View Full Version : Electroluminescent Sheets and Wires

01-30-2012, 03:03 AM
Has anyone any experience with this material? Of interest to me is the sheet material but my wife is interested in the wires. The sheets come with solderable tabs but how is the wire terminated? Are the tabs the only solderable option?

Can this stuff be cut with lasers without damaging it?

Here's a link for the curious: http://e-luminates.com/osc3/index.php?cPath=27&osCsid=26ca375e052ec626ed66e3c52a598839


There's also tape and other forms available. It requires 110AC or higher, above flicker frequency, and small battery inverters and sequencers are available.

01-30-2012, 03:57 AM
At laika we used it for practical lighting.

I don't think you are going to cut it with a laser, at least not cleanly. You can cut it with scissors but you need to seal the edges. The phosphor material is somewhat hydroscopic and moisture will weaken the effect.

But when you do cut it you need to make sure the tabs stay on as there is no other way to get to the conductive layers.

There were a few people at work that had worked on the new tron movie. They extensively used this stuff in the suits and had all sorts of problems because people did not understand how to work with it.

01-30-2012, 04:41 AM
Iv heard it has very poor life to 50% brightness.

01-30-2012, 07:12 AM
For what it's worth, regarding the life of the material, I once had a keyboard that had translucent keys and was backlit by sheet of this stuff. It saw probably an average of 4 hours of constant use per day over the period of a couple of years and it was still quite bright when I stopped using it. If it wasn't as bright as when it started, it sure wasn't by much.

I wonder if the thickness of the material affects its longevity?

01-30-2012, 07:29 AM
I have some night lights that are EL based and they have been running for several years straight and they have dimmed somewhat, but are still quite bright.

Lew Hartswick
01-30-2012, 08:52 AM
EL panels have been around for a long time. I suspect the newer stuff
has a better lifetime than the early. The "wire" is new to me though.
I wish the video had turned on the light at the end so I could see
how it was hooked up. and wat size wire is it ?

J Tiers
01-30-2012, 08:56 AM
I had a night light that was of EL material, installed in a darkish area.... one day the lights flickered due to some sort of line transient, and I heard a loud "SNAP" from the light..... it had a fair-sized burnt area in the middle, apparently the transient had broken doen the material and the short had been burnt clear again.

Cutting the sheet may cause a weak spot in the material voltage-wise... may depend on how it is cut.

01-30-2012, 10:07 AM
I played with a little of the wire a while ago for some radio controlled projects. As far as i can recall, it was about 24gauge wire with a phosphor coating, then another wire that was probably in the mid 30s gauge spiralled around it.

The sheath was stripped off, then the outer wire was unwound. The phosphor coating had to be scraped off of the inner core, and then it was easy to solder connecting wires to it. I then put 4 layers of heat shrink over all of it to stop the joint from flexing too much and the thin little wire from breaking.

01-30-2012, 11:12 AM
Lifetime is a function of what frequency is driving it. The higher the frequency, generally the brighter the wire (and to some degree the shade of color). Unfortunately, high frequencies hasten the demise of the brightness. If you drove them at 60 hz, they'd last a ridiculous amount of time, but wouldn't be very bright at all.

Most of the little battery based drivers are using around 2000 hz to drive the wire. They make a high pitched whine as they run because of how they are designed. There are several references on how to quiet them down, but none report real success.