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GLOWIRE FAQ

GLOWIRE FAQ

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 water resistant casing.  GLOWIRE looks very similar to neon when powered, although it is not as bright.

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.  The output causes a charge which makes the wire glow.

How do I know which driver to use?
You need to determine the length of GLOWIRE you want to run and type of power source you will be using.  Each driver has a range of GLOWIRE it will power.  Running longer sections of wire than the recommended amount will decrease the brightness.  Using a significantly shorter length than recommended will damage the driver and cause dark spots to develop in the wire.
All of the drivers can be used with any diameter of GLOWIRE.

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, decorations, art projects, backlighting or mood lighting, signs and model trains.  The list goes on and on.

Does it come in different colors?
All diameters of GLOWIRE come in 10 different colors: aqua, blue, green, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow.
Lime is considered to be the brightest and aqua (the natural color of the wire) is the next bright.

What is the difference between thin, general purpose, high brightness and heavy duty GLOWIRE?
Thin GLOWIRE has a diameter of 1.2mm, general purpose GLOWIRE has a diameter of 2.3mm, and heavy duty GLOWIRE has a diameter of 3.2mm.  The differences in diameter is due to added layers of PVC protection.  The heavy duty GLOWIRE also has UV protection.  The more abuse the wire may endure the higher diameter of wire you will need.  Internally these 3 wires are identical.
High Brightness GLOWIRE is chemically brighter.  It is a heavier wire and has a shorter life.  It is for applications where brightness is most important.  The life of the high brightness wire is generally considered to be 800-850 hours.

Does it ever burn out?
Although GLOWIRE never burns out, it will become dimmer over time.  The higher the frequency of the driver used the faster it will dim.  At 4000hz the wire will last over 1600 hours.  At 2000hz it will remain bright for over 4000 hours.

Can GLOWIRE be cut?
GLOWIRE can esily be cut with sharp wire cutters.  The cut end needs to be properly terminated to prevent moisture damage and 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 heat shrink tubing, super glue, epoxy, silicone, etc to make certain that no moisture will enter the wire.

Can GLOWIRE be spliced with other wire?
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 run 15-50 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 20 more feet of GLOWIRE.  You can mix and match colors and diameters too.

How do you put on a connector?
Connectors must be soldered onto GLOWIRE.  It would be great if you could just snap on a connector but at this time that isn't possible.  Complete soldering instructions are available on our soldering instructions page.

Is GLOWIRE flexible?
GLOWIRE is very flexible.  It can be looped, bent, and knotted loosely.  Care must be takes to not be too rough with the wire as the transmitter wires inside can be broken causing the wire to be dead from the point of the break on.  If the wire is bent excessively in one place or rubbed against frequently the phosphorus coating may begin to break up causing dark spots in the wire.  We recommend looping the wire no more tightly than you would around a pencil.

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?
GLOWIRE is water resistant but should not be submersed in water or be used in high humidity applications.  Although the casing is plastic, after long periods of time water can be absorbed into the wire causing it to turn black.  The drivers and connectors are NOT waterproof.  Extreme caution should be used when using near wtaer or splash.