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How Electroluminescent Tape Works with a Sequencer?

By Ewan Fisher Subscribe to RSS | February 9th 2012 | Views:
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Electroluminescent tape and a sequencer go hand in hand. By attaching EL tape (or wire for that matter) to a sequencer it is possible to create a variety of on/off and programmed states, allowing the inventor to deliver sequenced illumination that appears to animate words or even recognisable figures.

Electroluminescent tape is composed of the same elements as EL wire (two copper wires, one thick one thin, plus phosphor and a coloured organic coating), sand works in the same way – it’s just flat and ribbon like instead of cylindrical. As such EL tape has slightly different end uses to EL wire – it can be incorporated more freely and naturally into garments and it is ideal for use as floor indicators or wall strips.

By connecting a different piece of electroluminescent tape to different channels on a sequencer, and firing them in a programmed order, it is possible to animate a scene or display a series of words. In the field of costume design this is particularly effective, allowing theatrical costume designers to create futuristic garments for appropriate productions and letting high fashion designers make a very bright cyber statement on the catwalk.

As a natural attention grabber, the practice of connecting electroluminescent tape to a sequencer can also be used heavily in advertising – either advertising a product or an establishment, as in the animated signs sometimes seen hanging in bar windows.

When you use a sequencer with EL tape or wire it is important to match the length of the wire (in minimum and maximum values) to the rating of the sequencer. The sequencer will have a pretty wide range between minimum and maximum – often dozens of feet. The minimum rating is particularly important. If you attach a length of electroluminescent tape less than the minimum rating on the sequencer, you run a real risk of burning out the sequencer. At the other end of the spectrum the only effect is that the tape doesn’t light up as brightly as you thought it would.

It is safe to experiment a little with the rating of the sequencer and the length of electroluminescent tape you are using. The shorter the lengths you use, within reason, the brighter they can burn. Because EL tape is constructed in the same way as EL wire it will glow brightly without heating up, making it (as long as the sequencer is not heating up) an ideal safe alternative to neon.

The numbers of applications for EL tape are unlimited – wherever there is a need for cool, flexible and safe lighting, EL tape suffices!

Ewan Fisher - About Author:
Proto-Pic is a supplier of components and kits for electronics hobbyists, enthusiasts and professionals. Proto-Pic also supplies manuals, inventor’s kits and information to help inventors use their imagination freely.electroluminescent tape

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