Posted in design and architecture, engineering, Illumination

LED jewelry

LED DIY gets trendy! In the New York Times, a story about the latest fashion craze: Light-up fashion!

IN Alison Lewis’s girlish, pale-blue living room here, pillows light up when you sit on them and the sofa fabric has a dimmer switch; teacups moved along acrylic coffee tables will play videos on the giant flat-screen television, and a mechanical bluebird nestled in the white plastic boxwood surrounding the television trills erratically when its eye detects movement in the room.

This is an environment that will always acknowledge you, but it’s a cozy interactivity, the softer side of technology.

Ms. Lewis, 35, is part of a wave of young product designers intent on embedding electronics into “soft” areas like fashion or home furnishings. She has the can-do spirit that defines the modern crafter and hopes to engage other young women in her blinking, D.I.Y. world. Threading LEDs, she claims, is akin to knitting. (LED beads are like tiny glowing sequins; Ms. Lewis uses conductive thread to sew them onto fabric.) “I do it to relax,” she said.

Her work can involve some unlikely materials: perhaps a length of electroluminescent wire or yards of conductive fabric; the motor prized out of an electric toothbrush; a motion sensor.

Read the full article at NYT.

Check out Lewis’ website:

Ceramic teacups have radio frequency ID tags on their bases; when placed on a reader, they signal videos to play on the television.
Ceramic teacups have radio frequency ID tags on their bases; when placed on a '"reader," they signal videos to play on the television.


Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.