Q: What is EL Wire?
A: EL Wire is a light source based on the technology of electroluminescence. It is the only linear light source in the world available in the form of a wire coming in many colors, small diameters and continuous lengths varying from inches to thousands of feet. When the appropriate electric current is applied to EL Wire, the flexible wire shines beautifully in a glow very similar to a neon light. Amazingly, one thousand yards of EL Wire consumes the energy of just one ordinary light bulb!
Q: What is the thickness of EL Wire?
A: The EL Wire thicknesses are:
- Thin Diameter – 1.3 mm (0.05in) – for usages requiring flexibility
- General Purpose – 2.3mm (0.09in) – for common indoors usage
- Outdoors – 3.2mm (0.13in) – for outdoors usage
- Thick Diameter – 5.0mm (0.2in) – for applications requiring presence of the wire, especially when the wire is not lit.
- Double – 2.8 x 3.5mm (0.11x 0.14in) – for usages requiring long lengths
Q: What are the available colors of EL Wire?
A: EL Wire is available for indoor applications in the following colors:
- Blood Red
Q: Can the colors of EL Wire be changed during operation?
A: The Blue-Green EL Wire is unique in its ability to change its color. When the input voltage frequency is changed, a shift in color occurs. When operated using frequencies of up to 1KHz, EL Wire is green, higher frequencies than 1KHz produce a blue appearance. This phenomenon can be used to create interesting and attractive effects.
Q: How bright is EL Wire?
A: EL Wire is bright enough for accent lighting and decorative purposes. From dusk onwards EL Wire is quite obvious, getting more noticeable with nightfall.
Tips on additional ways to increase the general brightness of EL Wire:
* Increasing the voltage / frequency causes an increase in brightness.
* Laying two EL Wire wires side by side or using the double wire results in greater brightness.
* Applying reflective paint under the EL Wire wire (in a sign, for instance) achieves an increase in glow.
The typical brightness is 70 Nit (800 Hz, 100 V)
Q: Do the length and configuration of EL Wire used affect the type of inverter used?
A: To achieve the greatest efficiency, the inverter must be matched to the characteristics of EL Wire. The EL Wire parameters involved are: resistance and capacitance. Wire length determines both of these parameters. Therefore, there are various inverters designed to drive different EL Wire length ranges.
Q: How do changes in input affect the brightness?
A: Voltage: The brightness increases when the voltage is increased. The range of the internal voltage that EL Wire operates at is 50-130VAC (RMS).
Frequency: When the frequency is increased, the brightness increases. The range of frequencies that EL Wire operates at is virtually unlimited. Common frequencies are 50-5000Hz.
Q: Is there a limit as to how much current flows through EL Wire?
A: There is a limit on the amount of current allowed to flow through EL Wire Current of up to 100mA is allowed.
Q: What is the typical current drop through EL Wire?
A: The typical current drop is in the magnitude of 1 mA/foot and it depends on input voltage and frequency combination.
Q: What are the typical voltage levels to operate EL Wire?
A: The typical voltage levels are 80-120 RMS. However, the current drop is minimal enabling either DC battery based operation via an inverter or direct connection (with proper precautions) to an electrical outlet.
Q: To what degree can EL Wire be bent, twisted and stretched?
A: EL Wire is very flexible and can be bent, twisted and stretched into many shapes. Yet there is a limit to these actions that must not be passed, in order to prevent harm to the wire structure.
Bending limit: The bending diameter must be at least 5 times greater than the wire diameter: e.g. 0.09” diameter wires can be bent to a minimum bending diameter of 0.45”.
Twisting limit: The maximum twisting angle is 30 degrees per yard of wire.
Stretching limit: Stretching of EL Wire is allowed when using a power of up to 1 Kg.
Q: What is the lifetime of EL Wire?
A: The useful lifetime depends mostly on the frequency and voltage inputs. The higher the frequency and voltage, the greater is the initial brightness. On the other hand, the lifetime is shortened when the frequency is increased.
In most cases the useful lifetime of EL Wire is defined by the time until the wire reaches 30% of its initial brightness. The EL Wire brightness decay process is very gradual. Therefore even after the point that the useful lifetime is reached, the wire still emits light for a much longer time, with brightness gradually decreasing:
- When EL Wire is operated using a frequency of 60 Hz and a voltage of 110V continuously, the useful lifetime will be ~25,000 hours.
- When EL Wire is operated using a frequency of 400 Hz and a voltage of 120V continuously, the useful lifetime will be ~3,500 hours.
- When EL Wire is operated using a frequency of 2,000 Hz and a voltage of 120V continuously, the useful lifetime will be ~1,000 hours.
Q: What can EL Wire be used for?
A: Accent lighting, decoration, marking, safety and signage.
Q: In what form is EL Wire available?
A: EL Wire is available in spools of 250m (820 ft) lengths. EL Wire wires ranging from several inches to approximately a foot use inverters operating on coin-cell batteries. Wires ranging from several to hundreds of feet operate on a range of higher power inverters.
Q: How is EL Wire used in portable applications?
A: For portable applications, KiteLight offers a variety of inverters (also called drivers). An inverter is a small electric device operated by DC voltage. The inverter’s function is to convert the continuous DC voltage into changing AC voltage that is necessary for the operating of EL Wire.
Q: What are the configurations available when using EL Wire?
A: EL Wire can be cut to the size you need. Any combination of the eleven existing EL Wire colors may be soldered together. Wires of different colors may be attached to each other either in series or in parallel to each other. One may also attach the wire to an ordinary electric wire.
Q: What fixings are currently available?
A: 1) 5 types of profiles
2) Embedding into other products (such as signs and dashboards)
3) Gluing onto surfaces of any shape.
4) Cable Tracker Stapler – with wire shaped staples
Q: What are the recommended tools for working with EL Wire?
- Needle nose pliers or “Easy 2 strip” stripper (for stripping)
- Soldering equipment
- Shrinkable tube
- Heat gun
- Power leads (standard electric wire)
Q: Can EL Wire be installed without training?
A: You don’t need a special professional background in order to install EL Wire wires into the application you choose for them. All you need is basic training, an ordinary electric outlet and some tools.
Q: Why EL Wire over neon, LED and fiber optics (emitting light from the sides)?
A: In contrast to neon, LED and fiber optics, EL Wire is:
- Energy saving
- Less expensive
- Easy to install
- Cool to the touch
- Available in many colors
- Available in continuous lengths (range: several inches to thousands of feet, cm – Km)
- Powered by either batteries or house outlets
- Suitable for ornaments and jewelry
- Can be cut and spliced
- Enables braiding or looping
Q: Particularly regarding safety clothing in close proximity to the body, how does the product radiation limit compare to national limits and guidelines?
A: The only radiation the EL Wire emits is visible light that is environmentally friendly and does not harm humans in any way.
Q: How does EL Wire perform under fire conditions?
A: EL Wire is self-extinguishing. The test was made at 850°C per IEC 335-1.