I am trying to get one light strand to function with a different battery by cutting off the batteries from the light strands then switching the battery controllers and soldering the new battery controllers to the other light strands. Here is a picture of the light strands lit up normally. 2 unaltered light strands with battery controllers

Specifically I am trying to get a light strand from blue El wire (uses 2 AA batteries on its black controller) to work with the batteries from a different green light strand (this one uses 2 CR2032 batteries in its white controller, see picture of unlit green light strand with exposed CR2032 batteries) unlit strand with open controller showing CR2032 batteries.

I don't care how long the new battery controller/El wire lasts, I just need it to light up for about an hourish. So far I cut off the black battery controller to the El wire, and soldered it to the new white controller with the CR2032 batteries but it does not function. See picture:

green strand white battery controller soldered to blue El wire light strand and its non-functioning

Then to test my soldering and polarity of wires I soldered the other cut off green light strand to the cut wires from the blue El wire with the AA black battery controller and it worked.

cut wires soldered with switched battery packs and it works

OVER ALL QUESTION: So is there anything I can do to make the blue EL wire light strand work with the smaller CR2032 white battery controller from the other green light strand?

FYI Here are some links to the products I am talking about on amazon if you have further questions:

This is the exact El wire product: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUIN3XW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I want to attach this light to another similar light that uses 2 CR2032 batteries.

Here is the link to the controller:



3 Answers 3


The first thing you need to realize is that your blue strands are EL strands, and that the green strand is a string of LEDs. The two are very different.

You cannot (directly) drive EL (electroluminescent) light strands with a battery box intended for use with a string of LED lights. EL requires AC to operate. LEDs require DC, but can operate on AC as long as the peak voltage is high enough and the available current is limited.

The EL controller generates AC from the DC the battery provides. The required voltage is also rather high - like 100VAC. The EL controller generates high voltage, high frequency, low current power for the strip.

The battery box of a string of LED lights is pretty much just that: a box for the batteries, a connection for the wires, and a switch to turn them on or off.

So, you can drive a string of LED lights from AC (at least for a while, though it might with time destroy the LEDs) but you can't run EL from DC at all.

If you want to drive EL strands from CR 2032 batteries, you will have to find a controller meant to operate on CR 2032 batteries, or build one yourself. You might also pull the electronics out of a controller that uses AA cells and try to fit that into the box a of CR 2032 LED battery box - though I don't think there will be enough room in one of them.

Wikipedia on EL.

Adafruit on the practical application of EL.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ?? Would some one care to explain the downvote? I'm not terribly knowledgeable about EL strands, but I didn't think I had gotten anything wrong in what I wrote. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    May 7, 2018 at 5:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the answer, I think its great \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    May 7, 2018 at 5:22

Did you measure the voltage from the CR2032 battery pack while it is trying to light the blue EL strand to see if it is actually the two 3V cells in series or 3V in parallel, and if they are overloaded? The CR2032 is tiny compared to an AA cell and cannot provide much current without its voltage falling flat on its face.


Yes you can use coin cells for this. If you use the right controller. The white case is just a battery holder, a switch, and a resistor. The black case uses an inverter to power the el wire section which uses capacitance and AC to work. That you got the leds to work is a fluke.

You could connect the coin cells to where the AA cells are and it will turn on for a while. Or buy one that is meant to run on coin cells. They are out there.


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