EL Wire - Red 3m

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)

EL Wire - Red 3m Product Help and Resources

Getting Started with Electroluminescent (EL) Wire

July 13, 2018

This guide will help you get started with electroluminescent (EL) wire, tape, panel, chasing wire, and bendable wire to let your project glow!

EL Sequencer/Escudo Dos Hookup Guide

December 3, 2015

A basic guide to getting started with the SparkFun EL Sequencer and Escudo Dos to control electroluminescence (EL) wire, panels, and strips.

Heartbeat Straight Jacket

June 4, 2009

An EL project that displays one person's heartbeat on another person's costume.

EL Wire Hoodie

October 24, 2018

In this tutorial, we will sew standard electroluminescent (EL) wire to a hoodie.

EL Wire Pants

July 18, 2019

In this tutorial, we will sew standard electroluminescent (EL) wire to a pair of pants.

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Super Jeeves / about 11 years ago / 3

    How well will this work on my weed whacker?

  • Thisisaperson / about 10 years ago / 2

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

    • Cool light show?

      • Thisisaperson / about 10 years ago / 1

        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.

  • taco / about 10 years ago / 2

    If I cut EL wire, will it still work?

    • MikeGrusin / about 10 years ago / 2


      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.

  • Member #651217 / about 8 years ago * / 1

    Does it work with square wave or rectangle wave signals?

  • Member #644787 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Is there any way to control the wire with any sort of microprocessor?

  • ShoelessTim / about 9 years ago * / 1

    Can a single strand of EL be driven from a RedBoard? here is the theory. Motion PIR attached to a red board with a red EL strand as a baseboard motion activated nightlight to guid my 3yr/old to the bahtroom. I want to keep this as minimal as possable to limit the amount of stuff attached to power and the wall.

    • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 1

      Not really since the Redboard doesn't have the ability to drive EL wire. You can use a single EL Sequencer which has the ATMega328 built in and the 12V inverter. You do need the inverter to get power the EL Wire can use and you need the sequencer if you want to control that power (if you just want it to stay on you can plug the EL wire directly into the inverter).

      • ShoelessTim / about 9 years ago / 1

        ok good to know, how flexible is the el wire? could you simulate cursive handwriting?

  • Member #510096 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I ordered 10 of them and they are a bit dim in the day light, but as soon as the lights go dim in any area they come to life. Can't wait to get them mounted to our project. We are using them to illuminate they helmet and jersey to our FRC mascot. Will pass along pictures when complete.

  • Member #356103 / about 10 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Noobulus / about 10 years ago / 1

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

    • microtherion / about 10 years ago / 1

      Haven’t tried this yet, but the procedure seems to be: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Solder-EL-Electroluminescent-Wire/

  • Member #56555 / about 10 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Member #390287 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Do these come with the connecter already attached?

    • MikeGrusin / about 10 years ago / 1

      Yes, all of our EL products come with 2-pin 2mm JST connectors pre-attached.

  • dean14111 / about 11 years ago / 1

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

    • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 1

      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.

  • tazdingomon / about 11 years ago / 1

    whats the diameter of the EL wire?

    Never mind, 2.3mm

  • eddy66t6 / about 12 years ago / 1

    any chances of shorter lengths? maybe foot long?

  • EliTheIceMan / about 12 years ago / 1

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

  • Davidjh / about 12 years ago / 1

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

  • Jason77 / about 12 years ago / 1

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

    • BB / about 12 years ago / 1

      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.

  • EliTheIceMan / about 12 years ago / 1

    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.

  • sleekha / about 12 years ago / 1

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

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Red wire doesn't hold...

I recently bought several of these wires in different colors for my marching band for a night time parade in Denver. Upon returning to the school, the staff started taking the light packs off of the students uniforms and several of the them had the red wires break. This was happening right in our hands, no matter how gentle we were being with them. I have bought hundreds of these over the years but these past 2 years just seems like the craftsmanship has been cheap and fragile. If you have switched to a thinner gauge of wire, please don't!