Monica’s Halloween Costume WIP

Let It Rain: A wearable vest that emulates a rainy day


Pseudo code

Six LED strips are laid out in parallel, three on each of the front sides of the vest. The LED strips turn and off in a manner that simulates a raindrop falling down. First LED turns on (blue color), a split second later, the second LED turns on, and the first LED turns off. Then the thirds LED turns on and the second turns off, and so on. When the light reaches the final pixel of the strip, it goes back to the top.

This happens on all 6 strips. The only difference is that they don’t all start the loop at the same time, so as the rain to look like it is falling organically.

Extra fun stuff (optional): the rain gets ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ with the turning of a sensor (a potentiometer?). Heavier means that the raindrops would fall faster, which in code would mean that the delay between the lighting of each subsequent LED would be less.


Polyfill, black velvet fabric (base), black transluscent fabric (to conceal and protect LEDs) Adafruit GEMMA, Adafruit Soft flexible NeoPixel strip (50 NeoPixels), 1200 mAh battery

Early Circuit Tinkering

Ideally the circuit has 6 independently pinned strips.
Version 1.0

After lots of research, I thought I needed something similar to the ‘simple’ sketch in the Adafruit NeoPixel library. I added a ‘pixels.clear’ function to the end of the code to make it look like rain. However, I then had trouble attaching more NeoPixel strips and having the same code run simultaneously, instead of having only one strip light up at a time. See the Tinkercad circuit here.

Version 2.0

The “Florabella” rain program kind of did the job for the 2-strip set up I had made. Then it completely stopped working when I added 6 strips. See new circuit with 6 strips here.

5 thoughts on “Monica’s Halloween Costume WIP”

  1. Nice work Monica! What will you wear on the rest of your body? I have a clear umbrella (not the florabrella LOL) you can borrow if you want.

  2. Love this! A vest is such a good idea. I love that you’re reimagining a common clothing item. Seems like the main challenge will be the coding. I wonder if you can find reference code for the times you get stuck programing.

  3. Super cool and ambitious idea! Love Becky’s idea about adding an umbrella. Maybe adding another small component with the polyfill like cloud earrings or cloud hairclips could be fun.

  4. Hi Monica! I love your idea!!You mentioned about using translucent black fabric to protect the light, maybe try something like clear vinyl, or clear shower curtain so its also waterproof! Im looking forward!

  5. Monica!!! This is such brilliant idea. Everything is so well thought of. You can definitely pull this off. I definitely agree with Cheryl that you should use a clear vinyl. I have used it before and it’s super easy. You can either glue it on or iron it, but either way, you have a great concept and I can’t wait to see the final look.

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