» Translucent plastic tubing, about 12'
I used HDPE plastic, ¾" outer diameter
x 0.75 wall, “natural” color, product
The tubing must be translucent so
that light can be emitted from within,
and HDPE’s natural color is a translucent milky white. It must be stiff, yet
easy to bend in a circle. The diameter is
an important consideration: ¾" tubing
is less expensive but trickier to fit the
circuit and battery into, while 1" tubing
costs more but gives more options for
batteries and their holders. A common
package length is 100', enough for
almost 10 hoops.
» Barbed pipe fitting to match tubing
diameter, from the plumbing or garden
section of a hardware store
» White electrical tape
» Switch Almost any kind will do, so long
as it fits into the hoop.
» 3.6V lithium CMOS battery with
» LEDs ( 21) of any color, including
» 22-gauge wire with white insulation
» Stiff wire like an unbent coat hanger
» PVC pipe cutter
» Measuring tape
» Razor blade
» Soldering iron and solder
» Wire cutters
» Needlenose pliers
» Epoxy or hot glue (optional)
1. Create the “rails” for the circuit.
a. Determine the circumference of your hoop. This
example is 126", or 10½', for a 40" diameter, same
size as a pro hoop (Wham-O’s hoops are 30"– 36").
Cut 2 lengths of the insulated wire at least that length
plus 1' tails to help thread the circuit into the hoop.
Mark 1 length of wire where each LED will be placed.
The 21 LEDs in this hoop were spaced every 6".
b. Mark the second wire with the same intervals, but
offset 2" from those on the first wire. After all the
marks are made on both wires, use a razor blade
to strip about ½" of insulation at each mark. The
“railroad ties” set into the “rails” will be diagonal.
This technique has advantages. When the wires
are inserted into the tube, and the rails are pressed
close together, each contact has insulated wire
against it, instead of another contact. If spaced
right, the rails are unable to short-circuit against
each other. (As insurance, cover everything with
electrical tape to prevent catastrophic shorts.)