June 17th, 2022—
Inspired by his Christmas tree’s RGB lights, Brett Haddoak had the idea to turn his now-wife Rachelle’s wedding dress into something out of the classic children’s movie Sleeping Beauty by embedding a series of RGB LED strips that would elegantly illuminate it just like Princess Aurora’s.
At first, Haddoak chose to simply take the Christmas lights off of his tree and attach them to the dress, but this proved to be non-ideal since the area covered wasn’t enough. Additionally, the app that controls the string of lights was unreliable, thus making a DIY solution necessary. His initial test involved taking a couple WS2812B strips, wrapping them around a chair, and testing out a blue to pink transition animation that is performed by an Arduino Nano and the FastLED library. That concept turned out quite well, so Haddoak moved onto the next step of integrating the lights into fabric and toying with the brightness.
Once he had finished laying out all of the hardware and fine-tuning the colors, Haddoak had used 1,200 LEDs across the entire dress. The high power consumption forced him to add a pair of battery banks that could deliver around 6A in total, and because the Arduino was only able to control a maximum of 600 LEDs before running out of memory, Haddoak also connected a second Nano for the other 600.
Although there were a couple of snags along the way, the result was incredible according to Haddoak. Watch the video below to see the color-changing dress in action and be sure to read about the fairytale project in more detail here on his blog.