LumiNet: An organic illumination network

LumiNet is a network of low-cost intelligent pixels that are connected in an organic fashion: Without a central point of control, each node only knows about its immediate neighbors, allowing for highly parallel, fault-tolerant networks in which information spreads from node to node.

Each node consists of an RGB LED, microcontroller, and connectors to its neighbors. Sensors attached to nodes may inject stimuli into the network.

New behaviors are injected into the network from a single vector node attached anywhere in the network, in a viral fashion we dubbed "programming by infection".

LumiNet nodes can be used in academia to teach concepts ranging from simple tree algorithms, to wave equations, to swarming behavior, but they are also designed to easily create wearable light-up body networks. Multiple people wearing LumiNets can connect over the air using Send/Receive nodes.

The team

Jan Borchers - idea, hardware board design
René Bohne - programming by infection code
Gero Herkenrath - IR Send/Receive nodes
Ina Rixen - clothes design and sewing

Node design

LumiNet Pin Mapping


It is possible to use ATtiny2313 microcontrollers with the modified Arduino IDE. Download the ATtiny2313 Arduino core with interrupt support (rb) Important: this core is not compatible to Arduino0018. Please rename the file main.cxx to main.cpp and add this line to the beginning of the file:

More detailed software documentation: René Bohne's Master's thesis on LumiNet

Application - The Jacket

Node Configuration Lit up Worn by a participant at the
Smart Fashion Aachen Workshop

LumiNet Jacket demo videos

First LumiNet video (Burning Man 2008): (download Link):
WDR Lokalzeit report on Dorkbot opening showing two LumiNet jackets communicating ( download Link):


Media coverage

What people say about LumiNet:

Other projects


Lilith created a bracelet with one LumiNet node and eight LEDs. She sewed everything to fabric and used conductive thread for the electrical connections. Each single LED uses a dedicated LumiNet Pin, so the bracelet can generate different blinking patterns.

Girls' Day 2010

For Girls' Day 2010 the girls made smart T-Shirts with a LumiNet node powered by a coin cell battery.

Related pages

LumiNet timeline

For a more dated overview of the LumiNet history check the LumiNet timeline.

Internal project pages (restricted access).

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