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Glowing, Neon Lights for Parties, Costumes and Fun

Updated on July 26, 2017
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Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.

Making Our Own Fun

The latest fun toy for celebrating!

Glow wire, also known as "el wire" (short for electroluminescent wire) is a step up from glow sticks.

Glow sticks are an encapsulated and bendable glowing product--the glowing properties are initiated by "breaking" the stick. The super bright glowing light only lasts for about 8 to 10 hours and begins to fade after that.

Glow wire, on the other hand, is operated from a battery pack and can last much, much longer.

Electroluminescent materials are fun to work with and play with, especially when it's dark outside or used inside on stage or in a darkened space. The wire can be safely attached to clothing, hats, bodies, furniture, and architectural elements--you'll just need to find a way to hide the battery pack that's necessary to "light" the wire.

Characteristics of El Wire

  • Flexible and can be bent araound the body and into shapes
  • Easy to use
  • Cool to touch - never gets hot
  • Available in lots of colors
  • Can be used as ornaments, jewelry or costumes
  • Can be spliced and cut to create shorter or longer strands
  • Can be braided or looped
  • Water resistant and durable in outdoor use

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Buying El Wire

El wire comes in two parts--the wire and the power source/controller.

Power sources can be outlet plugins or battery packs. Most battery packs require two AA batteries or three AAA battereis to operate. Check the details of the item to see if the batteries are included--often you have to purchase the batteries separately.

It's pretty easy to find at Amazon or eBay. You can sometimes find it at home remodeling stores and Halloween costume and decorating stores.

Check QVC and HSN for variations on El Wire products--they usually sell really fun products that use El Wire in different ways.

Use El Wire Over and Over

El wire is not a one night, throw away product like a glow stick. It can be turned off and reused later, again and again. Sometimes you can find wire that can be cut to length for special projects.

People Loved This

Making our own fun at the Roswell UFO Festival in 2011.

We wrapped ourselves in El wire and hooked the battery packs to our belt loops. We are also wearing glow stick necklaces.

Keep the el wire in motion and you can get some great photographs.

People loved watching the wire spin around and around, and we could have sold the wire and battery packs by the hundreds if we'd just thought ahead a little bit.

How Electroluminescent Materials Work

Looks like fun, yes?

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