I have been thinking about using EL wire in our house as a night light but I am concerned about electromagnetic compatibility and possible adverse effects on the inhabitants (we).

You can see these EL wires driven by cheap chinese inverters. So given that the operating point typically is at 100V(AC), 1kHz, 100mA (and I am probably going to use several EL wires), I think the EMC concerns might well be justified.

But I just can't find anything about EMC/biocompatibility and EL wires. There are YouTube videos of people innocently wearing EL wire close to their body (of course there is no immediate harm if the inverters have proper current limiting, but probably something mure subtle like cancer risk in 10 years or something), and the thought of having 100V close to my skin makes me a little uneasy. There are also videos where you can literally hear the inverter buzzing.

Are there any investigations about the topic? Which EMC regulations could apply? Are there probably directives regarding the use of electroluminescence in medical devices?

Sorry for being so unspecific, but I honestly don't know where to begin in order to judge whether it is advisable to have EL wire operating near your family.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ First hit on google search on "EL wire CE": The high-quality TechnoFlash EL Wire light is CE approved, UL listed, and is ISO 9002 certified But if it is safe is as disputable as using a mobile phone as noone really exactly knows the (long term) health effects. \$\endgroup\$
    – Huisman
    Jan 2 '20 at 18:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ There is no electromagnetic radiation that causes cancer in the radio range cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/… You need ionizing radiation (at least UV), or radiation that will cause nuclear transmutation \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Jan 2 '20 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ EMC regulations for this situation are about preventing radio interference, not protecting people, because people don't need to be protected from this kind of radiation. \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Jan 2 '20 at 19:12

EL wire drivers are low power, relatively low frequency devices that aren't designed to emit radiation. Even unintentional emissions (which are honestly likely) are going to be low power and well, well below the frequency threshold they'd need to be ionizing (and therefore dangerous). EMI regulations in that band are about interference with other people's electronics, not biocompatibility. You'd have a higher cancer risk from walking outside in sunlight, or eating a piece of processed meat, or missing a night's sleep.


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