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tron costume

EL-wire is great stuff. It gives off a neon like-glow without generating heat or deadly high voltages. It’s simple enough for beginning makers yet can yield some impressive results! Electroluminescent wire is made from a solid piece of copper wire that’s been coated with phosphor. It’s then wound with very fine wires then covered by a protective sleeve. To activate the wire, just apply some alternating current and it will glow with a soft, 360 degree line of cool, visible light.

EL-wire is flexible enough to wrap around your finger and holds its shape well, making it perfect for a multitude of projects. Want to make a glowing dog leash or trick out your bike? It will only take a few minutes. All you’ll need for both are some zip-ties and one of the new starter kits from EZ-EL, now available in the Maker Shed. It’s available in several colors and in 10ft or 25ft lengths to illuminate a variety of project sizes.

Michael Castor

I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I’m a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.


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Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Hit MORE on the product description, and receive this “The product you are trying to view no longer exists.”

  2. Michael Castor says:

    Thanks for pointing that out! It should be fixed now.

  3. Ben says:

    Has anyone discovered a way to put EL wire on clothes such that it is actually reliable?

    I’ve made several outfits now, most have only lasted one night of wear before things have started going wrong. EL wire is great for static installation, but if its going to be moved around a lot I think it tends to break easily. Generally its not even been the connections from wire -> EL wire that break, I’ve found its actually the EL wire itself that’s breaking somewhere along the wire resulting in impossible to fix issues.

    Have I just been doing it wrong all this time, or am I expecting too much?

    1. Jack Van Gossen says:

      Have you tried working your design to avoid bend points such as elbows, shoulders, knees, etc.? Perhaps if the wire were placed where it stays more static, and you use jumpers to bridge the joints? Take a look at the costume above, no EL crosses over the elbows or shoulders where it would have to move with the joint. Just food for thought, I’ve never had the opportunity to play with it myself.

    2. Michael Castor says:

      While I’ve never personally tried a clothing based EL wire project, I’d try running the wire through some clear vinyl tubing (available at most hardware stores) at any attachment point. This should help reduce fatiguing by protecting the wire from tight radius bends and friction. Additionally, it should provide a little “give” to reduce strain on the wire. Just a thought!

    3. Rahere says:

      Read the description, a surface-treated fine copper wire. Copper’s quite brittle, especially when thin, so the problem is intractible as it stands. However, why do you have to use wire? Phosphor-coating copper filings should also work, especially if suspended in a flexible conductive medium, dip cotton thread in that and you have EL thread. There are no end of gels available for TENS and the like, go ye forth and experiment.

    4. In the past when I have added EL wire to clothing I would never sew/attach it too tight especially around any joint areas (knees, shoulders, elbows, etc). I would try and almost leave an extra 2″ diameter look at those joints for movement, which depending on the design would look ok usually.

      The other thing I would do is use Welted EL wire which has a tab for sewing allowing the wire to be floating while the plastic sewing tab takes all the stress. I run a canadian EL wire supplier that carries the welted el wire @ elwirecalgary.com and I have photos of some of the other costumes I have made.