What is EL
How to use EL
Small Projects, Prototypes and Experiments
Custom design services
Our Cut & Shape Sheets are designed to be cut into smaller pieces and any shape --- even along curved lines. They will light up instantly when connected to an inverter.
As you can see, there are two kinds of terminals (tabs) along the edges of the sheet. One kind is connected to the back of the sheet and the other is connected to the front of the sheet. You can cut the sheet into any shape as long as you leave two tabs of different colors intact for the electrical connections.
THE ENTIRE SHEET IS AN OPEN TERMINAL, SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL TO AVOID ELECTRICAL SHOCKS. BE SURE THE POWER FROM THE INVERTER IS OFF BEFORE HANDLING.
After you cut the sheet, make sure you clean the edges (alcohol is recommended) because the black conductive material might touch the front side causing a short circuit. Then seal the edge with transparent tape.
You only have to connect the two terminals to an inverter to illuminate the sheet. Gator clips are recommended if you are experimenting and moving the connections to different tabs to fit your project design. For permanent connections, use tape, glue or solder. Just be sure to drip the solder onto the tab. Don’t touch the soldering iron to the EL sheet.
A Cut & Shape Sheet is made to be cut into smaller pieces. Most pieces smaller than 30 square inches can be illuminated with an iSS4.5 inverter (20 square inches recommended). If you want to illuminate a larger section (from A5 to A4 size), you may need to reinforce the terminals electrically. If it does not light up, first be sure you are using the correct inverter (an iA5 for sizes smaller than 2/3 of an A4, an iA4 for anything larger). Then try reinforcing the terminal.
For reinforcing, use regular fine copper wires and spread them on the black backside of the sheet as shown below. Hold them in place with tape. The copper wire does not have to touch the tab and it only needs to be used on the backside of the sheet.
You can always use this copper wire method even if the panel is smaller and you want a brighter, stronger light.
A very popular application is back lighting a favorite photo.
Most ready-made photo frames can be used for backlighting, just be sure the inside dimension is larger than the front view area so the terminals are hidden from the front. Print your photo on a sheet of backlight film (which can be purchased from any office supply or craft store), then place the film on the EL panel.
Turn on the inverter and your framed image will be backlit. The darker the surroundings, the more beautiful the effect.