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Technology in Textile Electronics – Using EL Wire for Decoration

Published Jan 17, 2013 in Technology
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We stock a wide range of EL wire connectors and electroluminescent materials that can be used for different purposes. Contact us for details and place your order online today! For more information visit:

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Presentation Slides & Transcript

Presentation Slides & Transcript

Technology in Textile Electronics – Using EL Wire for Decoration

EL wire
EL wire is not just suitable for e textiles projects, its flexible nature and low power demands make it an ideal candidate for many decorative projects, both in and out of the world of electronic fashion.

El Wire for decorating stages and night clubs
The wire can be operated using AA batteries, often for hours before the power source needs to be renewed.

Around 100 metres of EL wire may be powered by AA batteries for a whole night – making the wire perfect for decorating projects that need that extra special look to them.

It also makes EL wire ideal for a range of theatrical and evening entertainment options – including decorating stages and night clubs, or creating animated signs for bars and restaurants.

Emits Cool light - no heat is generated
The light given off by the wire has another property – it has almost no heat coming out with it.

This is because EL wire is almost free from resistance. It converts almost all of the power running through it into light: hence its ability to last so long on so little energy.

With no resistance in the way of the power, no heat is generated and there is no impedance to the effect.

Colour of the light – blue, green, purple
The light given out by the wire is a blue to green colour – reminiscent of the light display seen on the surface of the ocean at night in the tropics, where krill and other tiny crustaceans flash and burn.

It must be noted that the actual luminesce provided by EL wire is not the same thing as phosphorescence in the oceans.

The phosphor coating in the wire produces the light, and is relative in some degree to the chemicals and enzymes producing the reaction in the sea – but EL wire provides a genuine electro luminescence while krill are putting out what is called bio luminescence.

The difference between electro luminescent and bioluminescence is simple enough: the first is caused when a current is passed through or over a phosphor surface; while the second is catalysed thanks to working biological processes.

Making of EL Wire
EL wire is made from two strands of copper wire – a thick copper core, coated with phosphor; and a much thinner coil, which is wrapped around both the copper core wire and the phosphor that coats it.

The power is delivered using an inverter, which for such a small power source can be practically pocket sized.

As the core wire charges it builds to a point where discharge is inevitable – the discharge passes through the phosphor coating and builds a charge in the coil wire.

The excitation and discharge of the two wires causes an AC to pass over the phosphor.

Which in turn excites its molecules unto they emit the cold-looking glow of electro luminescence.

With no heat and very little power requirements, the wire is able to last all night – perfect for even the most demanding of applications.