Protect Yourself From COVID-19 in Style with the NeoPixel LED Face Mask

Albert Barber designed his face covering using 104 RGB LEDs, an ESP8266, and 3D-printed parts.

Cabe Atwell
6 months agoWearables / Lights / COVID-19

Most states in the US still require people to wear face masks when out in public to help curb the spread of COVID-19, and while some use M95 masks, others prefer a more personalized covering, such as their favorite Disney or television show character. Albert Barber (AKA splat238), on the other hand, chose the more stylish RGB route by building a custom LED mask capable of displaying a ton of different colors and patterns.

Barber designed his NeoPixel LED Face Mask around a series of WS2812B LEDs (104 in total), which allows users to control each individual LED in terms of color and strobe rate, creating almost nearly any effect imaginable. He then cut the LEDs into individual strips that conform to an airsoft mesh half mask shape and soldered the power and data lines together to drive the LEDs as if they were a single strip. Barber then added a material to diffuse the lights to make the colors more uniform when displaying different patterns.

Controlling the NeoPixel mask is a Wemos D1 Mini (ESP8266), along with three buttons to adjust settings and 41 distinct patterns, which is powered by a 1S LiPo battery that's charged via a TP4056 breakout board. The entire assembly is dropped into a 3D-printed enclosure anchored to the back of the mask straps.

Barber does acknowledge that the NeoPixel mask will prevent any exhaled moisture from escaping but suggests wearing a recommended mask underneath for extra protection. He also states that since the headgear uses an ESP8266, it's possible to control the RGB LEDs over a wireless connection, which he may implement on future revisions.

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