August 24, 2009

Glow Hoop Update

Filed under: Gadgets, Projects — Tags: , , , , — laupre @ 11:19 pm

I received a lot of great comments and interesting questions from people about my past post on my glow stick hoops. I was delighted to see a link posted to my blog at I love that site for videos and music suggestions. The glow sticks are a great and cheap way to make a glowing hoop on a tight budget. The lights will glow all night, but there are some downsides. The glow sticks do rattle inside the hoop (although it never bothered me, I guess some people don’t like that), and unfortunately, the glow sticks will have to be removed and disposed of. It’s a small amount of waste but they can’t be recycled. I had a question about the toxicity of the glow sticks and I can tell you that they’re not harmful. I wouldn’t suggest ingesting them, but the chemicals won’t hurt you or the planet any more than household cleaning products. I actually had one break open and it made a big glowing mess on my hands, but I didn’t have any adverse reaction.

Anyway, I would certainly suggest the glow stick hoop for someone who just wants a glowing hoop for a special night or just every once in a while. If you plan on hooping at night often (and you probably will, it’s crazy addictive) an LED hoop is a must. I’m delighted to announce that I have conquered soldering and leds and made myself a couple!

It actually wasn’t that hard, and with all the materials together (including the hoop tubing I had used for the glow stick hoop) it came in under $50 for supplies. It did take me ALL day to make my big blue/green and flashing red hoop. It’s got more than 80 5mm LEDs on it’s length and glows really brightly.

(click above images to see full size)
I haven’t yet come up with a good solution for the battery, though. I used a 9 volt so I’d only need one battery, but it doesn’t fit inside the tubing so I just taped it to the exterior of the hoop with the wires going through a small hole. Before you ask, no, the battery doesn’t effect the hooping at all on the outside of the hoop. I’ve used this hoop for hours and hours now and can’t even tell it’s there. I know a lot of people use AA or AAA sized batteries and put them inside the hoop, but they also use 1 inch tubing or more. I really like the smaller 3/4 inch tubing myself. Having the wires come out of the hoop at the ends I can pull the wires nice and tight and tape them down near the connector to keep the LEDs from rattling inside. Because I’m using the smaller tubing there isn’t enough room to wrap the LEDs in bubblewrap like I’ve seen some people do.
Anyway, I’m silly happy with my LED hoops and I’m sure I’ll be making more.
Here are some long exposure shots and a short video clip with my hoop:

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