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13. Skin Electronics

This week was full of Christmas vibes - I created a hair accesory inspired of by the Chritmas tree.

Research & References & Inspiration

As in every week, researching begins with Fabricademy's tutorials at the assignment Skin Electronics week by Katia Vega.

The next few days I continued with the search for ideas and participation in the Arduino-ATTINY tutorials.

The skin, the hair and the nails interacts with the environment as the site of interfacing and sensing. Recent progress in skin electronics has enabled the use of the skin as the mounting object of functional devices and the signal pathway bridging humans and computers.

In the same time, I was looking for ideas what project I could accomplish this week.

For inspiration, as in every week, I searched on Pinterest.

Process and workflow

For this week we made a circuit with a light sensor.

Since I did not have a model that would allow me to experiment with various decors, applications on the skin, I decided to integrate this circuit into the hair.

The photoresistor module is useful for detecting the presence of light. The module has two LEDs, one for power and the other for comparator output. In this configuration, the circuit detects if the light exceeds a certain threshold.

The FLORA is small (1.75" diameter).

FLORA has a small but easy to use onboard reset button to reboot the system. The power supply is designed to be flexible and easy to use. There is an onboard polarized 2 JST battery connector with protection schottky diode for use with external battery packs from 3.5v to 9v DC in (It can run on 3V but 3.5V-5V or higher is ideal). Can be used with LiIon/LiPoly, LiFe, alkaline or rechargeable NiMh/NiCad batteries of any size. The FLORA does not have a LiPo charger included by design, this allows safe use with multiple battery types and reduces risk of fire as it is not recommended to charge these batteries on fabric.

FLORA has built-in USB support. Built in USB means you plug it in to program it, it just shows up. No additional purchases are needed! Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, any USB cable works great.

The necessary materials are presented below.

Scheme and circuit

According to the scheme I made the circuit.

In the following video we see how the circuit works.


The code for this circuit was written in the C++program.

int Sensor = 2;
int Led = 1;
void setup() {
  pinMode(Led, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(Sensor, INPUT);

void loop() {

   if (digitalRead(Sensor) == HIGH) {
      digitalWrite (Led, HIGH);
   if (digitalRead(Sensor) == LOW) {
      digitalWrite (Led, LOW);

Idea integration into the project

Next I attach the created circuit to the hair. FLORA, wires and batteries I hid them inside a nice hairstyle. Led a fixed to the surface for visibility. The sensor was fixed in such a way that it had access to the light from the outside, so that it could work. To work this circuit requires a 9V battery. I decided to use 3 3V batteries, which are much smaller.

Light intensity sensor modules have two LEDs, one for power and the other for comparator output. When the light intensity decreases, the LED connected to the FLORA lights up. In the following video we see how the LED lights when the photoresistor hits in the shade and when the light in the room is disconnected.

Last update: 2023-05-04