Here’s some tips for getting the most out of your el wire:
1) Use Decent Batteries – alkaline ones like duracell are the best – but you can get these same type of batteries much cheaper (eg Maplins sell a box of 100 of them for £15)
Rechargable batteries have a lower voltage (1.2v) compared to standard batteries (1.5v)
So if you are using 8 of them in the 8XAA battery box you will be putting in 9v instead of the 12v the inverter needs
As the battery drains you will find the EL Wire becomes less bright and you may even notice it becomes patchy – this is a sign to put fresh batteries in
2) Switch Inverter Off After Use – if you unplug the wires from the inverter it will still carry on draining the batteries
3) Adding More Wire – you can ‘daisy chain’ many splitters together and have many wires coming off a single inverter. You will soon find that adding by adding extra EL wire it begins to get dimmer.
The more powerful inverters will drive the EL wire brighter (eg the 8xAA inverter runs 15m of EL wire brighter than the 2xAA inverter drives 1m of wire)
4) Any Glue Is Fine – for fixing wire to a costume. A Hot-glue gun is the best. Remember if it is being permanently fixed to clothing which is being worn out that there is some chance the wire will suffer some extreme environments so take care to observe point 5)
5) Protect The Connection Point – The inch of tubing where the power wire joins to the glowing EL Wire is BY FAR the most fragile and vulnerable point.
Lightpainters are advised to tape up and reinforce this part (as well as the wires as they come out of the inverter) before they star swinging the wire around. And if you’re using it on a costume be sure to keep this part away from elbows or anywhere it will suffer stress.
6) If The Wire Fails – It is likely to be at the place mentioned in 5) Don’t worry if the wire is firmly glued somewhere as you can just cut the connector off and re-attach it.
Instructions how to do this are on the website – unfortunately it requires wirestrippers, a soldering iron and some copper tape – but it is fairly easy. Sometimes though it is the fault of the very far end of the EL wire, perhaps the end cap has fallen off and something has shorted thewires at that end so give it a quick rub and see if it sparks into life ( you yourself might get a tingle of an electro shock off this – dont worry though, EL Wire is VERY low current so there is no danger of a painful shock