Advanced Electrolumiensent Lighting

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History of EL


The field of Electroluminescence was invented in the early 1930's but didn't achieve any commercial relevance until the mid 1990's. George Destriau worked in the laboratories of Madame Marie Curie in Paris who had been early pioneers in the field of luminescence because of their research on radium.

The first powder electroluminescent phosphor was introduced in 1930 and Destriau was the first who came up with the word "electroluminescence" to refer to the phenomenon he observed in 1936. Electroluminescence (EL) is an optical phenomenon and electrical phenomenon in which a material emits light in response to an electric current passed through it, or to a strong electric field. These days, EL lamps are widely used for backlight applications.

The most common EL devices are either powder (primarily used in lighting applications) or thin film (for information displays). Electroluminescent (EL) light is technically described as a Light Emitting Capacitor (LEC). Electroluminescent produces light when phosphor crystals are excited by being exposed to electric current. EL panels and strips can be found as backlighting for LCD's (Liquid Crystal Displays) in pagers, cell phones, watches, and control panels as well as strip lighting for egress, decor architecture, broadcast sets, and much more.

Benefits of Electroluminescent (EL) light:

  • No filament to break – never fails to light
  • Flexible and bright
  • Cool to touch and light-weight
  • Highly visible in darkness, smoke, fog etc. vs. point-sources of light
  • Paper thin (as thin as credit card)
  • Not affected by vibration (Vibration Resistant)
  • Shock Proof
  • Does not burn out suddenly
  • Continues to operate, even if punctured
  • Does not impair night vision
  • Can be seen at greater distances
  • No hazardous materials
  • Effective and Maintenance Free
  • Approximately 0.025” thick
  Electroluminescent technologies have low power consumption compared to competing lighting technologies, such as neon or fluorescent lamps. This, together with the thinness of the material, has made EL technology valuable to the advertising industry. Relevant advertising applications include electroluminescent billboards and signs. EL manufacturers are able to control precisely which areas of an electroluminescent sheet illuminate, and when. This has given advertisers the ability to create more dynamic advertising which is still compatible with traditional advertising spaces. In principle, EL lamps can be made in any color. However, the commonly-used blue-green closely matches the peak sensitivity of human vision, producing the greatest apparent light output for the least electrical power input.  
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