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. The core is covered with a layer of phosphor - a substance capable of generating light when excited by an electric charge. Although the time of widespread use of phosphors as the basic building blocks of CRT screens has long passed, they still perform very well in EL cable applications. In order to ensure proper supply of power voltage to the entire length of the cable, a thin copper wire is spirally wound on top of the phosphor, forming a sort of second skin 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 of EL conductors
Luminescent wire from the electrical point of view is a capacitance, so it is necessary to supply it with AC voltage that will effectively excite the phosphor to glow. To excite the phosphor atoms, thus 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's worth considering in advance the required duty cycle and provide a method of switching off when lighting is not necessary.
EL cables and converters offer in Botland shop
Our offer includes a wide selection of electroluminescent cables themselves, 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.