Electroluminescent wire - construction and principle of operation
Each electroluminescent wire consists of several concentric (i.e. coaxial) layers placed around a conductive core in the form of a copper wire. A layer of phosphor is applied to the core - a substance capable of generating light when excited by an electric charge. Although the time of widespread use of phosphors as the basic building block of CRT screens is long gone, they still perform very well in EL wire applications. In order to ensure that the supply voltage is properly applied to the entire length of the cable, a thin copper wire is spirally wound on the phosphor, which is, so to speak, the second lining of the "sandwich" filled with a layer of phosphor. What is important, small thickness of the conductor does not visibly limit the amount of light generated by EL cable - for the same reason transparent plastic, usually applied in form of 2-layer sheath, is used for mechanical and electrical protection of such delicate structure.
Power supply for EL conductors
A luminescent wire from an electrical point of view represents a certain capacitance, so it is necessary to supply it with an AC voltage that will effectively excite the phosphor to glow. In order to excite the phosphor atoms, thereby forcing them to give off excess energy in the form of visible light quanta, a relatively high voltage of about 100 V is necessary. The advantage of EL wires is very low current consumption - it turns out that this kind of light source is much more energy efficient than conventional LED diodes (not to mention other, even more power consuming technologies). It is also worth mentioning, that on the market there is a large selection of ready to use voltage boosters, perfectly suitable to power electroluminescent wires. In EL cables applications you should pay attention to the limited lifetime of phosphor itself - after a few thousand hours of continuous lighting, the brightness decreases by about half, so it is worth to think in advance about the required duty cycle and provide a method of switching off when lighting is not necessary.
EL cables and converters offer in Botland store
Our offer includes a wide selection of electroluminescent cables, as well as voltage boosters dedicated to power them. You will find here wires with a length of 2,5 and a diameter of 2,6 mm, available in colors: white, red, green, blue, orange and azure. All products are equipped with factory mounted JST socket, compatible with inverters available in our offer. In the latter group, we particularly recommend the miniature step-up converter WY-ELI-IPSF4-0-50CM, powered by a single 1.5V AAA battery, as well as the robust power supply WY-ELI-IPF-4-300-400CM, equipped with four outputs with JST connectors.