EL Wire, also known as Electroluminescent wire is a stiff wire core coated with phosphor and then covered with a protective PVC sheath. When an AC signal is applied to it, it glows an aqua (blue green) color. You can make it look different colors by changing the coating, for example this is a vivid blue. It looks a little like thin neon. Very bendable, it keeps its shape and you can curl it around your finger. Its an easy way to add some glow to a project, not as bright as LEDs but uses a lot less power!
Adafruit have got 2.6mm thickness EL wire, with a blue coat, pre-cut and soldered to a standard quick-connect EL wire. It is made with the latest technology and twice as bright as 'standard' 2.3mm EL - running it at 1.5KHz/90V it emits 82 cd/m^2 or light and a half-life (50% brightness reduction) after 3000 hours of continuous use. Draws about 10mA per meter. The capacitance is about twice that of 'standard' EL, 11 nF/m so if you're using an inverter, it will drive only half as much high brightness wire as standard.
Often used for costuming, decoration, accent lighting, safety vests, bicycle/motorcycle/car/boat/home decoration, signs, etc! This wire is not designed explicitly for outdoor use so it will fade if continuously exposed to UV.
To use, the wire must be connected to an inverter that provides an AC supply of approximately 100V at 2000 Hz. An inverter is not included! This wire is 250 cm long which is the maximum that can be driven by Adafruit's handy 2xAA portable pocket inverter The full length draws 200mA from the 2xAA batteries (so 2000mAh batteries will last ~10 hours if on 'constant' mode)
Adafruit used EL wire to make Adafruit's awesome TRON bag so check it out for ideas
This is a pre-cut, pre-soldered, 250 cm long piece of EL You can plug this right into an inverter and get glowing in seconds, and if you want to do something a little more complex, cut and resolder it as desired. Soldering to EL wire is a little tricky but luckily Adafruit wrote a detailed step-by-step tutorial! To cut and re-solder EL, you'll need wire strippers, a soldering iron & solder, copper tape and heat shrink. A third-hand tool is really useful as well.
Please note! EL tape, EL wire and EL panel are made with different processes - the color and brightness will not be consistent between the different types of EL products. The EL tape will not match the EL wire or EL panel exactly, they all will be slightly different colors.
EL wire changes brightness depending on the coating, drive frequency and amplitude. Please check the datasheet for color/brightness variation specifications!
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Documentation and Resources:
- The Maker Revolution
The Maker Revolution celebrates the creation of new devices and the modification of existing ones - the transition from a consumer buying goods to eventually having a major part in their creation. The Maker Revolution places strong emphasis on free (...
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