Who doesn’t love the soft glow of electroluminescence? This EL tape is a flexible plastic ribbon which contains a phosphor layer and lights up with a neon-like glow when the proper voltage is applied. It’s a lot like the ever-popular EL wire except, well, it’s a ribbon.
These can be driven with any of the EL inverters and sequencers that we carry and come in a variety of bright colors (check below for other colors). This particular ribbon is 1 meter long, 15mm wide and illuminates with a blue/green color. It is attached to a 20cm cable which is terminated with a JST PH connector.
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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So, I use this on the arms of a backpack. It works great, however, after about a month of use, the 2 plastic layers of the tape have flexed enough that they start to split. I bought another pair of these strips, and wrapped them in a layer of BDFT (Bi-Directional Filament Tape). This tape is clear, so it can start on the back of the strip, wrap around the front, then around the back again, which seals off both edges of the strip. It’s also waterproof, and has fiberglass filaments going through it, so it’s incredibly durable. I’ve had the new, BDFT coated strips on for a month now and they show absolutely no signs of wear.
They’re bright. REALLY bright, like, on a pitch black night, they’re bright enough that I lose my night vision when I look down at them while wearing the pack. I have both of them running off the 2xAA inverter that Sparkfun also sells. They go through a pair of AA’s in about 8-10 hours (though i’m not using the full strips, I cut about 1/3rd off each of them). Also, unlike EL-Wire, where the color changes as the battery wears down and you can see the brightness drop, these go from 100% glow to dead in the last hour of their charge.