Illuminated Armbands

I felt like building something physical on Saturday. Since I was going to be at a military fetish dance party later that night, I decided to make some chevron arm bands.

The goal was to have them stay on my bare upper arms. And illuminate.

glowing chevrons

Fortunately I just happened to have materials lying around to throw this together, namely:

  • yellow EL (electroluminescent wire)
  • EL wire battery pack (Light ‘N Wire Productions Pocket Pack Driver)
  • transparent plastic sheet (clear PVC 0.005″ x 7.6″ x 11″)
  • double sided velcro-like tape (purchased a long time ago at True Value)
  • flexible wire (reused from old electronic devices)
  • solder
  • hot glue
  • electrical tape

I batch-processed the build (so both armbands got built at the same time), roughly with these steps:

  1. Bend EL wire into the chevron shapes (basically two chevrons, each made of two lines of wire)
  2. Measure/cut velcro tape pieces
  3. Measure/cut PVC rectangles
  4. Cutting wires
  5. Soldering/taping the EL wire shapes to copper wire and to the battery pack connector
  6. Hotglue the EL wire shapes—and the beginning of the wire going to the battery pack—to the inside of the PVC rectangles.
  7. Bend to fit my arm better
  8. Hotglue a second set of PVC panels to the inside of the arm band, forming a sandwich around the EL wire. This was primarily just to protect my arm in case any of the conductors became exposed for some reason.

Note these photos were taken after the event, so the PVC is a bit wrinkled.

EL wire chevron armbands

EL wire chevron armbands (turned on)

Here are some low-information iPhone photos from within the club. I’m wearing the chevrons upside-down because it made wire routing easier to the battery pack.

Me wearing my glowing chevron armbands (left arm)

Me wearing my glowing chevron armbands (right arm)

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