# Can electroluminescent (EL) wire used as a conductor?

I know the El wires have high-frequency AC current running through them, but I have never seen anyone using them to carry power. Can I use them as a conductor for a DC led and power an led lamp using them?

Would connecting the end to led light (drawing more current) break the light?

As far as I understood the light acts as a capacitor and a resistor combination

So driving the 5v DC output of my powerbank at 2khz would provide me 314 KΩ of resistance and 4.7 nF of capacitance (per meter of wire).

Which is as follows:

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Could I add an LED source at the end (5v, ~1.8 Amps) as such:

simulate this circuit

• This would be like trying to use a long fluorescent bulb as a wire. Just because it is long and flexible and called a wire doesn't change this. May 14, 2021 at 1:00
• This is true, but fluorescent bulbs use argon gas and heat to power the light, which has different properties (like light itself is a big resistor heating the argon gas, and they are big inductors, unlike the capacitor here)
– Ulsa
May 14, 2021 at 1:21
• It's still a load. You wouldn't use a big long inductive component to transmit DC somewhere any more than you would use a big long capacitive component to transmit AC. May 14, 2021 at 1:21
• I can't help but wonder why you would want to. May 14, 2021 at 1:21
• well, Im building uv lights on forks of my bike to light the tires for glow in the dark tape. The matching colour of cables on my bike (neon green) are only found in one type of gear cable manufacturer. They are expensive and I have to remove the inner cable to replace with copper cables. So while at it, instead of buying a casing for copper cables I could buy el light/cable (for the same price!)
– Ulsa
May 14, 2021 at 3:21

The wire has some resistive leakage between the two conductors. Even if you were to 'float' the EL drive with a transformer and use the wire to carry another signal, enough noise would couple to the signal to spoil it unless it's very low impedance.

Even if there were no resistive leakage, the current flowing back and forth charging and discharging the wire will have some AC drop across its length. For a long piece of wire that might be a lot, and this will show up on your signal.

So, yes, it might work for an LED. But for any signal you really care about? Too much coupling.

• My aim is to carry power, not signals but thanks for pointing it out. So for this configuration how would I know if my led has enough juice to light up ? also, would the led decrease the el light's brightness since its parallel ?
– Ulsa
May 14, 2021 at 3:28
• The two conductors (core and exciter) swing +-100V to get the phosphor to light. It has to be AC or it doesn't work. You can't drive an LED with that directly. May 14, 2021 at 3:30
• well the link I provided shows that 5v is also possible with 2khz. I do hope that it would be enough to provide power to the led
– Ulsa
May 15, 2021 at 11:41