Brighten Your Style: How to Attach LED Lights to Clothes

About Brighten Your Style, Are you planning on standing out at an event but don’t know how to attach LED lights to clothes? 

Or are you planning on promoting your brand but finding it difficult to do so with LED lights? 

You can attach LED lights to your clothes with a simple do-it-yourself project. The greater challenge is getting a perfect design with the right message.

 If you are wondering how to do so, you are in the right place. 

Today’s piece examines LED lights, how to attach them to clothes, and precautions. Let’s get going. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Attaching LED Lights to Clothes

Winter sweaters on a chair with Christmas decorations

(Winter sweaters on a chair with Christmas decorations)

The process you’ll take to attach LED lights to clothes depends on factors including: 

  • Your comfort while wearing the clothes
  • The type of fabric
  • The effect you desire to create

Moreover, planning the design and placement of lights on your clothes is essential before beginning to ensure a smooth integration. 

Generally, people prefer to sew LED lights onto their clothes using thread and a needle. 

The advantage of sewing is that the threads are soft and won’t feel uncomfortable on your body. 

Second, others prefer fabric glue as it is easier to apply. Here are the steps for a successful fabric LED lights project.

Design Your Installation

Begin by designing the shapes and patterns you want to achieve with your LED lights. 

For instance, you may be going to a birthday party and would like the word “Happy birthday” on your fabric. 

Moreover, you may be going to a technology expo and would prefer to have your brand name on your fabric.

 Either way, after designing, transfer your blueprint onto the fabric. 

Cut Holes Through the Fabric

The next step involves marking where you cut holes to feed the LED lights. Remember, The wiring connections of your LED lights run on the inside of your clothing. 

Therefore, the only visible parts to the rest of the population are the LED lights. 

Determine the Lights You Need

Multi-color LED string lights

(Multi-color LED string lights)

LED lights have unique lighting characteristics that vary from one brand to another. For example, depending on your preference, you may choose white, RGB, or RGBW LEDs

Additionally, you may opt for lights that change colors depending on specific signals they receive. 

The signals may be music, clapping hands, or a change in posture. 

Cut the LED Lights

After picking your LED lights, the subsequent process involves cutting the wiring connections to match your design. 

Here, ensure you cut precisely while leaving a few extra inches on the edges of each light. 

Additionally, if your design is complex, forcing you to cut several sections of the light string, ensure you have a soldering gun. 

The reason is that you may need to solder some sections together to complete your design. 

Attach the LED Lights to the Fabric

At this stage, attach your LED lights to your fabric using fabric glue or a thread and needle. 

When using the latter option, you only need to put the LED lights through the small holes you cut earlier. 

Afterward, sew the LED light into position much like you would a button on your shirt or trouser. 

If you opt for the fabric glue, put the LED through the hole and hold it in place using the glue. 

However, as the glue hardens, it can be uncomfortable on the skin, meaning you should attach a small piece of fabric to the LED light’s underside. 

Optional Soldering

If you plan to have a permanent design on your fabric, it’s better to solder it in place. For this step, you will need wire strippers, cutters, solder, and a soldering iron

Generally, soldering works best for non-wearable fabric, as the wiring connection can sometimes be uncomfortable on human skin. 

Afterward, test the LED lights to see if they are operational.

Conceal the Battery and Controls

After you are done with your installation, find a comfortable place to house your LED light’s power supply. 

Typically, you may use a pack of small alkaline batteries or any alternatives that aren’t too cumbersome to walk around with.  

Tips and Precautions for Attaching LED Lights to Clothing

Performers wearing clothes with LED lights

(Performers wearing clothes with LED lights)

Tips and precautions for attaching LED lights to a fabric include:

First, design your installation before beginning your project to reduce errors that may damage your clothing. 

Second, ensure to purchase the right type and size of LED lights, as many variants exist in the market. 

Third, use a strong adhesive to keep your LED lights in place even when moving around. 

Fourth, keeping an extra set of batteries as a backup is essential when going to an event. 

Fifth, ensure no loose connections or parts of your LED lights touch your clothes.

 In other words, the part you should attach to your cloth is the plastic part of the LED. 

Different Methods to Secure LED Lights onto Fabric

A yellow thread, a needle, and a jeans fabric

(A yellow thread, a needle, and a jeans fabric)

There are many methods to attach your LED lights to your fabric. However, not all these methods ensure a safe and firm connection. 

Here, we are looking at the best methods you can adopt.

  • Sewing using a needle and common or conductive thread
  • Conductive adhesives like conductive fabric glue and silver conductive epoxy
  • Heat bonding using heat-activated adhesives
  • Velcro or hook-and-loop fasteners
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Fabric snaps or buttons


Why attach LED lights to clothes?

LED lights are some of the smallest light sources on the market, making them perfect for fabric installation.

 In contrast, fluorescent and incandescent lights are too big and unsuitable for the project. 

Furthermore, LEDs are energy efficient, meaning you can power them for long periods using small power sources like the alkaline battery. 

Thirdly, the lights are rugged and can withstand shocks and vibrations better than traditional light sources. 

Fourth, LED lights for fabric installation are lightweight, making them easier to hide without adding too much weight. 

Fifth, LEDs produce significantly less heat when compared to traditional light sources. 

What supplies and materials will I need?

Your LED lights project determines the supplies and materials you will need. Generally, the materials include: 

  • Wire cutters
  • LED lights
  • Wire strippers
  • A pair of scissors
  • Thread and a needle
  • Chalk/ marker pen
  • Fabric glue

Use wire cutters to cut the wiring connections to the perfect length. Always leave a few extra inches of wire to accommodate any design flexibilities.

 Use the wire strippers to strip the insulation from the wires before connecting or soldering to your LED terminals. 

Moreover, use chalk to mark out where you will cut into your cloth using a pair of scissors.

 The openings are where you will pass LED lights through while the wiring connections remain on the inside. 

What LED types can one attach to clothes?

LED lights must satisfy specific parameters for wearable clothes to make them suitable for fabric installation. Among these factors are:

  • They must be lightweight and contribute less to the overall weight of your cloth
  • They must be energy efficient and powerable by small batteries
  •  Preferably easy to solder and tough to break
  • Not too bright 

Therefore, the following LED types satisfy the above conditions: 

  • First, Surface Mount Device (SMD) LEDs
  • Second, string LED lights
  • Third, neopixel LEDs (WS2812 or WS2812B)
  • Fourth, light-Up buttons or patches


The most popular lights to attach to your clothes are the string LEDs. 

They are very lightweight and have easy-to-assemble wiring connections making them a perfect choice for DIY projects. 

Additionally, they consume less power than traditional light sources meaning you can power them even with a coin-cell battery.

 If you have bigger projects, choose SMD LEDs to attach to your cloth. 

Remember, LED lights are electrical systems that shouldn’t come into contact with water; otherwise, you will end up short-circuiting them.