Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Restrictions of EL Wire

With every action there is an equal or positive reaction. Or that’s how the phrase should go. I have been talking enough about what EL Wire is, what it is capable of, and why you should douse yourself in it. This time I would mention some of the limitations of the wire. This is not meant to persuade you to buy, however inform you so you know what to expect.

Durability. Most EL Wire is fairly delicate. Other than the super pull wire (available via special order only), most EL Wire is not meant to have a high tinsel strength. Although EL Wire can be bent, cut, and twisted, EL Wire should not be installed where you will see repeated flexing, such as around knees or elbows. This will over time, cause the copper wire to break thus providing you with no light. EL Wire can be repaired, but you will lose some length with every cut. Finding applications where not a lot of movement is used is generally your best bet. Hats, bras, signs, stages and dark walkways are all great places for EL Wire. They generally stay rigid and not a lot of movement is used.

Brightness. EL Wire is brighter than many lighting sources, however not as bright as any LED Lights. Although it has a number of other positives, it will “most likely” never carry the same amount of brightness to LED’s. Someday, maybe. Dark spaces are great for EL Wire, as it shines bright across the darkness, but a bright room or bright stage, the wire can be overshadowed.

Waterproof. Very few electronics are waterproof and the same for EL Wire… well, sort of. The actual wire is actually water resistant and can withstand running it under water, or stand a degree of sweat. The ends of the wire however, have a certain amount of susceptibility to moisture, and water can damage the phosphor which makes the device light up. Luckily it is able to be wrapped inside a thick plastic coating, that helps protect it from the elements.

Noise. EL wire is powered by a high frequency and high voltage driver that emits a high pitched humming noise. Microphones may pick up these noises, and can be annoying to people that hear the noise. Keep in consideration when making hats or applications where the drivers may be around ears or microphones.

Although EL Wire is a great technology that continues to get better with age like a fine wine, there are certain things that it does not allow us to do. Try playing with EL Wire and see what you can do with it. The possibilities are endless.

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