EL wire is wire which glows without LED. We can control EL Wire through an Arduino or ESP32. These are thin copper wire coated in a phosphor which produces light when AC is applied to it. AC does not mean home supply AC – battery with inverter enough for them. They can be used in a wide variety of projects much as custom neon lights were often used. The thin diameter EL wires make them flexible and usable on clothing or costumes. EL wire is available in different lengths and different colours. These do not give LED like a huge amount of light.
EL wire’s consists of 5 components. Its solid-copper wire core is coated with phosphor, a pair of spiral wires wrap around that phosphor-coated copper core while it is electrically isolated from the core. The total thing is housed inside two clear PVC sleeves. The phosphor acts as a capacitor and starts to glow utilizing an alternating current at a voltage of about 90 to 200 Volt, with a frequency of 1000 Hz. This voltage does not have the energy to be dangerous. The rapid charging and discharging of the capacitor excite the phosphor to emit light. The colours of light that can be produced efficiently by phosphors are limited.
A single-chip switched-capacitor inverter IC such as the Supertex HV850can run 30 cm of wire. These chips can control signals from a microcontroller. Also, there is EL sheet, and combination of wire can be used as a touch sensor, as compressing the capacitor will change the value. EL wire sequencers can flash the EL wire, in sequential patterns and a piece of battery-powered equipment.
There are ready to use modules to easily control from Arduino, ESP32 like SparkFun EL Sequencer :
This guide will help you as an alternate, DIY option :
By using a solid state relay we can keep both the circuits separate. The cheaper Made in China normal relays are rated for 10,000 operations. So, you can not really blink an AC bulb with Arduino for too long!
I will point towards two excellent guides on EL wires to use them like neon or nixie :