Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 18, 2013.


Rave Shades are a pair of glasses with 160 LED's on them. They can display scrolling text and customized animations.

What are Rave Shades?

Rave Shades are a pair of glasses with a led matrix built into them. 

Unlike other led glasses, this kit uses larger 3 mm LEDs which offers a superior visual effect when animations are played. Not only that, our kit has a wopping 24 x 8 led matrix to provide more detailed text and animations. 

There are 160 individually addressable LEDs that work together to display scrolling text, custom animations and much more. Rave Shadesare a kit that requires self-assembly with tools used for basic electronics, like a soldering iron, wire cutters, and a glue gun. The assembly instructions can be found here. 

The glasses running an animation sequence.
The glasses running an animation sequence.

The system is based around the arduino platform and utilizes the compact size of the Nano V3.0. Not only does this mean that you can hack your glasses to work with sensors and other devices, but you have access to whole arduino community for support with your ideas.

Partially assembled driver circuit
Partially assembled driver circuit
The silk screen that shows how to orientate the arduino.
The silk screen that shows how to orientate the arduino.

So what exactly do I get in this kit?

The kit includes all the parts that are necessary to make a working pair of led glasses. They are as follows:

  • 1X Arduino Nano
  • 1X Glasses PCB
  • 1X Led Driver PCB
  • 160X Blue leds + (10 spare, just in case)
  • 4X driver chips
  • 8X transistors
  • 24X 82R resistors
  • 8X 1K resistors
  • 2 ft. of Ribbon cable (approx.)
  • 1X Battery box for 4AA batteries.

Even though all components that are required are included, there are still some D.I.Y improvements that you could make. Maybe a fabric pouch for the driver circuit or foam backing on the boards. More information can be found on the assembly instructable.

Some of the tools and parts used to create the glasses.
Some of the tools and parts used to create the glasses.

Do I need to know electronics to make this kit myself?

In truth, no you do not. I have done the electronics and written the source code, all you need to do is solder it together. Of course you will need the tools to do so, but soldering is sort of like drawing. Everyone can do it but it takes practice. Just be sure to follow the assembly instructions closely and watch any recommended videos. 

Some experience with soldering is advised. So you could buy a cheap kit from someone like Velleman and do some practice soldering.

Where did the project originate from?

In march 2011 I created a daft punk themed LED helmet . I was really pleased with how it came out, but I wanted a more practical version. 

In January 2012, I created my EL-EE-DEE glasses which were featured on the homepage of Instructables. There was a massive boom in interest, however they took me about 3 weeks to build and therefore I couldn't make enough of them to feed the demand. I decided to create a product that would allow enthusiastic people to make their own kit without all the hardship the previous version. 

EL-EE-DEE Glasses
EL-EE-DEE Glasses

In late 2012, I created the first pair of "easy to assemble" LED glasses (shown below). They were similar to the current version but they didn't look as good because of their shape and the use of cheap and nasty LEDs.

The name was changed from Radiant Rims to Rave Shades
The name was changed from Radiant Rims to Rave Shades

The current model, 2013: I have a complete prototype, ready for manufacture but I need to make a minimum of 10 per batch in order to lower the cost. 

The Rave Shades printed circuit boards
The Rave Shades printed circuit boards

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As with any other project, there have been some risks to take and challenges to overcome. As I am student studying to be an Electronic Engineer, I have used this insight when designing the product. I cannot see a reason for any hic-ups to occur but will keep you up to date with any news.

Risks to you, as a backer: (Please Read)

The Rave Shades kit is just that, a kit. While we strive to provide detailed and useful instructions, we cannot guarantee that you will assemble the kit correctly. For this reason and this reason alone we cannot offer any warranties or guarantees. That said, we are very reachable and can be contacted if you need help:


  • You certainly can. There is an array of viewing holes that allow you to see pretty clearly.

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    You really like the idea and would like to support the project. By doing so, we will put your name on our contributors page as a huge thank you.

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    You would like your very own kit to assemble by yourself. Instructions can be found here:

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    You would like to have red or white leds with your kit instead of blue ones. Instructions found here:

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