Drumline Costume

For this project, we installed RGB LED pixels on a set of costumes to be worn by members of a drumline. The base jacket is a type of motocross safety gear, with reinforced pads mounted on a heavy-duty mesh layer. This garment was chosen because it can be worn comfortably over a drum harness.

The pads themselves do not flex, so they were used as mounting locations for the LEDs. The lights are arranged in a dense grid pattern and covered with diffusing material. The outer fabric layer creates an opaque boundary for each region, with a variety of sewn stencil shapes (mostly trapezoids and triangles).

Each costume inlcudes matching gloves, which plug in to the jacket at the wrists, and a pair of LED glasses that plug in near the neck. The LED controller and battery pack are mounted on the back of the waistband, and control switches are located at the hip, where they can be reached by the right hand of the performer.


The lights are animated in a variety of animation patterns and colors, as shown in the clip below.