Choosing the right EL Driver / Inverter to power your EL Wire or EL Tape

This has got to be quite a large how-to and is now divided into sections

Click the link below to jump down the page to the section you need:

Info about EL Driver / Inverters

Choosing your EL Driver

Dimensions and weight of our EL Drivers

Info about EL Driver / Inverters

 

First thing to say is that an EL Driver and EL Inverter are exactly the same thing –  I prefer to call them EL Drivers but technically the ‘Invert’ the DC current from the batteries to the AC current that makes the phosphor in the electroluminescent wire glow

The next most important thing to know about EL Drivers is that the brightness of the EL Wire has more to do with the power of the driver than the EL Wire

For example:

On this site you can find the 2xAA Drivers for 5m of EL Wire – theyre the most common EL Drivers as they are small and portable

So these 2xAA Drivers (£4) will power 1 metre of EL Wire LESS BRIGHTLY than the 8XAA Driver (£9) will drive 15 metres of EL Wire

(Unfortunately the 8XAA Driver should only be used to drive between 5 and 15 metres of wire)

This is also true for even more powerful inverters – the Inverter for 30-75 metres of wire will run that 75metres brighter than the 8XAA drives 5metres of wire

UNDERPOWERING OR OVERPOWERING EL DRIVERS

By overpowering or underpowering the EL Wire you risk damaging both the EL Wire and the Driver

eg if you are using a driver for 5 – 15 metres of wire then those lengths are recommended for a reason!

Underpowering:

By running less than 5 metres of EL Wire you risk burning out the wire and stressing the driver

Overpowering:

By running more than 15 metres of EL Wire you will be drawing too much current through the driver and this will make it heat up and possibly even catch fire

Ive never seen one catch fire but apparently it is possible

Overpowering:

Another dangerous way to overpower an inverter is by using the wrong input voltage on the Driver – say, like putting a 12v battery onto a driver designed for 6volts

Doing this makes the wire glow super bright but you can feel the driver heat up v quickly and again theres risk of a fire – just think how dangerous that is if you are wearing it!


EL Wire is an amazing material that, with the right driver can make lots of wire glow really brightly so don’t push it further than it should


CHOOSING YOUR EL DRIVER

This really should be  simple process

1)  Decide where you are going to use the EL Wire – on clothes, in a car, in the house, near a computer? – this will tell you if you will need a portable driver, one with a car lighter attachment, a mains powered driver or a USB Driver –

A bigger selection can be found here

 

2) Measure out the size of the project and how much wire you will need to run off each driver

any driver can run several pieces of EL Wire using splitters

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Dimensions and weight of our EL Drivers

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