How I Make my LED GLOW HOOPS


To see my LED hoops in motion, please check out this video:



Below is information for other links on how to build an
LED Hoop. Plus some older information on how I used to
build them in the past. Includes info for larger tubing
sizes & other battery set up options.

Disclaimer: Please be safe when working with electricity & tools. Wear safety goggles & be attentive when working with batteries. I am not responsible for any damage caused to you
or your products.



Tutorials/How-tos:
Prodmod.com. Thank goodness for this AMAZING site of information & supplies!! This is the tutorial that I generally follow for my hoops. I do something a little different for the connector, and sometimes a different battery hook up, but I follow what is posted here. Clear & easy to understand--GOOD, GOOD STUFF. And they sell all the supplies (except for the tubing) that you will need. Go there now….
NOW, dern it!!!

Prodmod.com


NEW!!! Fabulous tutorial on how to make an LED hoop! This video from my friend Matt, shows you how to put together the hoop from beginning to end. I wish I had it when I first started making hoops!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3AIwl4sr7U


LEDHoops.net.
Just (jan 2013) stumbled upon this website for making an LED hoop with 7-Color LEDS. I didn't think it was possible to be able to make my own programmable LED hoop, so I was quite happy to come across this site. These LEDs allow you to select solid colors (red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, pink, white) for your hoop or select a color flashing mode. You can even set it up as shown in this video to be able to have 2 different solid colors on at the same time. TOTALLY AWESOME!

I have not made my hoop yet, but have just received a bunch of these cool LEDs from Chris. You can find info on how to order them here:
LEDhoops.net.
Check out his tutorial on how to build the
7-color LED hoop. I can't wait to delve into the info & try & make one of these groovy hoops!

Chris also has a bunch more videos on his youtube channel that are worth taking a look at ----->
Christopher Black.

LEDHoops.net

See also these:
Craftzine.com
Makeprojects.com
Instructables.com

How I made my connectors:
I wanted a connector that would be easy to open & close just in case I wanted to make a change to my circuit, and also, for when I need to change out batteries. And, depending on your tubing, you may even be able to coil your hoop down for travel with this type of connection.

For the connector part, I found info from the amazing Rich Porter (of Isopop) and fabulous video tutorial from the Spinsters on how to make a collapsible hoop. (with rivets & snap buttons)

Rich Porter Isopop
The Spinsterz

I cut a 3” section of the connection tubing, insert it into the hoop tube, mark & drill holes for the 2 rivets, and then rivet. Then I mark & drill the hole for the push button connector, and insert that into the connector tube. And Voila!

conn 2

conn 1

SUPPLIES (the ones that I use):

Tubing:
Hoopsupplies.com—has all the tubing (and more!) for less!!
This is where I get my tubing now.
HDPE
POLYPRO

In the past, from McMaster-Carr:

For the Larger hoops
(hoop options 1 & 2 bottom of page)---HDPE-7/8” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#50375k54/=d15t2w
For the connectors-HDPE-3/4” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#50375k53/=d15ueu

For the Medium hoops
(hoop options 3 & 4 bottom of page)---HDPE-3/4” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#50375k53/=d15ueu
For the connectors-HDPE-5/8” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#50375k51/=d15v3z

For the Medium hoops
(hoop options 3 & 4 bottom of page)---POLYPRO-3/4” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#5392k17/=d15vx1
For the connectors---HDPE-5/8” OD--
http://www.mcmaster.com/#50375k51/=d15v3z

I have not ordered from US Plastic, but they also have the tubing:
POLYPRO
HDPE

Rivets & rivet gun:
Hardware stores
Rivets:
1/8” drill hole size
1/4” grip

Push button connectors:
Hoopsupplies.com
The Spinsterz
Mcmaster-carr (check other sizes too)

Wire:
Radioshack

Switches:
Prodmod.com
Radioshack

LEDS:
Got most of mine on ebay & from
Prodmod.

If youre interested in strobing (firefly, dragonfly, ribbons)----
Prodmods got em.

For the 7-color changing LEDs, you gotta go to
LEDHoops.

Resistors:
PLEASE NOTE: If you follow the instructions on the Prodmod site, you will NOT need any resistors. Especially if you use the Prodmod batteries and LEDs.

GOOD NEWS!!! (1-26-12): Prodmod has recently added RED, ORANGE & YELLOW LEDs to the site, that DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT need resistors. (they have resistors already built in) How cool is that? Now you can make a RAINBOW hoop using Prodmod LEDs and not have to worry about resistors. Wow, much easier.
I just made a rainbow hoop with these LEDs & boy was it nice not to have to use any resistors in my circuit! These new
Prodmod LEDs work just fine with my UltraFire batteries, as well as with the Prodmod batteries, of course.

NOTE: If you use other batteries, or LEDs from somewhere other than
Prodmod, then you may or may not need resistors.

This is what I used for my hoops with the UltraFire battery
& LEDs from ebay:
LEDs: greens, blues, purples, pink-----no resistors
LEDs: reds, oranges, yellow
68 ohm 1/2W 5% Carbon Film Resistor pk/5

LEDs: firefly strobing LEDs that I bought on ebay
22 ohm 1/2W 5% Carbon Film Resistor pk/5
There is a lot more information on using resistors elsewhere on the internet. I only know a very limited amount about them, so if you are interested, please google to learn more.

Battery Set Ups:

For Larger Tubing:
options 1 & 2
HOOP: HDPE 7/8" OD 3/4" ID
CONNECTOR: (Inside) HDPE 3/4" OD 58" ID
BATTERIES: AA size, with sanded holder

1
For my first LED hoop, I got Prodmod’s “AA battery upgrade” and hooked that up with a standard rechargeable AA battery in a battery holder. This tiny circuit boosts the voltage of a reg 1.2V or 1.5V battery to around 3V. (see http://prodmod.com/make/ledhoopaa/ for how to set this up) I also had to sand down the edges of the AA battery holder so that it would fit inside my tubing.

batt holder sanded

2
For my next few hoops I used a sanded battery holder with one of
these AA 3.6V rechargeable batteries and I use this charger.

charger

batt conn 1

batt conn 2

led hoop diagram 1

AA Battery holder—
Batteryspace.com
Radioshack

AA rechargleable battery—
Batteryjunction.com

Charger--
Batteryjunction.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Medium Tubing: options 3
HOOP: HDPE
or Polypro 3/4" OD 58" ID
CONNECTOR: (Inside) HDPE 5/8" OD 1/2" ID
BATTERIES: Prodmod battery, no holder

3
Then I made a hoop with thinner Polypro 3/4” OD” 5/8" ID tubing
so the regular AA battery holder will not fit. I ordered this fab SMALL rechargeable battery from
Prodmod that fits in the smaller tubing.
(see
http://prodmod.com/make/rebattkit/ for how to set this up)

small battery

PP hoop

It’s snug, but fits. The difference between this battery set up and the ones in my other hoops is that you don’t need to open the hoop to replace the rechargeable batteries, its charged through the dc jack and with a plug in wall charger.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Medium Tubing: options 4
HOOP: HDPE
or Polypro 3/4" OD 58" ID
CONNECTOR: (Outside) HDPE 7/8" OD 3/4" ID
BATTERIES: AA size, with holder

4
For this hoop, I used smaller HDPE 3/4" OD 5/8" ID, but I wanted to see if I could figure out how to use my AA UltraFire rechargeable in the sanded down battery holder. What I did was to use the larger 7/8" OD 3/4" ID HDPE tubing for my connector piece, on the outside of the hoop. It worked out nicely!
You could also use this method with the PolyPro 3/4" OD 5/8" ID.

rainbow small TX

led hoop diagram 2


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Small Tubing: options 5
HOOP: HDPE
or Polypro 5/8" OD 1/2" ID
CONNECTOR: (Outside) HDPE 3/4" OD 5/8" ID
BATTERIES: AA size, no holder

5
If you'd like a smaller, lighter hoop then try using 5/8" tubing with the connector on the outside which holds a AA battery without a holder.
The battery is held in place between the 2 push buttons. One of the
push buttons has a spring connected to it by a small screw

diagram option 5

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Small Tubing: options 6
HOOP: HDPE
or Polypro 5/8" OD 1/2" ID
CONNECTORS: (Inside) POLYCARBONATE 1/2" OD 3/8" ID
BATTERIES: AAA size, no holder

6
For the ultimate light hoop, I use 2 small polycarbonate connectors
on the inside of the hoop. AA batteries are too big for this set up, so
I use a smaller AAA battery without a battery holder. The battery is
held in place between 2 springs that are connected to the push buttons
with small screws.

diagram option 6


Sharpies:
----------------------------------------

!OH MY GOSH! NEW DISCOVERY ABOUT LEDS!

I recently discovered something WONDERFUL. I've been unhappy with the UV purple LED bulbs that are available, they always seem to be too dim. So.... I started thinking about what I could do to brighten them up a bit, especially when building a
RAINBOW hoop. I thought, what if I took some white LEDs & colored them with Sharpie permanent markers?
BINGO!! a nicer brighter
PURPLE LED!!! Other colors work as well.
Here's what I've found from lots of experimentation:

  • white leds are available in bright white & warm white, they each look different with the colored marker on them
  • word of warning--I ordered some white LEDs on ebay (Hong Kong) & the marker DID NOT stay on the bulbs. But all of the other bulbs from ebay worked, just not these particular ones for some odd reason.
  • some colors look great, some not so much. purples, pinks, oranges, yellows, limes were the best.
  • greens, turquoise, blues, reds not as good but useable if you don't have the regular colored LEDs.
  • I tried both Sharpies & Bics. I liked the Sharpies better.

ALSO, & this is really cool too: if you try a marker color on a bulb & you don't like it, take an EXPO dry erase marker & ink over the Sharpie on the bulb, then rub off with a tissue, the Sharpie color will come off. Now you can try another color! No wasted LEDs with colors that you don't like. Genious!

The RAINBOW hoop that I made using both regular LEDs & some Sharpied LEDs is pictured below. Since I was able to use different shades of colors, the RAINBOW effect is more graduated then using blocks of colors.

Here's the breakdown of LEDs in my new
RAINBOW hoop:

pink (blueish) - magenta sharpie on bright white LED
pink - regular LED
pink (reddish) - magenta sharpie on warm white LED
red - regular LED w/resistor
orange (reddish) - Prodmod LED
orange - regular LED w/resistor
orange - orange sharpie on warm white LED
yellow - regular LED w/resistor
yellow - yellow sharpie on warm white LED
lime - yellow sharpie on bright white LED
lime - lime sharpie on bright white LED
green - regular LED
green - regular LED
turquoise - Prodmod LED
blue - regular LED
blueish purple - purple sharpie on bright white LED
purple - blue sharpie on warm white LED
purple (pinkish) - purple/magenta sharpie on bright white LED


NEW
RAINBOW HOOP (made with marker LEDs)
Looks even better in real life!
rainbow 2



OLD
RAINBOW HOOP (made with standard LEDs in color blocks)
rainbow 1


----------------------------------------


for non-stop color....day or night....
LED HOOPS USING COLORED POLYPRO TUBING!

Make your LED hoop using translucent colored polypro tubing.
Hoopsupplies.com has a bunch, try any from the HUE collection or any color thats
not opaque. My hoop is
blueberry hue 5/8" polypro. I used blue led bulbs (for an
intense
blue hoop), but white bulbs would have worked nicely too.
It's an ALL-IN-ONE kinda hoop!

LIGHTS ON
blue led on

LIGHTS OFF
blue led off

---------------------------------------


And finally…
GRIP---> Grip Sticks, Sanding & Tape:
I don't tape my hoops any more, I usually use a grip stick which you
can get at Battery Dude, they are awesome! (LOVE the embedded
little dude!) Just reapply every so often.
Battery Dude

To see how to apply the Grip Sticks, check out this video by Mike Hayataka:
Apply Yo Grip Stick!

grip stick

If you want to sand them, use
really course sandpaper grade (40, 50 or 60). This also provides a good grip, but eventually may lead to cracking or breakage of your hoop.

When I used to tape my hoops I sometimes would use a half inch strip of gaffer tape just along the inside. I don’t really like the criss-crossing of tape that I have seen, although If you need the gaffers for extra grip then its probably a good idea.
I have also tried First Aid Clear Tape, spiral-wrapped on a few of my led hoops. It helps for grip and you can’t really see it, so it doesn’t interfere with the lights. But I don’t think its very durable, so if you use it, you may have to re-tape often.

gaffer tape

firstaid tape

clear tape roll

Just discovered this super duper grippy tape by 3M. (Thanks to
Caroleeena!)
It comes in 1" rolls but you can cut it down to 1/2" or 1/4" strips with scissors to line the inside of your hoop. When applying it, make sure you rub it down really well to get any air bubbles out. It's pretty transparent, so it's great on an led hoop, & seems pretty durable. You can order it from
Identi-Tape (bottom of the page) or from Amazon.

IMG_0041 SM

IMG_0046 SM

IMG_0051 SM

And there you have it!!

THANKS to all the folks/websites listed above who have made all the technical
information on how to build our LED hoops available to us! We’d be LED hooping
in the dark without you!

E N J O Y ! ! !


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