Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Makes EL Wire Different From Laser Wire™ Systems

We get the question often, what's the difference between Electroluminescent Wire and Laser Wire™? They're both accent lights, right? Well, that's about where the similarities stop. Let's dig into the differences here. We also created a quick video showing the differences side by side (below).

EL Wire has been around since the early 2000s, and is a thin wire that is powder coated with the element of Phosphor. Specialized voltages and frequencies excite the particles inside, creating a beautiful glow. The inside is made up of a copper core wire, and small angel hair wires which create a positive and negative charge for the electrodes to pass through. EL Wire can be cut to nearly any length and can be bent to nearly any shape.

Laser Wire™ systems on the other hand are using specialized optical fibers which transmit light down an extremely thin tube. The entire diameter of the wire is 0.9mm, and the lighted element inside is less than 0.2mm. That's about the size of a human hair! When specialized lighting elements converge on the tip of the wire,  light is transmitted down the entire line. As opposed to optical fibers which transmit 99% of their light upon the first foot and has a severe drop off of light after, Laser Wire™ has a very even glow over the profile length. Currently, Laser Wire™ cable is made in 3 different profiles; Accent, Pop, and Super Pop. Accent is meant to be evenly diffused up to 10M in length, while Pop is about double the brightness, but meant to diffuse light evenly up to 5M. Super Pop is the brightest profile but only meant to shine up to 1M in length.

The main difference between Laser Wire™ and EL Wire falls in the applications they are able to be used in. EL Wire, because of the relatively fragile nature of the product, is not meant to be used in permanent fixed situations because the wire will go out over time. Excessive UV exposure, heat, moisture, and shelf life all play into the eventual demise of the electroluminescent phosphor. On the other hand, Laser Wire does not degrade in water, sunlight, and can be embedded into nearly anything; woods, metals, and plastics can allow laser wire to be permanently installed for years of use. If the light goes out over time, simply replace the module and it's working again in no time, without having to tear out the existing application. The brightness threshold for EL is around 150cd/m, which can be visible at night, but in lighter environments its difficult to see. Laser Wire™ cable emits a brightness of between 750cd/m and 1500cd/m, which can be visible in normal lighting conditions. Because there is no core wire inside Laser Wire™ cable, the cable does not retain a memory and is far more flexible. 

For more information on Laser Wire™ systems or how to integrate into your next project, please contact 

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