Tim Chou – Open Project Prototype


The idea of this project is to use a zipper as the switch to trigger LED light strips. There are three points of open switches sew-in alone the fly that will close when the zipper touches them. When the wearer zips up the jacket the zipper will first touch switch A, which closes the circuit, and triggers the light strip that is attached next to the fly to play an animation that looks like the neopixels are following the zipper. When the zipper passes switch B and hit the last switch on the top of the fly, switch C, the light strip that’s attached to the inner collar will play a rainbow animation for 2 seconds. When the zipper goes down and hit switch B, The first light strip will play an animation that follows the zipper down.



The objective of this project is to create an expressive jacket that reacts to motions. It is also an expressive outfit that would attract attention in darker environments.



    • Because of the thick protective layer on the light strips, they create some weight both at the center of the torso and the back of the neck that can feel a bit uncomfortable within 10 minutes.
    • When the zipper is closed, the light strip near the fly creates some resistance when the wearer leans forward, causing some difficulties in performing the action.
    • The light strip behind the neck is obvious for viewers, but hard to notice by the wearer, so the wearer has to keep turning his head to check if the lights are working.
    • The light strip behind the neck got a bit warm so it was a little scary when wearing it.


Process Images:


    • img_6680

Final images and demonstration:



    • img_6683 img_6684


Parts List

    • LED light strip
    • Conductive thread
    • Crimping beads

Circuit Diagram

Reflections & Next Steps

    • This is overall a really fun project to work on. The part when the code is actually working is very satisfying, but the sewing part is still a bit difficult as my circuit did not work at the end so I was forced to use alligator clips for demonstration. I also encounter a problem when I was creating the switches on the fly, I stiched them too much and they became too thick so that the zipper couldn’t pass through. Lesson learnt..



Resources & Related Works (cited in APA)

How to get what you want. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2022, from https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2620

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *