An EL lamp is a capacitor structure with a phosphor sandwiched between the electrodes. When AC or DC voltage is applied, the phosphor emits light making the lamp “glow” rather than “shine” like a light bulb. This is a very important distinction because of the potential for impairing night vision and the narrow field of view that shining or reflective light offers.
Commercial production of EL products started in the early 90′s as organizations made improvements to the technology such as micro encapsulated phosphors, improved moisture resistance, improved UV protection, small footprint (size) inverters, screen-printed manufacturing processes, and new chemistries. EL phosphors can also be mixed with pigments or colors. Binding agents allow the phosphors to be silk-screened onto paper, glass, cloth and other common materials. The resulting EL lamp has intensity, quality of light and life cycle characteristics which are very unique.
Safe Lites achieved a major breakthrough by successfully applying EL lighting technology to large applications. The major successes to date using EL technology have all been “small” applications such as watch faces, cell phones, PDA’s, dash boards etc. A basic understanding of EL technology is necessary to understand the true benefits of the products offered by Safe Lites.