What is GLOWIRE?
GLOWIRE is an electroluminescent wire - a copper wire coated with a phosphorus
material and wrapped with two tiny transmitter wires. It is then sealed in
a waterproof casing. GLOWIRE looks very similar to neon when powered.
What makes it glow?
GLOWIRE must be powered by a driver (inverter) in order to glow. A driver
takes a DC input voltage and provides an AC output voltage of approximately 120
volts. Both 9 volt and 12 volt drivers are available with varying
frequencies ranging from 400 to 4000hz. Brightness is determined by
voltage and frequency. The lower the frequency, the dimmer it glows, the
higher frequency the brighter it glows.
How do I know which driver to
You need to determine the length of GLOWIRE you want to run and the type of
power source you are using. 9 volt drivers will generally run a maximum of
12-14 feet of GLOWIRE. Using longer sections of wire will decrease the
brightness. You also need to use a minimum of at least 3 feet or the
driver may overload and be damaged. Some of the 12 volt drivers can power
120 feet of wire or more. All of the drivers can be used with any diameter
How is GLOWIRE used?
The uses of GLOWIRE are limited only by
your imagination. Some of the most common uses are for RC models, car
interiors, costumes, safety equipment, motorcycles, decorations, art projects,
backlighting or mood lighting, signs and model trains. The list goes on
Does it come in different colors?
General purpose and Heavy Duty GLOWIRE comes in 10 colors: aqua, blue, green,
lime, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow.
Aqua is considered to be the brightest color as it is the natural color of the
What is the difference between
general purpose and heavy duty GLOWIRE?
General purpose GLOWIRE has a diameter of
2.3mm. It is generally used for situations where the wire will not be
under a great deal of stress. Heavy duty GLOWIRE has an extra layer of PVC
protection and also UV protection giving it a diameter of 3.2mm.
Does it ever burn out?
Although GLOWIRE never burns out, it will
become dimmer over time. The higher the frequency used to power the wire,
the faster it will dim. At 4000hz it will last over 1600 hours. At
400hz it will remain bright for over 5700 hours.
Can it be cut?
GLOWIRE can easily be cut with wire
cutters. The cut end needs to be properly terminated to prevent moisture
damage and to prevent the wire from shorting out. GLOWIRE runs on a
parallel circuit, therefore there does not have to be a return path. The
end will need to be sealed with super glue, epoxy, silicone, heat shrink, etc to
make certain that no moisture will get in the wire.
Can GLOWIRE be spliced with other
Yes, you can add as much hook up wire as
needed, but the total amount of GLOWIRE is limited by the type of driver you are
using. For example, if you are using a 5541-2K driver, it can drive 18-45
feet of GLOWIRE. You can have 5 feet of hook up wire, 20 feet of GLOWIRE,
10 feet of hook up wire, 10 feet of GLOWIRE, 5 feet of hook up wire and up to 15
more feet of GLOWIRE.
Can different colors of GLOWIRE
be spliced together?
Yes, by simply soldering different colors
together. Soldering of GLOWIRE is tricky since the transmitter wires are
39 gauge, but doable if you are patient. Once again, the length of the
wire you use is dependent upon the type of driver used. Full soldering
instructions are located on our soldering instructions page.
Is it flexible?
GLOWIRE is very flexible. It can be
looped, bent and knotted loosely. Care must be taken to not be too rough with the
wire as the transmitter wires can be broken, thereby causing the wire to be dead
from the point of the break on. If the wire is bent excessively in one
place the phosphorus coating may begin to break up causing dark spots in the
How do you install GLOWIRE?
GLOWIRE is very easy to install. If
you want a permanent application you can glue it to most surfaces with vinyl
glue or super glue. For a temporary application clear tape, tie wraps or
plastic wraps can be used.
Is GLOWIRE waterproof?
The wire itself is water resistant but should
not be submersed in water for long periods of time. Although the casing is
plastic, after long periods of time water can be absorbed into the wire reducing
its life. The wire should also not be exposed to high heat/high humidity
environments. The battery and connectors are NOT waterproof. Extreme
caution should be used when using near water or splash.