Basic Electroluminescent Paint Terminology
a multi-layer, sprayable, electroluminescent coating consisting of backplane, dielectric, Phosphor, busbar, & Conductive Top Coat.
Collectively the entire application is known as The Stack.
Backplane - Highly conductive low resistance
material that allows the electrical
current to be supported across
the entire illuminated surface.
Dielectric - Insulation layer when applied over
the backplane and under the busbar
to insure there is no burning or
shorting of the system.
Phosphor - Large particle material which
emits light when under power.
Busbar - Backplane material that provides a
low resistance path for better
distribution of electrical current.
Conductive Top Coat - Translucent conductive material sprayed over the entire surface which allows the electrical current to be distributed to produce light.
Encapsulating Clear - Automotive grade speed clear coat to protect the system from elements, contamination, and ultra-violet (UV) rays. It also encapsulates the electrical current within the system to protect from electrical shock and provides a surface for optional Color Top Coat.
Color Top Coat (optional) - The raw color when power is off is similar to a gray primer, a top coat color can be added at this Stage.
Automotive grade pearl, candy, or over-reduced pigmented colors can be applied over the encapsulating clear coat to produce a desired color when the power is turned on or off.
Artwork can also be applied over the electroluminescent paint, including hydrographics, spray chrome, airbrush, vinyl wrap, etc.
Basic Properties of Electroluminescence are:
Cool to the touch even when emitting light
Thin. It has a thickness of approximately 4.6 mils when applied according to specifications
Is flexible up to nearly 180 degrees
Reliable with no filament to break
Highly visible at great distances and in darkness, smoke, fog etc. versus point-sources of light
Easy to look at, pleasing to the eye
Low on energy consumption
Colors when lit... Green, Aqua, Blue, White, Orange, Yellow, Violet, Pink.
appears as a gray hue, similar to an automotive primer, when unlit.
Topcoats (airbrushing, tinted clear coats, colored top coats, hydrographics, etc.) can be used to alter the appearance of LumiLor to create a desired effect.
Red tones can be achieved by top coating with tinted clear coats or colored top coats such as candies and pearls, or even with hydrographics. This is typically applied over white light to provide the most true color effect. Always test top coats on a sample to see how they will look.
Opacity, Transparency and Light
Electroluminescence emits light and anything placed over , it will absorb a certain amount of light from emitting. Depending on your desired outcome this may be good (you want to eliminate light in a certain area) or bad (you want the light to shine through). Experimenting with various top coats and techniques will help you get your ideal level of opacity or transparency.
What Can Electroluminescent Paint Be Applied To?
Itcan be applied to any non-porous substrate including but not limited to Metal, wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, vinyl
How Long Will It Last?
The lifespan is dependent on how much power is applied and the native phosphor color used. More power equals brighter light but a shorter half life. 'Half life' is not an indication of total useful life. Electroluminescence will degrade in brightness up to the half life, and then plateau. There are documented applications of electroluminescence where the useful life of the product has been measured over 10,000 hours, and in some up to 50,000 hours.
Basic Electronics Knowledge:
Current - Electroluminescence requires alternating current (AC). Direct current (DC) can be converted to AC with the use of an inverter.
Batteries - Batteries provide direct current which can be converted to alternating current with an inverter.
Voltage - Electroluminescence typically runs on voltage between 100V AC and 200V AC. Other alternatives are possible.
Frequency - Electroluminescence typically runs at a frequency of 400Hz to 1000Hz but has the capacity to run between 50Hz and 2000Hz.
Inverter - An inverter converts DC to AC.
Boost Converter - A device to increase 12V DC in and output up to 30V DC.
Power Consumption - Electroluminescence consumes approximately 1 milli-amp per square inch.
Electronics and light output - Variances in frequency and voltage affect the brightness and longevity of Electroluminescence
Car batteries - Electroluminescence can run directly off of a car battery with the use of an inverter. Special consideration should be taken in designing the electronics (i.e. connecting to a separate fuse).
The Electroluminescence paint used is subjected to the harshest standards an automotive basecoat is asked to endure and has demonstrated the ability to pass ASTM G154, where UV light and water vapor rapidly weathers a panel. These tests have run for over 400 hours without incurring a loss in brightness, adhesion, or film quality.
The Electroluminescence paint used can pass ASTM D3359, we test the adhesion of the film when the film is damaged through both an X test and a crosshatch.
The Electroluminescence paint used is not certified standards independently. Substrate, application, and topcoat as a system must be tested in order to certify the coating for an application.