New EL Wire Pocket Inverter - 2xAA Batteries - Cover Expand

EL Wire Pocket Inverter - 2xAA Batteries

DFRobot DFRobot



This lightweight & portable EL Wire Pocket Inverter uses the input of 2xAA Batteries to produce AC Output for funky El Wires, Tapes and Sheets.

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Playing with LED Strips has always been one of the more exciting aspects within Electronics, as it often produces immediate results that are not just visibly colourful and fun, but actually impressive to everyone who sees them – whether they can appreciate the circuitry or not. However, while LED’s are certainly one of the most exciting kinds of Electronic Components to play and experiment with, the more recent addition to the electronics lighting world, EL Wire, is really starting to take the lead in popularity, due to the ease-of-use, high levels of efficiency, and the ability to cut, shape and design EL Wire setups in almost any way you can imagine!

This handy little EL Wire Pocket Inverter is essentially a simple DC to AC converter, which utilises 2xAA Batteries to produce an AC current up to 240V AC for EL Wire. This allows Makers to take EL projects out into the world, without having to connect up to a mains supply or similar permanent AC output. It features a single button for controlling on, off and blink modes, with a 2-wire interface that can simply be plugged directly into an EL Wire, EL Strip or EL Panel to make them glow.

These features make this EL Wire Pocket Inverter a great choice for creating funky, colourful, electronically-augmented clothing, as it offers an even more lightweight and versatile alternative to LED’s, which can easily bend, be sewn into clothing, and even be put in the wash as long as you remove the batteries first. Additionally, AA batteries are reasonably inexpensive, and you can expect a single pair of AA Batteries to last anywhere between 2 and 10 hours depending on the length of the strip, with rechargeable batteries obviously reducing this maximum time due to their 1.2V rating rather than a 1.5V standard AA battery.

As a final note, while having an AC voltage in your pocket does sound a little scary at first, this AC is operating at extremely low current ratings, and this means that the worst-case scenario simply involves a small shock if something does in fact go wrong. With that being said, it’s always a good idea to utilise caution when working with any kinds of voltages, and to ensure optimal safety with EL Wire, simply make sure that all of the loose ends, bare wires and easy-to-reach components are insulated. And if you’re still unsure after capping the ends and checking the connections, consider getting some Insulation Tape to give it some extra insulation safety for peace of mind.

Please Note: This EL Wire Pocket Inverter is designed to accommodate between 1 and 5 metres of EL Wire, in a single or multi-strand setup, although the brightness will depend on the total length of the EL Wire. Additionally, it’s critical that you never turn on this inverter without EL Wire attached, as this can easily damage the inverter or cause a shock to the user.


2xAA EL Wire Pocket Inverter  -  Technical Specifications:

  • Input Voltage                         

– 2.4V to 3.5V DC

  • Battery Compatibility

– AA Batteries (Standard & Rechargeable)

  • Battery Slots

– 2

  • Output Voltage

– 20V to 220V AC

  • Minimum EL Wire Length

– ±15cm (Gets Hotter as Length Decreases)

  • Maximum EL Wire Length

– ±3m Full Brightness

– ±6m Half Brightness

– ±9m Dull Glow in Darkness

  • Onboard Controls

– Single Button (On / Flashing / Off)

  • Weight

– ±30g

  • Dimensions

– 90 x 32 x 20mm


Typical Applications for the AA-Powered EL Wire Pocket Inverter:

EL Wire, which stands for ElectroLuminescent Wire, is very similar to neon lighting, but offers better efficiency, lower heat generation, as well as more colours due to the fact that the phosphor is being illuminated rather than a doped material and substrate with sending out specifically-coloured photons. Additionally, EL Wire is quite unique in the way that it can simply be cut down to whatever size you need, with options for rounded cables, flat strips and flat panels – all of which can be cut to size and shape depending on your needs.

However, another unique aspect about EL Wire, EL Strips and EL Panels is that they operate on AC current, and this is the primary purpose for stocking the EL Wire Pocket Inverter. And while it may seem odd at first to control AC current devices with a DC-based MCU or controller board, we also stock the EL Escudo Dos Shield, which is an Arduino-compatible interfacing board for controlling multiple EL Wire products, allowing Makers to create displays, visual decorations, and essentially control EL Wire goodies like LED’s or other components.

As a final note, for more advanced users (although we don’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t know precisely what they’re doing), you can also make modifications to this inverter to get it to run from a LiPo battery instead. However, it’s your responsibility to take extra !EXTRA! safety precautions when modifying AC Electronics, so please don’t attempt this if you’re at all unsure of how to do so.


Additional Resources:

  • If you’re eager to see precisely how beautiful and impressive EL Wire projects can be, this EL Wire Pinterest Page is a great place to start getting some ideas and inspiration from.
  • If you’re brand new to EL Wire and the awesome possibilities that it opens up, this extremely helpful Adafruit EL Wire Overview & Guide is ideal for learning all about the in’s and out’s of connecting and powering EL Wire products.
  • If you’re looking for even more information about EL Wire and the various accessories, this is another really handy EL Wire Getting Started Guide from SparkFun, which offers general help and details on accessories like the EL Escudo Dos controller board.
  • Once you’ve gotten the hang of using EL Wire and the cool accessories that complement it, be sure to take a look at this SparkFun Guide to Creating EL Displays, which uses the EL Escudo Dos controller to sequence EL Wire in fun, eye-catching ways.
  • Finally, if you’re eager to see precisely what’s possible with EL Wire, take a quick browse through this ELWireCraft EL Gadgets Page, which shows great examples of masks, outfits, accessories and signs that can all be made with cool EL Wire goodies.


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EL Wire Pocket Inverter - 2xAA Batteries

EL Wire Pocket Inverter - 2xAA Batteries

As self-proclaimed “Robo-holics”, DFRobot is a company comprised of over 100 staff members, of which 30% are engineers who love to build robots. It was started in 2008 with the goal of embracing and promoting open-source hardware, with a core focus on Arduino, Raspberry Pi and their very own LattePanda development boards. Since then, DFRobot have manufactured over 1300 unique modules, sensors and components that all work together and complement each other, allowing users like us to enjoy a full spectrum of cutting edge robotics and electronics without having to pay premium prices.

With the primary goal of developing and manufacturing great quality products, while making them accessible to as many people as possible, DFRobot are rapidly becoming one of the most common-place brands in the world of open-source robotics and electronics. With more than 1300 products developed in-house, and an impressive range of different categories and specialisations, there are few brands in the world who can compete in terms of quality, accessibility and genuine innovation.