EL panel and inverters are interesting material, but rather hard to control since it involves inverters with AC current. There are some nice tutorials on how to control AC side with triac or EL sequencer at sparkfun, buildr.. so on. But I always had a bit of problem when I want to fade them slowly, or when I use many EL panels on at the same time. (inverter that connects to EL sequencer has limitation on the size and number of EL panels it can light up at the same time)
I wanted to share my Valentine’s Day project with you. I called it a Valentine Love Light and it’s a gift I made for my wife incorporating an animated LED message along with a light bulb which has the filament replaced with an EL-wire heart. By the way, your tutorials for EL wire are really helpful – the use of copper tape makes working with it so much easier!
What’s your favorite thing about game day? We made Super Bowl Glowing Helmets with EL Panel – video on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo. Emblazon your team’s logo in electroluminescent panel! Learn to use a vinyl cutter to create slick glowing graphics for these glowing Super Bowl helmets or any project you dream up.
NEW PRODUCTS! Flowing USB Cables. Spice up your Lighting (iPhone 5, iPad 4 & Mini, etc) USB charging/data transfers with this elegant flowing-effect EL cable. The cable has a thin cord of EL in the center, and a micro-inverter in the USB plug. The cable works perfectly fine as a classic 2.5-foot long USB cable, and can be used for data transfer and/or charging. As the current draw through the cable increases, the speed of the flowing effect speeds up. This makes it surprisingly handy as a way to roughly gauge the current draw of the USB client. The EL inverter draws 70mA at all times, so keep this in mind – it will drain a battery-powered USB pack pretty fast!
I bike almost everyday in New York City. Because of work and school, I am often on the road late at night so road safety is a big concern. But even with LED headlights and taillights (as required by law), drivers seldom seem to pay much attention to those who travel on two wheels.
The Heart Bike Jacket is designed to bring a level of human-ness to my bike gear. By mimicking the shape of a real human heart, I hope to remind drivers behind me that I’m not just a nuisance on the road; I’m also a living human being, subject to the hazards of the road and much less protected than the driver.
I modified the inverter from a T-qualizer shirt to respond to the audio signal from my mp3 player instead of sound and used the inverter to drive electroluminescent wire attached to my headphones. The inverter lights up different colors of EL wire depending on the loudness of the music I’m listening to. The headphone decoration looks like a signal level meter.
On one hand ‘Cloud’ is an Arduino controlled, motion triggered lightning & thunder performance. On the other it is a music activated visualizer & suspended speaker unit. The cloud is made by felting hypoallergenic fiberfill to a sponge casing which forms the frame of the cloud and holds the speakers and componentry. The felting tool used is a custom made felting tool made from the left over sponge and 4 felting needles. To control the functions of the cloud there are three tactile switches scattered around the base. The concept references real clouds which constantly change shape through the switches requiring constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.
The main difference with my new design is how the EL wire is controlled. Before, I had the entire box controlled with an analog circuit. I like to make things analog whenever possible, and given how simple a graphic equalizer is, it wasn’t much of a challenge. This presented a problem this time around though.
The new glasses will be set up on a display for a silent auction, and keeping in line with the “silent” aspect, there won’t be any loud music to show them off. This makes them a lot less desirable as a simple description card really can’t convey how cool they are.
This meant that I had to incorporate some kind of “demo” mode which eventually turned into making a full-on digital sequencer that can either react to music or play back pre-recorded patterns.
EL Wire, also known as Electroluminescent wire, is a stiff wire core coated with phosphor and then covered with a protective PVC sheath. When an AC signal is applied to it, it glows a cool neon color. Find out how to solder, power, and work with EL Wire in your next project.