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Wearables with LEDs - A Universe to Explore (ART548E)

The availability of increasingly compact LEDs, with greater performance and on tapes brings makers a field of product development that is not yet fully explored. Along with LED lighting, decorative products, we have to explore the universe of wearables that uses LEDs. In this article, we give some ideas, show how far the market for related products is and provide information about some products that exist in the market which can help the reader maker to create a new product.

When the first LEDs appeared, expensive and only producing infrared and red light, it was not believed that they could develop technologically to the point of having so many applications as nowadays.

With the increase in efficiency, producing quantities of light that reach close to 100% of the applied energy and with high powers, LEDs have also expanded their range of emission frequencies, being able to produce light of any color, from infrared to ultraviolet.


Note: the reader who wants to know more about the operation of the LEDs can consult our articles – ART257E


And yet, with the increasing ease of manufacture, LEDs have become cheap and nowadays they can be purchased in large quantities and thus used anywhere you want to have a light source.

Signaling LEDs, LED displays, lighting, decoration, horticulture are examples and in addition to these we have a field of application that is growing at a fast rate: wearables.


The Universe of Wearables

When talking about wearables and LEDs everyone thinks of dresses or clothes with some LEDs flashing sequentially or with some simple effects.

However, what we noticed is that the concept of clothing with LEDs has evolved a lot mainly with the availability of sewing resources and microcontrollers that until recently did not exist.

In fact, in addition to extremely small microcontrollers, we have batteries that can be smaller and smaller and with greater power supply capacity.

However, the processing power of microcontrollers and the possibility of obtaining extremely compact LED strips with resources not only of few colors, but RGB thus generating an infinite number of effects, leads to sensational possibilities.

We have already seen commercial wedding dresses on the Internet with fantastic effects not just from a few LEDs, but of hundreds and even thousands of them. We even have the possibility of implanting an array in a dress that transforms it into a display, thus generating dynamic images with extraordinary effects.

The LED wearable market can have a fantastic growth, depending only on the imagination of each one. We believe that blouses with dynamic displays can soon be purchased in stores and you will put a pen drive that will be showing your best photos to everyone.

LED props also open up another huge range of possibilities for those who want to create something new. Tiaras, bracelets, glasses, and much more can now be seen on online stores.

Creating something new can lead makers to enter niche markets which have not yet been explored.

I commented these days with a friend the possibility of having things involving the environment, LEDs and the people themselves, all depending on a little research and imagination.

For example, we know that certain biting insects (black-winged stilt and gnats) can be repelled by sounds. We have already published on our website several circuits of sonic insect repellents.

However, I know that some wavelengths can have similar effects on insects. I have already mentioned in articles on bionics that certain moths are oriented by the ultraviolet light of the sun, being able to orient themselves with terrestrial sources of this radiation.

Can we not identify some wavelength of light radiation which could be emitted by LEDs and that could repel insects? Everything depends on studies. A set of these LEDs on a fisherman's hat would certainly be a product that would have a promising market at a sports store.

See that the matter isn’t the lack of ideas. Gather a set of LEDs, conductive sewing thread, microcontrollers and add a good idea and you can be creating the product that will make you rich.




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