Blinky LED Sweater Is Hypnotically Ugly


In an amusing display of wearable whimsy, knitwear designer Lindsay Degen teamed up with lighting and electronics pro James DeVito once again to cleverly combine fashion and technology. The resulting sweater features a face made up of psychedelic colors and flashings eyes, which they dubiously dubbed “Cannabis Carl.” The sweater was exhibited at Secret Project Robot gallery in Brooklyn, where viewers were treated to a colorful display of flashing lights from the Adafruit Pro Trinket and NeoPixels embedded in the eyes on the sweater.


I got in touch with Degen and Devito to see how they achieved such a striking effect and DeVito gave me a helpful summary of the process they used to create the sweater.

The leds are set on a timer to throb a bloodshot pink color, and every 7 minutes or so it changes to a rainbow strobe freakout pattern for a few seconds. The leds are set back in a box behind the fabric of the eyes.

Although “Cannabis Carl” might be a little much for everyday wear, I can think of a few music events where this sweater would be a perfect fit!

Category_Lights_Wearables_largeOf course, after seeing this work of art, you’re just dying to give it a try yourself right? You’re in luck. We happen to have an entire section of our store that carries the parts you need to make wearable electronics like this! Don’t let that programming scare you either. There’s a great book that can walk you through the process of getting started with the Adafruit Trinket.

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Artist, writer, and teacher who makes work about popular culture, technology, and traditional craft processes.

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