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26 Jan 2011 - 23:4349257
Which is brighter EL wire or LED tape?
Okay i've been looking at how to make some prop/costumes illuminate and these seem to be the best choices but im just wondering which is brighter. i've heard EL wire is quite bright but looking at pictures (which i guess you cant really be 100%) LED tape seems to look brighter.


27 Jan 2011 - 08:2449263
depends what you're doing with it. LEDs work by refracting a tiny light source through a small, massively powered lens, so the light only emits in an arc that the lens allows (usually 30-50 degrees, depending on LED size and quality)

EL wire, however, works on a totally different principle, and has a uniform light transmission, regardless of the angle you look at it.


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27 Jan 2011 - 08:5049265
As Xae states, El-wire works differently to LEDs, so it depends on your requirement and the angle viewed.

El-wire generates light by passing a current through a phosphorus-coated copper wire so the glow is visible all around, whereas LEDs only have a small viewing angle.

From experience, the individual LEDs I have worked with are much brighter, almost blindly so compared to El-wire. However, I haven't worked with LED tape, so the LEDs used in this may be of a lower standard and hence perform worse than the individual LEDs I have used.

Ultimately, El-wire glows rather than shines and the camera shutter had to be open longer for me to be able to get decent pictures. Examples of both El-wire and LEDs in use are in my profile.


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27 Jan 2011 - 12:2049269
Out of a common curiosity, does El-Tape have the same structure as El-Wire or is it just a fancy, branded name for LED-Tape?


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27 Jan 2011 - 12:2749271
For those interested I stumbled over this tutorial a while ago:

http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-lit-Tron-v20-suit/

It looks at the pros and cons of EL vs LED and also an interesting method for diffusing the sharp direct light of LEDs into a more general bright glow.

I've never used either myself, but it seemed relevant to this thread


27 Jan 2011 - 13:0549274
Quote sjbonnar:
Out of a common curiosity, does El-Tape have the same structure as El-Wire or is it just a fancy, branded name for LED-Tape?


I believe El-tape and LED-tape are two different things.

El-tape is just a flatter, wider version of the El-wire and gives off a uniform glow (El standing for electroluminescent). In contrast, LED tape is a strip of LEDs which tend to be brighter, but you can still make out the individual LEDs.

Further to that, there is also El-panels too if you hate your bank balance.

Ultimately, most LEDs can be seen during the day whereas El-wire can not.


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Last edited by theKillingDoll (27 Jan 2011 - 13:19)
27 Jan 2011 - 13:2849275
Quote theKillingDoll:
Quote sjbonnar:
Out of a common curiosity, does El-Tape have the same structure as El-Wire or is it just a fancy, branded name for LED-Tape?


I believe El-tape and LED-tape are two different things.

El-tape is just a flatter, wider version of the El-wire and gives off a uniform glow (El standing for electroluminescent). In contrast, LED tape is a strip of LEDs which tend to be brighter, but you can still make out the individual LEDs.

Further to that, there is also El-panels too if you hate your bank balance.

Ultimately, most LEDs can be seen during the day whereas El-wire can not.


The good thing about EL panels/sheets though is that you can cut them to the shape you need as long as you leave at least two of the connection points on the edge untouched. The sheet surrounded by connection points so it's not a hard thing to do.

But yeah, the cost. £_£


27 Jan 2011 - 20:1249318
Well the LEDs and EL wire is just to make a foam Mastersword light up. and was wondering if EL wire would be bright enough to shine through the foam, but I guess I'll need to see how dense the foam would be first.

But the plan is to stuff lights in a prop sword to give it an illuminating/powered up effect.


28 Jan 2011 - 15:2649359
The other issue with EL wire and tape is that you can't really bend it as it breaks the filaments inside and renders it useless. LED tape however is flexible especially when mounted on silicone.

The other issue is that EL stuff uses a much higher voltage to create light. It means batteries don't last as long and you require a converter to get it to the right voltage which can be bulky and makes a whining noise which causes headaches (as Phil/thekillingdoll found with his tron costume). LED's will last much longer on batteries than EL wire will.


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29 Jan 2011 - 22:4049455
I'd like to throw a couple of questions in here..

EL-Tape, is this rigid? And how would any react with UV lights?

Reason I ask is because I'm planning to do a fully carbonised Greed from FMA and its for a party that will have blacklights/uv.

Something glowy, reactive and flexible to mount on say.. a baselayer compression shirt would be ideal.


01 Feb 2011 - 21:1949671
If it's going to be a UV party anyway your best bet is to buy some UV reactive paint and use that. Light up things sound cool in theory, but are the most rage enducing stuff I've ever worked with. If a nice shiny black light is already there for you, take advantage of the low tech methods available.


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02 Feb 2011 - 21:2949752
Quote KhaosKreator:
If it's going to be a UV party anyway your best bet is to buy some UV reactive paint and use that. Light up things sound cool in theory, but are the most rage enducing stuff I've ever worked with. If a nice shiny black light is already there for you, take advantage of the low tech methods available.


Duly noted, thank you ;D


03 Feb 2011 - 00:4949761
I'm personally loving EL Glow Lights. I found a some ones made for cars off eBay a while back and went insane a brought metres of it.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Car-Party-White-Neon-EL-Glow-Light-Wire-Rope-Tube-9-8FT-/280616164362?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item415606dc0a

The battery pack can be hidden really easily and if you want a brighter effect tape a couple of wires together or wrap coloured foil type stuff round it.

It looks so purdy when its done :3


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