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This is one way to dress 'flashy'

The decal of a sound-activated, light-up T-shirt.

The decal of a sound-activated, light-up T-shirt. Credit: Ian J. Stark

When getting dressed for a party, a concert or a night at a club, there is often much thought put into what sort of clothing will be worn – and depending on the event, the decision of what to wear can range from a button-down top and jeans to pieces of costly haute couture -- all put on to make sure that if you are going to be seen, you will be looking good.

But sometimes, one chooses to don the trendiest, loudest duds available to let everyone know you are going to personally help get that party started.

If you are operating under that latter intention, and looking for an accessory that will absolutely attract attention, there is an item out there that fits the bill: the sound-activated, light-up T-shirt.

Actually, the garment itself does not “light up,” but instead the clothing has an affixed decal that utilizes something called “electroluminescence.” A basic definition of electroluminescence involves a release of light due to contact with an electric current -- and yes, when wearing a light-up T, you are indeed plugged in … but not to an outlet. Instead, the decal has a bit of wiring (that runs unseen under the shirt) attached to a battery pack, which in this case holds two AAA batteries.

All that’s left to do is to turn on the battery pack, and suddenly you have a shirt that responds to the beat of whatever music is playing with flashing lights of various colors -- and there is even a volume control that allows the wearer to make the decal less or more sensitive to noise. Decal art includes equalizers, headphones, logos and other designs (watch a dancer wearing some light-up gear HERE).

The shirts are available on numerous websites, and in several patterns (search “light up T-shirt” on YouTube for more than a few examples). Companies that are advertising the shirts for sale online -- as well as light-up hats, hoodies, gloves and other products -- include Light My Shirt (, Nite Life T-Shirts ( and LightupDecal (

A last note: keep in mind that while these products are very entertaining to wear and view, some club, lounge and venue owners may not share in that opinion, so be sure to call ahead (or at least bring an extra shirt) before simply showing up with your flashing gear. Also remember that batteries and wires are involved, so although the voltage is very low, be sure to review the product before putting a light-up decal on a child. Otherwise, there is no question that anyone wearing a shirt or other article of clothing upgraded by a sound-activated, light-up decal will easily be the center of attention whenever testing that aforementioned explanation of electroluminescence on a dance floor.


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