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Description: EL wire, or electroluminescent wire, is a flexible wire coated in phosphor. Apply the appropriate voltage and it lights up! It looks a lot like a thin flexible neon tube. They come in many bright colors (check below for other colors) and can be driven pretty easily with an inverter. Check below for compatible inverters as well.

This particular wire glows red and is 3m (almost 10 feet) in length, 2.3mm in diameter and is terminated with a JST PH connector. This connector works directly with our two driver boards, the El Escudo and the EL Sequencer. Or, you can wire them directly into the output of an inverter.

(The video states they are 6 foot in length, but they are actually 10 feet in length)


Comments 27 comments

  • What could one do with a cross between EL and Fiber Optic wires?

    • Cool light show?

      • Or, have one long wire of EL that goes up the middle of your jacket, with fiber optics drawing some light from the sides, almost like a rib pattern? Or would Light Pipe be better… :/ Meh.

  • If I cut EL wire, will it still work?

    • Yes!

      Make sure the cut is clean so there isn’t a short between the inner wire and outer one. And do be aware that you can get a slight shock from the exposed end; if this is a problem you might want to put some tape or heatshrink or dip the end in glue etc. You can also solder a JST pigtail to the leftover piece if you want to light it up. As stated above, here’s a good instructable on the procedure.

  • How well will this work on my weed whacker?

  • I know there are different intensity EL Wires out there. (and somewhat subjective as well.) Is this ‘regular’ EL Wire, or more in the range of ‘Super Bright’, etc. I know the high brightness EL Wire may use twice as much current vs regular EL Wire, but wondering where this EL Wire falls in on the scale of brightness.


    • Hmm, I haven’t really seen a wide variety of brightnesses as far as red EL wire goes, so I’d say this probably falls somewhere along the ‘average’ brightness. The datasheet has the brightness ratings and current ratings in it, so use that as a comparison against other brands if possible if you are very concerned about it.

  • In a purely hypothetical question, how would one go about fixing this wire if the power wires were to separate from the luminescent section?

    • Haven’t tried this yet, but the procedure seems to be:

  • how ‘solid’ is EL-wire? is it able to support a certain physical tension?

    • It’s pretty stable wire, but I wouldn’t use it for any kind of weight bearing application. You would likely rip out the power connections before you’d break the wire itself.

  • Do these come with the connecter already attached?

  • can you run it with out an inverter? PLEASE reply thanks

    • The inverter makes a few mA of 100V AC at about 1000Hz; if you have another source of that, you can drive EL wire with it.

  • whats the diameter of the EL wire?

    Never mind, 2.3mm

  • any chances of shorter lengths? maybe foot long?

  • Is is possible to get longer quantities or does it arrive at SparkFun preterminated?

  • One question I have, is there a spec sheet for this EL wire? Just wondering…

  • Could EL wire be braided or wrapped somehow, perhaps a red, green, and blue wire and some PWM to create other colors?

    • It’s possible, but remember that EL wire works by applying alternating current at around 1kHz, and a PWM applied to that may not yield the color resolution you need, or be too flickery.

  • I’d like to know how red it is. I purchased some red EL a couple years ago and it was very orange and nowhere near red. Is all red EL orange in color? (I speaking of the on state-its obviously orange off)

    • I’ll be getting some ‘lit up’ pictures of all of our wires soon. I can say that it’s somewhat orange though. It’s not bright red.

  • I think you have your metric to imperial conversion wrong.
    3 meters = 9.84251969 feet
    2 meters = 6.56167979 feet

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