Frequently Asked Questions
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1) What is EL?
EL, electroluminescent, there are two kinds---EL wire and EL panel. EL wire is a thin copper wire coated in a phosphorus which lighting when an alternating current is applied to it. EL panel is essentially a capacitor structure with phosphor dielectric sandwiched between the electrodes, one of which is transparent to allow light to escape. Application of a voltage through an inverter across the electrodes generates a changing electric field within the phosphor, which causes the phosphor to emit light. Diameter of EL wire is 0.9mm, 1.3mm, 2.3mm, 3.2mm, 4.3mm, 5.0mm; EL panel is very thin ( thickness is less than 1 mm ), any size, any shapes, any color and any design is possible. EL products could be a variety of applications for decoration, clothes, advertising, auto motor, lighting use, gifts, toys, party supply, show, concert etc.
2) What powers an EL lamp used for?
For the most EL lamps, an inverter is used as a power source. An inverter is an AC converter, which generates typically around 60-280V AC and 50-1000hz, and 1.5V DC, 3V DC, 4.5V DC, 12V DC etc.
3) What are phosphors?
Phosphors are powders made of materials such as zinc sulfide, doped with either copper or manganese to achieve the emission colors. Blue-green, blue and green etc., white is achieved either by phosphor blends or chemically shifting the emitted color.The colour can be defined during the manufacture of the phosphor, or can be achieved by blending phosphors of different colors to achieve composite color.
4) What are the advantages alot tech provides over other EL manufacturers?
The advantages that we have over our competitors is the ability to print in web format while most printers are printing in sheet format. This translates to a lower cost and the option of larger sized lamps. Additionally, the particle size of the phosphor powder is selected to provide the highest efficiency of light emission. Alot tech limited's system can replace current methods of printing an embossed panel backed by a pc board with led lights. Led’s are easily broken off the board, are difficult to surface mount, generate heat, cost more and have a higher failure rate. We are able to provide thin and flexible products, which allow for product downsizing and again lower cost. Other benefits include - impervious to shock and vibration, no catastrophic lamp failure, meets the grumman specifications for aerospace applications, negligible heat emission, EMC (electro-magnetic interference) and no RFI (radio frequency interference), night goggle vision compatible, light angle can be controlled for military map reading applications, a uniform surface illumination of complex or flat shapes, thin flexible and lightweight, low power consumption, very low heat generation, and impact resistance, a 10000 hour time to half life brightness at 100V and 400Hz can be used as a guideline but is dependant upon the type of and quality of the lamp construction, the environmental conditions and the voltage/frequency (We are able to deposit the light emitting particles in any shape, thereby, we are able to produce any design, font or lettering).
5) How much power consumption of EL?
EL generally consumes less than 3-5W at 240V AC per one square centimeter.
6) How long does the life time of EL?
This is totally dependant upon the environment in which the lamp must operate. In typical ambient conditions ( 25°c or approximately 76°F and 50% relative humidity ), you can have useful light for up to 55,000 hours depending on the application ( i.e. Night lights operating at 110/240V 50/60Hz ). An industry measure on EL is the time to half-luminescence or when the output is 50% of the original output. In ambient conditions, EL will achieve half-luminescence after approximately 10,000 hours of accumulated use.
7) What colors are available of EL?
The original color of EL is white, blue-green, blue and green. Additional colors could be achieved by adding printing ink dye over the EL panel ( small size and simple color, such as EL shirts, EL hats ) and filter EL light through the spray painting sheet ( big size, such as EL poster, EL light box, EL advertising panel ), to the active area that the EL lamp covers. It means, EL could be any color.
8) Are the EL lamps that we produce patented?
No, that is a readily available technology, originally discovered in 1935 and perfected through the years.
9) Do we plan on providing DC or AC inverters and supplying them with the EL lamps the customers purchase?
When our customers require engineering support in order to select the suitable inverter or driver circuits that match the electrical properties of our EL lamps, we will be sure to provide the assistance through our engineering team. We would provide a warranty on any lamp and power unit if our company provided the entire system. A warranty would not apply if we did not provide the power units, or if we were unable to test and approve it.
10) What is the cost of tooling and design for the EL lamps?
Tooling fee depends on the unique speciﬁcations of each job. Therefore, it is difﬁcult to specify in this context. Some of the components for tooling costs include the EL lamps complexity and size. Before actual production of the EL lamp can be accomplished, detailed engineering speciﬁcations must be determined, and screens must be designed and produced to print each layer of the EL lamp. Please let us know the EL lamp how to animate and the size of EL panel, and then we could quote the reasonable tooling fee for your references.
11) For EL lamp, is there any wear of scratching and oxidation?
Wear test is a highly specific to the application. The customers need to test a prototype in their speciﬁc environment.
Scratching should not be an issue since EL lamp itself is almost always behind a polycarbonate overlay or in an enclosure.
Oxidation is not an issue since other products like dielectrics, which inhibit oxidation cover the entire silver trace. However, oxidation can occur at the connection point. A good solid state connection that is not disturbed regularly.
12) How bright is EL and which color is the most bright?
Blue-green lights is the most bright color and to generate about 15-20 foot lamberts ( A lambert allows you to see the light at 160-degree angle ). With this amount of light output, even small lamps can be easily seen for miles at night ( subject to no obstacles blocking the line of sight ). Especially, EL is good for the area that is obscured by smoke, fog, dust and hazy conditions. Yellow-green lights can be made an equally bright at higher frequencies but the EL lamp life is reduced.
13) What is the illumination intensity? Can it be controlled? What is the highest and lowest power range of EL?
Voltage increases light output and frequency changes the color or chromacity, however, for every gain there is a sacrifice, so making it brighter would mean losing some life. Flashing and fading can double or even triple the life. With a lower input, the lifespan is increased. Higher voltage and frequencies, as well as elevated temperatures during operation will degrade efficiency and change the color of the lamps. To improve the life of the lamp, operation or output at lower temperatures and voltage are encouraged.
14) How flexible is the EL panel ( EL lamp )? How far can it bend and continue to function? Can it be rolled into a ball and continue to function? Can it be crushed under weight and continue to function?
EL lamp can be rolled, bent and crushed and will sure continue to function, of course sharp objects must be avoided. One of the unique features of EL lamp is the flexibility. The substrate is a polyester film coated with an ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) transparent conductor and several layers of material, which allow for a much higher bend factor. Easy to delivery and carrying.
15) How are EL lamps able to flash?
Flashing is achieved though an inverter circuit program. Special and amazing effect is possible, such as revolving, fade in and out ( Product Catalog > EL Advertisement Panel----HNR 0913 ), magic lighting; flash function, sound-actived, manmade sensor, distance sensor etc.
16) Can EL lamp have multiple flashing segments and can those segments be different colors? or change colors?
Multiple flashing segments and different color is possible. To print multi-segment EL lamps up to 64 circuits, or we can matrix them together and address x-y (Matrix addressing is where squares are printed in bits like a chocolate block and address the sections to achieve selective illumination). For change color, only from white color change into other colors ( Example: Product Catalog > EL Advertisement Panel----HNR 0908 ).
17) What is the smallest and largest size of EL panel ( EL lamp ) that can be produced?
The smallest size is 1 x 1 cm. The largest single EL panel lamp is 1.90 x 1.20 meter. But, if the design allows, EL lamps can be matrix or married together for larger or longer pieces. So, we could say, EL lamp could be any size, any largest size is possible. Such as 10 x 20 meters, or more larger, no problem.
18) What are the quantity breaks?
Any quantity is accept. Minimum quantity of 30-50 pcs depending upon the panel size. Small quantity or sampling will charge a mould fee.
19) How are the EL lamp products tested before shipment to ensure they meet the criteria?
Outside of our normal quality control procedures, the details are optimized and checked in the design and production stage as well as a final check before shipment. We check the following items: light output, connections, capacitance value, current consumption, dielectric, aging - this is done as a batch test from the run.
20) Can EL panel ( EL lamp ) be applied to any material?
Sure, such as paper, acrylic, film, foil, garment, light box, plastic, metal, rubber, glass, leather and fabrics. This is dependant upon the environmental conditions. Please consult with lunalite technical department for more information that is specific to your application. Don't put EL panel in the environment, that is outside the temperature range of -10℃ ~ 85 ℃。And don't put EL panel in the water or liquid products.
21) What specifications do the customers need to provide us in order to receive an accurate quotation for the EL lamp ( EL wire and EL panel ) and inverter ( controller box )?
Please contact our sales department, and they will guide you through the process. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, 24 hours hotline: +86-15889603780
22) What is the resistance to moisture?
Screen-printable UV ink is used to encapsulate the phosphors to an electrical insulation and provide extra protection against humid environments. Constant exposure to moisture will adversely impact the illumination of EL. All polymer are semi-porous and will allow certain amounts of ingress, however, further protection can be afforded by laminating with PVC, polycarbonate, etc. Depending on the application. PU coating is also used for weather proofing applications. Please consult Alot tech limited's technical department for more details.
23) Is the location of the power lead important?
We have tested the power lead to the inverter/EL for up to 3 meters or 10 feet, however, longer distances are not a problem a long as voltage drops are taken into calculations.
24) Can direct power be used with EL?
No. EL lamp requires an alternating current with an over threshold of 400hz. It needs a transformer.
25) What is the possibility of electric shock?
With a proper termination, there is no risk of electrical shock. One must be caution, when handling the EL lamp, if the power is on, don't touch the electrical connection.
26) What else should I consider when specifying an EL lamp?
To consider that the life time of EL lamp. The light will gradually decay as the phosphorescence efficiency declines. The presence of moisture accelerates this decline. The phosphors that we will be using, are microencapsulated to hinder the penetration of moisture thus prolonging the useful life of the lamp. Additionally, the polymer binders in our EL pastes have been selected to provide a moisture barrier, which further protects against moisture related aging. This feature also prevents moisture from degrading the capacitance of the lamp, thus providing higher brightness. Higher voltages andfrequencies, as well as elevated temperatures during operation will degrade the efficiency and the life of the lamps. To improve the lifetime of the lamp, operation at lower temperatures, voltages and frequencies is encouraged. Typically, 80-120V AC and 400hz are utilized. Those conditions result in the best useful lifetime.
27) What does the sandwiched construction consist of ( EL panel ) ?
EL panel consists of a sandwich construction containing an appropriate substrate (polyester or polycarbonate), a rear electrode, an insulating layer, the phosphor layer, a transparent or translucent front electrode and a protective layer. EL panel may be terminated by a silver conductor and crimped connectors to allow connection to the power supply. Special care must be taken in providing a connection with good integrity.
28) What is the failure mode?
How to judge an EL is fail? During failure, EL lamp will stop lighting. If the lamp was overpowered, smoke will come out. The life of the lamp will gradually decrease, and, as the phosphor is exhausted, less of the lamp will illuminate, until eventually there will be no illumination. A failure and reliability test analysis would need to be run on each specific application. Generates a changing electric field within the phosphor, which causes the phosphor to emit light.