En-light Yourself

Here's another fast and fun project I've done recently - Jeans with decorative el-wires which glow at night. It is very festive and easy to make.

(Sorry for the horizontal video... I hate when people do that :P)

Last week I went to a music festival. I bought the tickets 3 days before and was thinking what can I bring with me. I didn't have enough time to built something big - Only one free evening until the festival. Then I remember my el-wires! I bought a bunch of them a while ago and haven't had the chance to use them yet.

lots of el-wires

What are el-wires (חוטימור)? Well, lets not get into the chemical details, but in general it is a flexible electrical wire which glows when connected to AC high voltage. To make an el-wire glow, you'll need:

  • Wires - They come in many colors and they are not always as seems in the pictures. I recommend green and white for best glow.
  • A connector - The wires usually come with a connector for easy use.
  • An inverter - To power the el-wire one will most likely use batteries, USB or car-jack which means 3V-12V input. The inverter makes the output voltage around 100V at around 1000Hz, the voltage needed to light the wires. Don't worry about the dangerous high voltage - The current is so small it is not really dangerous.

When I first encountered el-wires I noticed it can really upgrade party-clothes, so I started by looking on YouTube videos of "how-to". In most of the videos I watched people did some great work and sewed the el-wire to their clothes. I didn't had the time to sew so I decided to try something else. Since I've used jeans I didn't care so much about, I decided to check how it goes with hot glue. It seems as hot glue is really good for jeans - not so good if you want to get it off after though.
So I started with gluing the wire to the jeans:

el-wire jeans

I choose to start from bottom so I can go over the entire jeans without the need to go back up and down. Notice you do not curve the el-wire too much, it can actually break and stop working, just feel it and don't put too much pressure:

el-wire jeans2

Getting to the middle, I started again from the other bottom part of the jeans to make a symmetric design, and finally did some curves at the top of the jeans:

el-wire other side

So far seems good:

el-wire version 1

But I wanted to add another color. In order to do that I had to use a connector splitter:

el-wire splitter

The splitter I had was "1 to 6" splitter. Unfortunately, I've noticed that when connecting more than two colors the "glow" diminishes pretty quickly. So I de-solder the splitter:

el-wire splitter de-soldered

and connected back only "1 to 2" splitter. Also, I made it much longer so I can put the inverter in my pocket and connect the wires on the bottom of the jeans. Next, I glued a white el-wire and the jeans was almost ready:

Both el-wire

Last, I made a small hole at the bottom of the jeans to put the connectors through

el-wire hole bottom

and a hole at the top of the jeans to put the wires from the inverter into the jeans.

el-wire hole top


el-wire ready

The entire project took about two hours and was fun to build. Also - was a big hit at the festival. Think I'm gonna order some more el-wires so I can ruin some more clothes at the next festival.


Amir Avni

Algorithm developer by day, hobbyist maker by night. Recently, when I finally find some time for my hobby I try also to write about it. For any ideas, comments or questions feel free to communicate me

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