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EL Wire Drivers & Inverter Basics

Drivers / Inverter Basics

The Basics: all EL wire requires a driver (also known as an inverter) to power and light up the wire. The driver converts the batteries DC power to AC which is what EL wire needs to operate.  All drivers emit a high pitched humming noise (not that loud).

*Important* do not turn on a driver without wire attached as it could damage the driver. A good rule of thumb is to connect the wire before you put in the batteries as the on function might be currently selected.


Power: drivers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes due to the wide range of their applications. All drivers have a range of wire they are meant to power which can be anywhere from 1 meter to 100 meters. The longer the wire it is powering, the more powerful the driver has to be (which subsequently makes them bigger/heavier). If a driver is rated for 5 meters, it can power any combination of wires with a combined length of 5 meters (a 5 meter piece or 5 1 meter pieces will work the same).


Size: 3 volt drivers are typically the smallest of the bunch as the unit will house the driver and 2aa batteries. The 3 volt drivers measure around 10cm x 3cm x 2cm for the sound driver, and slightly bigger for the standard driver.  They are handy for all portable uses as they can be stashed anywhere easily (pocket, zip tied to inside of hat, anywhere really!).

The 9 Volt driver is the strongest driver that we carry that doesn't require a ton of batteries.  It is powered by 1 9 volt battery, and has brightness and blink speed controls.  It is meant for wire between 8-10 meters in length.  #1 seller for deluxe kits.

12 volt drivers are the largest of the drivers as they take 8aa batteries, they are still portable but you will need a big pocket to hold it. The plus side of bigger battery pack is that some drivers can power up to 50 meters(remember that you can split that 50 meters up into any combination of lengths adding up to 50) and last up to 2 days fully lit.

*NEW* We have just started carrying a 'craft EL wire kit' which is powered by the smallest driver yet.  It is 1 meter of our high quality EL wire paired with our smallest driver.


Functions: most drivers will have a button or switch allowing you to switch between functions. On/off/blink/variable blink are all common functions. Some advanced drivers will have a sound sensitive driver that can blink & pulse to music, it is typically our #1 seller (for good reason, it's amazing!).


Glow Time: battery life on the 3v driver is typically around 8-10+ hours, and on the larger 12v drivers up to 48 hours.  We recommend you use high quality brand name batteries as it will guarantee the brightest wire possible, for the longest amount of time.


So what do we recommend?

Luckily we have paired up the proper driver with each kit so there is no guess work involved in figuring out which driver you need.  The kits are ready to use, just add batteries!


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