A GlowSkin Active Illumination System consists of a lighting panel (called an EL Lamp) that “glows” when activated using special electronics, an inverter that drives the lamp at the appropriate voltage and frequency, and a power source (typically a battery). These lamps can be made of any size or shape and are flexible and, while not every EL lamp is washable, GlowSkin is! Because of this flexibility, the company’s GlowSkin lighting system can be applied to everything from signage to apparel.
When the company was developing its GlowSkin lighting system, it reviewed a wide array of lighting technologies and illumination panel/wire formats. EL was selected over conventional point-source lighting for several key factors:
- EL does not destroy or impair night vision so it is well suited for use on or around roadways.
- EL lamps have a wide angle of vision making them more visible than either reflective lighting or point-of-light application.
- Illuminated EL lamps can be seen at great distances in the dark as well as under diminished viewing conditions (smoke, fog, haze, snow, etc.).
- EL lamps do not “burn out” like bulbs, typically giving them over 15,000 hours of useful life.
- EL lamps generate no heat and require very little power making them ideal for illuminating apparel where the weight of the lighting system may be an issue.
- EL lamps are vibration/impact resistant making them an excellent choice for use in vehicle signage applications.
- EL lamps can operate in a very broad temperature range so they can be used with snowplows in Minnesota sub-zero weather as well as on slow moving vehicle signs operating in the Arizona deserts.
- EL lamps contain no hazardous materials and are biodegradable.
- Recent developments make it possible to “segment” the EL lamps and program inverters to animate images in a way that almost mimics video.