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Posted:So the other day I taped a million fingerlights to my poi strings, and it looked fantastic. It got me thinking about fire snakes, but fire is scary and leds are a sexy alternative.

So what does anyone know about this?

I browsed various led sites and found leds on a flexible ribbon-type circuit used for under-cabinet lighting and such.

Here's what I'd like to do: get four of these strips and glue them back to back (because the leds are only on one side) so that I have two double-edged led ribbons to swing with.

Has anyone had any kind of experience with these, poi or otherwise? How durable can I expect the circuitry to be? Also, I'm lead to believe that they are meant to be used with a plug-into-your-wall power supply, but they use 12v. I think. I'm thinking about having the batteries in the handles, but would it work best to have the strips in parallel curcuitry or in serial? I don't know if those are the right terms, but it's the nicest way I can describe it.

I know they probably wont be suitable for hyperloops etc, but the concept is neat. Also, i don't plan on putting a weight at the end, because having the weight evenly distributed throughout the whole setup could be nice for doing whip-like moves, you know?

So anyway. This is my second forum post *ever*, so excuse any rules I may have broken. Stil, any help is appreciated!

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SILVER Member since Jun 2006


Location: Churchill College, Cambridge

Total posts: 133
Posted:Sounds like a very cool idea - LED snakes! I feeel like I'd want one to cuddle up with after a party.

To make 12 volts portable, with an appreciable battery life, I believe you would need 8x 1.5V AA batteries - a bit of a handful! The flex LED strips I've seen in the past have been rather delicate - they seem to be designed for static architectural lighting, like you say - not even for use on clothing.

An idea I've been toying around with was using a spool of conductive thread I acquired from here:


My idea was to cut out a strip of fabric with a weight on the end - use a few layers of fabric for strength, in a nice day-glow colour. And then sew using a sewing machine the conductive thread into the length of the fabric - to create one wire at 5V, and one wire at 0V (ground). And then soldering and then hot-gluing LEDs between the two 'wires' (effectively wiring up the LEDs in paralell) up and down both sides of the fabric - creating a *very* flexible strip of leds, that you can potentially even wash, scrumple up, fold or roll up in your pocket, etc. You could even do this with existing commercially available sock poi from the HOP shop, to get a good sturdy well-weighted base.

The only weak point is soldering the (rigid) LEDs to the conductive thread - solder ain't that strong. I found this tutorial that suggests mounting each LED on a metal bead, and threading the thread through the beads:

(scroll down to "construction" about 1/3 way down)

And yeah, to have battery packs in the handles. With 3 AA batteries (4.5V) in each hand you could power a string of 20 cheapo LEDs in parallel for a good few hours at a decent brightness.

Phew! I've had that sitting in my head for a few weeks now, sorry to spill my verbal diarrhoea on you smile LED snakes would be awesome. I'm waiting on time to make mine smile


Posted:That was an incredibly useful and informative reply! Your version of the led strings seems to make much more sense. However, when you swing it, I have a feeling the two threads will sort of skew, which might put all sorts of stress on the points where the led make contact. Sort of like if you've ever used a ribbon-type shoelace for your strings and you can feel it pulling alternatively on either side of the lace. Dont know if that realy conveyed what I wanted to say.

So I don't know if many other people are like this, but wherever I go I am constantly looking for ingenius ways to make new poi. Yesterday I was helping Brandon kick out his roommate and move John into the empty space while John was at school. I'm kind of one for dramatic effect, so I made the room as habitable as possible, which included putting a decent fiber-optic flower by his bed. It gave the room such a nice appeal, so I naturally wanted to take it apart and salvage the remains for poi.

And that's my new idea. I'mnot sure if anyone's ever done it, but I want it to be sort of an hommage to traditional maori poi. You know, like where they have the little tassles at the bottom of the ball? that would be the most convenient option, because it wouldn't work very well to have the fibers coming out of the ball from all directions because they would all be directed outward when spun unless the fibers were relatively thick (another story entirely?) or very short.

So put some little somethin-somethin in the handle to make the strings light up, run them through an led ball at the end, and have a fantastic array of fiber optics coming out of the bottom? For added effect, we could snip a few of the strings short so the lights run up the whole poi.

Maybe it's been done. It's just off the top of my head. So does anybody know anything about fiber optics?

Oh, about the thick fiber thing: Imagine an led ball with very very (about a quarter inch thick) fat fibers coming out of it all over like a sea mine. Kind of like beaming poi, only riddled with lights instead of only a few. Eh? Ehhhhh?

Thanks ak!


BRONZE Member since Apr 2006


Location: hastings

Total posts: 1182
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i havent used them, or seen a set properly, so i have no idea what they are like

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


Posted:Ahahhaha awesome. I want to barbeque some ribs with those. Or dress my garlic toast. Now does anybody know anything about the big fat fiber optic sea mine poi? I found a million places online that sells the cable/rods for cheap, so it wouldn't be all that hard.

I did see about a week ago this site that sold the modules that are in oggz. Not the oggz themselves, but the battery and lights. Does anybody know where I could find this? Also, does anybody know if the oggz leds have a particularly wide viewing angle? It wouldn't make sense to put fibers in the poi in all directions if they wuldn't put up helight in some places.



Spinning around...
Location: Lithuania

Total posts: 21
Posted:If anybody's still interested, I've tried out those Stardass optic fibre poi. They glow really nice, and the effect is awesome. Buuut those fibres break off really easily. So after a show there are lots of them left on the floor.

And by the way, there aren't no switches on them. They start to glow when you move them.

I really wouldn't recommend to buy them if you hit yourself - they're very hard.

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