How to Solder EL Wire

Many people will tell you Electroluminescent Wire (EL) is one of the coolest things on the planet. New technologies across the globe are bettering many of our lives and EL Wire seems to be no different. From its amazing colors it creates, to the safety and benefits it has, to the smile on peoples’ faces, Electroluminescent Wire is changing the planet as we see it forever. All too often people seem to be baffled how you can create things like this that glow. This is a simple article to explain how easy putting Electroluminescent Wire together really is.

In a nutshell, Electroluminescent Wire is similar in size to a common speaker wire, and as such is a good basis to learn from. All speakers have a positive and negative, commonly referred to as the red (positive)and black (negative). This is no different. Rather than a tradition wire that runs side by side, the positive and negatives actually surround one another. You may be wondering which is which. Well, there is no wrong answer. Since the wires are never touching, it doesn’t matter which you use for your positive and which is your negative.

Since EL Wire is relatively expensive, we recommend using cheaper speaker wire to run from one distance to the other, if the wire has to go places where is doesn’t need to light up. For instance, if you were writing in standard letters, you may have to jump a gap, whereas writing in cursive is one fluid motion.

Items Needed are as follows:

– EL Wire

– Speaker (or lead) Wire

– Wire Strippers

– Razor Blade

– Solder

Let’s get right into it. First you have to strip the end off the EL Wire. To do this take your strippers about 1 inch away from the end, clamp down and pull. You should end up with a pair of angel hair wires (which are very fragile and only count as one wire when tied together) and one thicker one(with a powdery coating over). These two different wires are going to be your positive and negative wires I talked about previously. Next bend the small angel hair wires out of the way for use in the next step. Please use caution with these wires because if they break off you have to re-strip and start over.

Take the thicker wire with the powdery coating (it’s actually the element phosphor which makes the EL Wire glow), and use your razor blade to remove all the coating around the wire, leaving the metal wire exposed. Next tie the speaker wire you have (or lead wire) to your two different wires. When connected properly, the wire will light up at this point. If they light up, you are in business. But not quite finished. The last thing you will need to do it place some solder around the two pieces you connected. This will make it is very secure, and ensure that it will light up even during crazy dance parties.

If you have electrical tape or heat shrink tubing you can place it over the soldering that you just created to make a nice seam. That’s it, and you’re finished. You should be ready to go out and glow.