Everybody relies on the use of lamps, lightbulbs, and other light-producing devices on a daily basis. As a society, we’ve graduated from lighting our homes with candles to lighting our homes and business with high-tech, artificial light.
Most of this light we use on a daily basis is the result of the thermal conversion of electrical power into light. This means that heat is created in the action of producing light.
But there are other ways to produce light, such as using an EL wire kit. EL lighting is a different type of lighting altogether. You’ll find it used in devices with display screens, such as digital watches, medical screens, computer monitors, and more.
Wondering what exactly EL lighting is and why you should invest in an EL wire strip kit? Keep reading to find out why EL lighting is worth it.
What Is EL Lighting?
EL lighting, otherwise known as electroluminescent lighting, doesn’t depend on a thermal conversion in order to produce light. It produces light without creating heat.
EL lights require the use of AC or alternating current power sources. This means you can plug it into a wall or use a portable AC battery.
The power passes through a layer of phosphor, which is what produces light. Phosphors are fluorescent or phosphorescent substances that radiate light when hit with energy.
It’s this radiation of light through the phosphor that produces the glow associated with EL lighting. The glow produced with EL lights is not bright or powerful like normal lighting sources, such as LED lighting or incandescent lighting.
As a result, you won’t see EL lights used as general room lighting. Rather, they create products that glow in low-light conditions. Rather than acting as a light source, they often act as safety devices or decor, or are used in entertainment to create special or ambient effects.
Types of EL Lighting
When it comes to using EL lights, there are different forms you’ll come across. Here are the most common.
EL lighting is commonly used in panels and display screens. Think of a watch or a digital clock in your home. When the lighting is low, it can be hard to see.
EL lighting used in these types of devices makes it so that the screen or display glows bright enough to see without being too bright, like a flashlight. They illuminate the information on the screen.
Another use that most people are familiar with is exit signs. Think about commercial buildings. If you look around a facility, such as a store, a hospital, or a warehouse, you’ll notice neon-colored exit signs placed above many of the doors.
In the event of an emergency when the power goes out and visibility is gone, these signs will glow bright enough to lead people to the exits in order to evacuate the building. These signs, thanks to their EL light source, are reliable, dependable, and distinguishable in any scenario.
And because EL lighting doesn’t produce heat, these types of lights can run constantly.
You can also use EL lights as tape. You can apply this thick, adhesive tape to anything that you want to glow in the dark.
Use it to line the floor of hallways or to create unique effects on a retail display. Many individuals use EL tape to make their personal items glow in the dark, such as on their bicycles for nighttime riding.
You can also use it on clothing, hats, backpacks, or anything else that you want to create special effects with. You can either use EL tape indoors or outdoors if you opt for more durable, waterproof tape.
You can buy it or cut it into different shapes and lengths. But just like with other EL lighting products, the tape needs to connect to a power source in order to produce consistent light. Luckily, these power sources can be small, portable, and easy to install out of the way.
Yes, you can use paint that glows in the dark. But rather than a glow-in-the-dark paint that doesn’t produce consistent light, You can apply EL paint to almost anything.
And while you can’t plug the paint into anything, you can still apply an electric charge to the paint using a special type of inverter. This means you can create products of any size and shape that can glow consistently.
It’s perfect for applications that are too complex for EL tape or panels. EL paint is applied in four layers, which creates an end result that glows bright and lasts a long time. You can customize it in limitless ways to create different colors and effects.
And of course, we have EL wires, which are the most popular way to use EL light sources. Most people choose an EL wire starter kit, which are long, flexible spools of wires that are plugged into a portable AC battery.
You can wrap them around anything to create a glowing effect. They are super easy to use or install anywhere. Most common is a green EL wire kit, though many different colors are available.
You can choose EL wire kits in many different lengths, such as 6, 10, 25 feet, or more. Longer wire kits are generally used for permanent lighting projects and typically come with a cord to plug into a wall outlet, though you can also choose a portable, battery-powered AC unit.
EL wire kits are very affordable, giving you the creative liberty to add a lighting source to virtually any project, from costumes to stage design, and everything in between. To see just how many options are available when it comes to EL wires, check out Ellumiglow.
Top Reasons to Use an EL Wire Kit
Wondering why you should choose an EL wire kit over other light sources for your next creative project? Here are five good benefits to consider.
1. Low Wattage and Long Life
In general, one of the biggest benefits of using EL lighting is that it produces light at a very low wattage. This means it uses very little power to illuminate.
So whether it’s plugged into the wall or uses batteries, you won’t be wasting money to power your lights. You can use them liberally and use them for projects that remain powered on for long periods of time.
That’s why this type of lighting is commonly used in applications that run 24/7, such as emergency exit signs and panels, digital clocks, and many more.
Plus, the process of producing EL light is low impact, so your EL lights will last a very long time. You won’t have to constantly buy more EL lights, as you often have to do with incandescent lights or glow-in-the-dark products.
A typical EL light can often be used for thousands of hours before the brightness diminishes. Even once it begins to lose its brightness, it’ll still continue to function for much longer while proving to still be useful.
2. They’re Flexible
One of the main benefits of using EL lighting, particularly with wires or tape, is that it’s super flexible. It can bend, twirl, and be shaped in any way you can imagine.
This gives you total creative control in how these lights are applied to a project. For example, you can wrap an EL wire around a stair rail, a bicycle frame, or a vehicle. They can also be used in and on clothing to illuminate yourself as you wear an athletic outfit at nighttime or when needing to make a costume that glows.
When it comes to personal applications, EL wires are most commonly used as wearable lighting. You don’t have to worry about it cracking or breaking, as it can move with your body without restriction.
3. Used to Create Objects That Glow
Using EL wires, you can make any object glow. The most common uses are making clothing, sporting goods, or recreational vehicles glow.
Those that enjoy the peace and quiet of a nighttime bike ride know how important it is to stay illuminated out there. Yes, you should be using proper bike lights. But when it’s completely dark outside, you shouldn’t be using one small light.
When you’re using a bicycle tail light, for example, drivers don’t know what you are and can’t determine your shape. And one small light source can be easy to miss.
But if you couple this with an EL wire that can be safely wrapped around your frame, as well as your helmet or backpack, you become much more visible. Plus, drivers will be able to identify your shape more easily, making it easier to know you’re a cyclist and they’ll steer clear.
Likewise, runners can use EL wires to create glowing clothing or simply wrap the wire around their torso. You can light up your shirt, running bag, vest, hat, or any other piece of clothing.
And aside from athletics, EL lighting is very popular when it comes to making costumes. People that frequent music festivals often love using EL wires to create unique outfits that allow them to stand out in the crowd.
4. Spruce up the Show
EL wires are commonly used to create unique effects for retail displays, tradeshow booths, and stages at events and concerts. The many different color and brightness options allow designers to create any effects desired, drawing attention.
Because it can be shaped in any way possible, EL wires can be used to spell names, create designs, or outline people and other shapes. You can use it to decorate things like amplifiers or instruments, signs, tables, stages, platforms, stairs, and many other things. There’s no limit to what you can illuminate with EL wires.
Plus, most EL wire kits provide you with multiple running modes. For example, you can have the lights on at all times, or you can have the lights flash fast or slow, depending on the application.
One of the biggest benefits of using an EL wire kit is the fact that it’s portable. Most are connected to a small, portable inverter that takes normal batteries.
That means you can take it anywhere and illuminate anything without being hardwired to an electrical outlet. EL lighting can become a constant light source on a camping trip, boat, run, or anywhere else you need light.
How to Buy EL Lighting
Interested in trying EL wires for your next creative project? They’re affordable and super easy to buy. Here are the buying factors to consider.
The first choice you’ll get to make is color. EL wires typically come in neon colors, such as green, yellow, pink, orange, and blue. You can buy multiple different ones to add different hues to your project, as each wire can only contain a single color.
Note that the color of the wire when it’s not powered is very different from the color it produces when turned on. Don’t be confused when you receive your wire to find that the shade isn’t what you thought. Just plug it in to see what it really looks like.
You can purchase EL wire kits in many different lengths. The most common sizes are 6, 15, and 25 feet, which are usually more than enough for most non-commercial applications.
Those looking for custom-made solutions can work with a provider to create longer or larger products.
Most consumer-based EL wires will utilize a portable AC power source that takes a couple of batteries. But if you’re installing a more permanent wire, you can opt for a wall plug-in so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries.
You can even choose EL wires that are activated by sound. When the sound-activation mode is utilized, your EL wire can respond to music or voices, creating a fun, unique effect.
There Are Limitless Uses for EL Wires
There are so many fun uses for an EL wire kit. And since they’re so affordable these days, there’s no reason not to give them a try. Anyone and everyone can find an interesting use for these wires, whether you’re creating a custom costume or just want to light up your bike or bedroom.
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