Making any surface a light with electroluminescent paint
Electroluminescent paint is a light emitting coating which can make any object or surface a light. The paint system, however, requires an electrical current passing through it to let it emit light. Electroluminescent paint is, in principle, suitable for any non porous material such as wood, metals and fiberglass as well as plastics and vinyl. Furthermore, it is possible to apply it on rubber and glass with help of adhesion promoters.
EL paint is the latest trend in exclusive motorcycle and car tuning. The application process itself is rather simple, however, a current must be made pass through the coated surface, which requires professional equipment and knowledge. The following video clip demonstrates EL paint on motorcycles.
Layers of electroluminescent coating
Electroluminescent paint is a complex system which consists of several layers which all contribute to the light emitting ability. The paint system consists of
- A highly conductive, low resistant material which supports the current throughout the entire surface
- A dielectric material which acts as insulation and makes sure no burning and shorting occur. It also guarantees equal distribution of current to the surface.
- The electroluminescent pigments which give the light its colour.
- A layer of very low resistance coating.
- A clear coat of conductive coating. Also an ordinary coating is applicable as long as it is electrically conductive.
Electroluminescent wire with coating
EL wire is becoming more and more popular due to its aesthetic properties. It is suitable for example for car and home decoration as well as for marking safety and emergency routes. It is also common in toys, Christmas lights and clothing. EL wire is available in most of the hobby shops.
EL paint paint in Australia
The applications of EL paint are rather complex and therefore, require coating experience and professional equipment. The coating is not yet very accessible for the consumers for it is not sold in Australia. However, ordering it from overseas is possible.
At the moment there are mainly two brands available being LumiLor and LitCoat. LumiLor has one applicator in Australia:
6 Star Custom Paint
LitCoat, for its part, can be ordered from the USA. Nevertheless, it is not advised to apply the paint without professional environment. The prices of EL paint vary depending on the type and volume of the order. For example, a starter kit is available from AUD 300 and a large pro-pack costs about AUD 2.300 . Furthermore it is possible that additional shipping costs occur.