I am trying to put EL Wire Tape in a project that I am working on.

I decided to go and build an inverter for 12VDC to 100VAC and that fell through. I couldn't find any guides that helped on EL Wire in computers and a lot of people used battery packs. So I was going to buy a battery pack and tear it apart. That didn't work either.

The molex connector on a computer is Yellow (+12VDC), Black (Ground), Black (Ground), Red (+5VDC). So either way I needed to get from 12VDC or 5VDC to 3VAC for the battery pack inverter.

So, I finally changed my plan to a 12VDC Inverter from Radio Shack. One end has a barrel plug for a wall adapter and the other is for the EL Wire. I am going to chop off the barrel end and solder it to a molex connector.

The other end is a problem... I got the EL Wire Tape and the Inverter from Radio Shack and EL Wire requires 100VAC and the Inverter puts out 160VAC 1W(Watt). That is confusing?

I know EL wire can be powered at higher current but it doesn't last as long. 180VAC will degrade it fast. I need to find a way to reduce 160VAC to 100VAC. Not sure what would be the best way to do this and the smallest way. Any help would be awesome. Update: Added Radio Shack Sku's.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please provide at least a model number for both the inverter and the EL tape, and a link for each would be better. I suspect you're misreading something, as R/S is likely to make their EL inverters compatible with their tapes. Not guaranteed, you know, but very likely. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 4:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or at least tell us the operating current for the EL tape. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ 39.3" (1m) White EL Tape (Radio Shack Sku 2760337) Operating voltage:100VAC \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ 12VDC INVERTER (Radio Shack Sku 2760341) I already modified the end to take the 12VDC from a computer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


These devices are both sold by Radioshack. Assuming they work together is reasonable. Asking Radioshack themselves would be even more reasonable.

EL Wire doesn't have a single working voltage; it works over a range of voltages; as long as your Voltage isn't high enough to break the dielectric barrier, you won't have problems, unless your wire overheats. Since that inverter is spec'ed to deliver a maximum power, which directly limits the amount of heat you can produce as a byproduct of switching the direction of the electrical field over the electroluminescent dielectric, you'll be fine.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if you have been to the Radio Shacks of Arizona but none of the associates know anything other than sell you a cell phone. Most are on their cell phones. Lucky if you can even find a manager. I have bought things before that go from one device or another there and they didn't work. So when I buy made from China parts from Radio Shack I like to check on what they do first. Mostly shoddy wiring. I just ended up hooking them up after I tweaked the end. If it does anything out of operation I will call Radio Shack out on it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 0:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought the online support chat thing was quite ok? Never tried that, though :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 8:23

I'd imagine you have figured this out by now or have set it aside... I just purchased a roll of el tape from our friends at Radio Shack. This stuff runs on AC voltage. (with the minimum being 100 Volts AC) It is confusing that they refer you to an inverter which would make sense if you plan on using in your car. (As in a DC/AC converter, as in cigarette lighter 12VDC to hair dryer 110VAC) don't see this as a need for a wall wort. Just cut the connector off and wire a 2 prong AC plug and plug that into a regular 110V AC wall outlet and turn the lights down low or even better off, this is pretty dim. Hopefully this Helps.


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