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light it up

Installing the lighting system

On a trip to Australia I was hit by a car (I rolled over the hood and was totally fine!) while walking in a neighborhood crosswalk.  This was an experience I'd love not to repeat. 

I walk a lot at night in my neighborhood (that is seriously dark at night) so I wanted to have a safety function for the coat without it looking "tech" or take away from the classic design.

Hiding the lights

I decided on installing lights for maximum visibility, however I wanted the system hidden as not to interfere with the design so I began to create a patch with some sort of 'sliced' or openings for the lights to shine through.

I made many many renditions of this cut-out design. Maybe 55? The width and length of the lines dramatically changed the final outcome once folded. Finally I arrived at a design and drafted it in Illustrator to get those lines exact!

Working with El Wire

I used a light system created by Portland based company Elumiglow that is powered by a battery pack with an on/off switch that goes in the pocket. You can see I've just laid it out in the photo above, but I sewed the lights behind the outer fabric, and punched tiny holes to let the through. 

I used the EL Tape that is made from light emitting phosphors (LEP's) which is super bright and flexible, water proof, and heat resistant! It is a really interesting material and the guys over at Elumiglow are inventing new ways to use the technology, such as a paint! Super cool stuff!


After 4 months of wear, I managed to short out the wires connecting the El tape to the battery pack :( I swapped the tape out for the new Vynel tape and cotton taping wire system and smaller battery pack. I'll sew it in making sure the wires are not along any pressure point and see how it holds up.

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