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Welcome to the wonderful world of EL Wire! EL Wire has been used in countless applications from costuming to arts and crafts. Below is a brief guide to help get the most out of your EL Wire project.
While EL Wire has been known to be used for costuming, it’s relatively fragile nature means you need to think about the costume and application process up front. Many costuming issues can be avoided by reading this guide thoroughly.
EL Wire is very flexible, but it is also delicate. Too many back and forth bends in any one spot will make the tiny angel hair wires located in the wire to break and cause your wire to short out. When using in costuming applications, we recommend keeping the EL Wire free from knees and elbows. This will keep your EL Wire lasting far longer and minimize your frustration.
EL Wire can be powered by either battery pack or inverter that plugs into a wall outlet. Each inverter or battery is rated for a specific range, like 15-30ft of EL Wire. Make sure when ordering your EL Wire that you get an appropriate inverter that falls within your EL Wire length. EL Wire inverters or battery packs don’t care if it uses multiple wires or a single strand, however keep in mind the TOTAL length of wire (combined) is what you should select your battery pack for. For example, one 20ft section of EL Wire requires the same battery pack as twenty 1ft sections of EL Wire. We offer a multitude of splitters so many strands of EL Wire can be combined to one battery pack or inverter.
What is EL Wire? EL Wire is a thin copper wire wrapped in the element Phosphor. There are two electrodes in the wire; a thicker copper core wire, and two tiny little angle hair wires. These essentially created a positive and negative, similar to other electronics. When a high voltage and frequency are applied to the EL Wire, it creates a beautiful glow. EL Wire is flexible, efficient and all kinds of fun. It requires an inverter to operate, which operates on a frequency between 400-2000Hz. This tends to be in our audible range, so depending on the battery or inverter you are using, you may hear a high pitched frequency when operating.
Does EL Wire Need An Inverter? Yes. All Electroluminescent material needs an inverter to operate. The inverter sends a specific voltage and frequency throughout the panel which excites the phosphor particles inside the wire creating the beautiful glow.
Can EL Wire Be Cut? Yes, EL Wire can be cut at any point along the line and will continue to glow to the point where it is cut. We recommend to cut at a 30° angle and immediately after cutting to apply an end cap to the wire. This will keep debris and moisture out of the wire and keep it lasting time after time.
My EL Wire Stopped Working, What Can I Do?
There are two common ways that the EL Wire stops working; The first is the angle hair wires at the end of the wire get pinched together and short out the wire. This is by far the most common issue. The good news is it’s a simple fix. Simply cut off the end of the wire (typically ¼” – ½” off the end of the wire does the trick. Remember to put a dab of glue or end cap back on the wire to keep any moisture out!
The second most common way EL Wire stops working is because the connection area (where the black wiring meets the EL Wire) becomes disconnected and stops working. A common way to tell if this is the culprit is to turn on your battery pack, and gently squeeze the black heat shrink tubing where the connection is and roll back and forth between your fingers. If you see intermittent flashing, then you need to redo your connection. For information on how to connect EL Wire, visit our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/Ellumiglow
Can EL Wire Customized? Yes, We offer custom EL Wire for many different applications. If you have a project in mind, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help. We offer both custom cutting and connecting services as well as custom EL Wire profiles.
Do You Make Custom EL Wire Inverters?
Yes, for any custom inquiries or bulk purchases, please contact us via phone or email.
How Can I Get EL Wire Brighter?
EL Wire does have a brightness threshold which is limited by the Electroluminescent phosphors used. This brightness is usually measured in candela per meter, and typically reaches its maximum brightness around 100-150cd/m. If you are looking for a brighter illuminated wire, we recommend checking out Laser Wire® brand cable. It has a virtually unlimited brightness but typically ranges in brightness from 500-1500cd/m.