor, and how many LEDs are on at one time. As long as your are not exceeding the absolute maximum rating of the ATtiny85 http://www.atmel.com/images/atmel-2586-avr-8-bit-microcontroller-attiny25-attiny45-attiny85_datasheet.pdf ] , you should be good. On page 161 of the datasheet, this states that about 40mA per I/O Pin and 200mA current for the Vcc and GND pins. The best would be to test it out with a multimeter.

    Probably 5-10 per I/O pin using a coin cell would be safe. One thing to note is that the more that you use, the less bright the LEDs will be when connected to your system. It might be better to use closer to 5 LEDs per pad. I tested one pin on the LilyTwinkle with 20x white LilyPad LEDs in parallel. Measuring with a multimeter’s current meter, it looked like it was pulling less than about 5-6mA with a brand new coin cell battery. This might be due to the current limiting resistor and the coin cell batteries limitations.

  • Is the code driving this available somewhere by any chance?

  • If you are handy with AVR studio and a programmer, you can control up to 12 individual LEDs with this by charlieplexing. I wrote code to show you: https://github.com/madsci1016/LilyCharlieTwinkle

    Basic animation is just an expanded twinkle pattern across all 12 LEDs. You can use Vixen to easily create your own effect or even custom animations.


  • how many of the LilyPad LED Micro’s could be run off each port, series or parallel? more than 2 or 3? or would I need to use a transistor to give the LED’s more power?

  • It’s so cute! Now I’m going to put LilyPads in EVERYTHING!

  • The “Product Video” linked has been set to private.

  • Hey the video is marked private so I cant see it

  • the youtube video is private.

  • am i correct in reading the datasheet that the maximum output of a single drive pin is 40mA? so at most you could put 2 lilypad LEDs in parallel off a single pin? would a simple bjt transistor be able to take the twinkle/fade signal and drive more LEDs?

    • You can probably drive more than two LEDs from one pin; after all, the current through the LED is limited by a resistor so it’ll drop as the system voltage drops.

      I’ll guarantee you two, with a provisional “try-and-see” recommendation for up to four or five, depending on the LED color and the voltage you’re running it all off.

      Of course, if you put in a BJT, you can drive more. Just don’t forget to add a current limiting resistor to the base of the BJT!

      • Thanks! I just got the parts in last night, and some quick testing showed me that even hooked straight up to the coin cell battery (3.3V), a single lilypad blue LEDs (with 100ohm resistor) only draw something like 3.5mA.. and putting 4 in parallel, I only measured 10mA draw. So I should be fine with 5 in parallel off the lilytiny considering the output voltage of the lilytiny will be less than the full battery voltage, and the ‘twinkle’ effect fades the current up, so really i’m not pulling that much at all. Crazy that the lights can appear so bright off such little current

  • Love the lily twinkle. I’m a beginner and I got it to work the first time I sewed it. Is there a way to make it twinkle faster? It’s a little too slow for my project.

    • Is there a way to make it twinkle faster? It’s a little too slow for my project.

      You’ll have to reprogram it. See the top comments on this page for some useful links on how to reprogram these. The product description has a link to the original firmware. If you just want it to blink faster, have a look at the FADEMIN and FADEMAX defines and their descriptions :)

  • 2 questions…. 1. Do you have to have all 4 LED’s connected for it to work? 2. Is there something like this, that’s not in the lilypad form, just a normal circuit board, that’s possibly cheaper? This is really cool but I don’t need it for an e-textile.

    • Also don’t forget just because its round and purple doesn’t mean you have to use it for e-textiles. You can still solder to the pads, they are just bigger than normal.

    • You only need to connect as many LEDs as you want. The pins will still switch between high and low, but if there’s nothing connected to them, then nothing will happen. As far as finding this anywhere else for cheaper, I’m not aware of any places. Once you add in the resistor, the cap, the PCB and the pre-programmed IC, you’d probably end up paying about the same.

    • What Toni said.. I think it’s pretty difficult to beat this price if you add the labor and especially the board. One way in which you could beat it is by using LEDs that have the programming built-in. I haven’t seen any fade in/fade out ones in a long time (can blame cheap microcontrollers for that), but there’s regular blinking ones (they don’t fade in/out, though) and also the RGB color cycling ones which, if you put an appropriate color gel around them (say a red gel to block most of the green and blue colors), may give a similar effect. This product is much more flexible, though :)

  • What is he difference (if any) between this LilyTwinkle and the LilyTiny ?

  • Anyone have a fritzing version of this part?

  • The flower-styled traces are a nice touch.

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Related Tutorials

Re-Programming the LilyTiny / LilyTwinkle

September 11, 2014

A quick tutorial showing how to reprogram the ATtiny85 IC found on the LilyTiny or LilyTwinkle boards.