FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The light output is measured in a unit of measure known as Lamberts. Technolight’s panels have an output of 15 – 35 foot Lamberts depending on the specific size, inverter, and application. This amount of light is typically considered enough for back-lighting in the Signage Industry; it should be noted that EL is best suited for dark, low, or medium ambient light applications.
The Technolight EL panels are only 0.012″ thick. They can be used in applications that are mounted flat against a wall; mounted in a standard picture frame; adhered to various types of signage. The EL panels do not generate heat, and therefore need no special venting.
The laminate on the lamp protects the lamp from normal wear and tear. The lamp can be twisted, flexed, coiled; the lamp can be folded slightly but not more than a 45 degree angle. If for some reason the lamp is severed, turn off the power; as this will cause an open/live electricity area at the point it was severed.
Unlike conventional lamps, EL lamps will not burn out. There is no filament to break or gas to escape as with LED’s. They do lose some of their brightness over time. Lamp life is related to how much voltage and frequency the EL Panel is operated at, the cycles that it is going through and the amount of light being put out for the specific application. The lamp does not “burn out”; as long as there is conductivity in place, the lamp will still light up. It will simply become dim enough to require replacement at some point in time.
The lamp only lights on one side. If, in your application, you need illumination from both sides of the lamp (front and back), simply put two lamps back to back separated by a non-conductive membrane such as cardboard, plywood or particleboard.
EL Panels are safe for landfill disposal.
Battery life will depend on two properties of the lamp application, the current draw for the inverter circuit, and the use model for the device.
The current draw of the inverter is a property of the individual circuit. Since the lamp itself uses very little power (typically 18 mw per square inch) the current going to the lamp is small. The current drawn (at low voltage) from the battery however will depend on the losses in the inverter circuit. With modern designs, this can be kept well below 50ma at 3VDC for reasonable sized LCD backlights.
The impact on battery life of any circuit which draws current will depend on the frequency with which that circuit is used. Since most EL applications (especially as backlights) have intermittent use, the impact on battery life is much less than if they were used 100% of the time.
The great versatility of this printed, flexible, uniform lighting system means that it lends itself to a wide range of applications. For its optimal use, applications should require efficient, thin, uniform lighting. Applications where a localized, very bright, light source is required, will not necessarily benefit the most from the use of EL. However, if you need to introduce illumination and/or glow for effect or cosmetics with minimum energy use and minimum impact on the packaging, use EL.
Examples of successful uses include:
- Architectural Designs
- Buses/Transit shelters
- Point of Purchase displays
- Taxi advertising
- Aviation and Automotive backlighting controls
- Point of Sale displays
- Vehicle Wraps
EL lighting is unique in being a thin, flexible, rugged, uniform, cool source of illumination with highly versatile design properties.
Thin: Standard Technolight EL products are typically between 0.010″ and 0.012″. EL lamps can be introduced into existing hardware with minimum changes to the packaging or mechanical layout. No special mounting hardware is required.
Flexible: Technolight EL lamps are generally prepared on flexible polyester substrates, allowing them to be used in applications (such as safety garments) or assemblies where bending is required.
Rugged: The all-polymer design with Technolight’s technique produces a tough lamp, which will survive heavy-duty use. There is high resistance to chemical attack, no tendency to delaminate, even with thermal cycling.
Uniform: EL light is emitted uniformly over the entire lit area. As a result, no need exists for light pipes, diffusers, reflectors or multiple sources to provide flat, uniform illumination over a wide area.
Cool: In an EL display, the light is generated by a purely solid state process, so no heat is generated. This means no energy is wasted in heat, no thermal stress is produced, and no heat has to be dissipated and removed from the assembly.
Versatile: Technolight lamps are manufactured using printing techniques. As a result, anything that can be rendered in two dimensions can be illuminated. Technomark also offers a unique connection to the graphic arts industries through its heritage in screen-printed graphics. The result is a line of display products, which look equally good lit or unlit.
The brightness of an EL panel depends separately on the Voltage and the Frequency with which it is excited.
- An increase in applied voltage increases the brightness.
- An increase in the frequency increases brightness and affects color.
- A typical curve showing the change of brightness with voltage is indicated in the Tech Specs section of our site.
- For small changes in voltage and frequency, the dependence of brightness on voltage or on frequency is essentially linear.
When the appropriately matched inverter is connected to the matching lamp load. You need to have a lamp attached to the power supply before turning it on.
The Technolight EL panels are sealed with a UV protected or moisture resistant laminate covering. When the lamp is used outdoors, it should be mounted in some transparent extrusion to protect it from the elements.
The lamps consume very little power, using only 18 milliwatts per square inch. As a point of comparison, a 60-Watt light bulb uses as much current as 23 sq ft of EL panels.
EL panels need a power source providing alternating current (AC). The high efficiency of EL allows useful light to be produced even with line current (100v, 60 Hz in the US at a reduced brightness).
Standard Inverters are available for all shapes and sizes that Technolight has; simply match the inverter to the total amount of square inches of EL panels you are planning to light.
Power use for an EL panel is very low and is generally limited by the efficiency of the inverter circuit. Thus Technolight has optimized the efficiency for the lamp system by optimizing the inverter.
The standard EL panels are available in a premium UV Fade Resistant White and traditional Blue/Green color. There are other colors: green, amber, blue and even infrared.
The lamps are available in flat panels that can be as little as 2″ Circular shapes up to 36” x 24” Rectangle shapes; as well as squares and an Infinity Panel that is daisy chainable, (See Shapes and Sizes for a list of Standard panels). Other custom sizes and shapes are available, contact us to explore your options.
An EL panel is a lossy parallel-plate capacitor. In other words, it’s an electronic device that is electrically charged and then loses its energy in the form of light. To do this, an EL lamp requires an AC current, which is applied to both plates. The current allows energy to build up within a phosphor layer between the plates, and the energy is released as light during each half cycle of the AC current (when the electrical field or charges applied to the plates alternate). The number of times that the field changes within a given time period (the frequency of the current) influences the brightness and color of the light emitted by the phosphor.
Electroluminescence (EL) is the electrical stimulation of a phosphorous to excite the phosphor so that it will generate light.
Yes, when proper care is taken you can cut the Technolight EL Light Panels with a scissors or other cutting tool. Leave as much of the perimeter Bus Bar/Trace that powers the lamp as possible. Once the lamp is cut, the edge will conduct a low-level electric current. Seal it with electrical tape or a sealing compound to prevent the possibility of a mild electric shock or the shorting out of your EL. Additional details and diagram are available on our EL Spec Sheet or feel free to contact us for additional help.