Introduction to EL

‘EL’ is an amazing way to illuminate sign artwork, not only can we light the artwork similar to a backlit sign, we have the ability to program the light to animate, these signs are incredibly thin and can be applied too almost any application.

Are you looking for a unique way to cut through the clutter of posters and advertising signage that numb and congest your audience receptiveness to your message? Then grab your audience by printing your message on a thin, durable and lightweight print medium that not only lights up like a fluorescent backlit sign but also provides eye-catching animation effects, similar to neon, but far more dramatic and realistic because it works within a high-resolution image. An animated picture is worth more than a thousand words.

EL History + Development

Developed in 1936, EL was used primarily in laboratory settings until the early 1960’s, when aircraft manufacturers began using it to illuminate instrument panels. Since then, EL has been employed in a number of commercial applications such as backlighting clocks and watches, computer displays and keypad illumination for hand-held devices. The latest development in EL products is the ability to not only illuminate an image on a vast array of materials, but to animate it as well.

EL signage, is essentially a flat light bulb sandwich consisting of layers of conductive and non-conductive plastic and a layer of phosphor. The phosphor is laminated between two conductive layers and, as a voltage is applied between the two conductive layers, or electrodes, the phosphor emits light energy. When a high-resolution image is printed over the light, it behaves like a backlit sign.

EL + Animation

By taking this idea further and dividing the printed image into several different sections that can be illuminated separately from one another, we can program and sequence these sections to provide an animated effect as we flash and/or fade the phosphor light in each of the sections in and out to create the impression of movement within a static printed image. The illuminated phosphor does not generate heat the way conventional light sources do so EL runs cool. You can encapsulate or enclose the panels without fear of them overheating or melting.

Easy Installation

Because EL panels are self-contained, there is no light box required. So you don’t have to deal with heavy infrastructure to install an animated EL sign panel. There is only a small inverter box (power supply), which plugs in to normal 120/240 VAC wall current. Panels can be hung without any special hardware. They can also be framed, or built-in to a custom fixture or display. The flexibility and thinness of the panels even allows them to be installed around columns. They work great in all areas where space is limited and costs are an important consideration.

EL Offers More

Animated EL Solutions offer the added benefit of eye-catching and intriguing animation at a cost comparable to what other manufacturers charge for backlit-only (non-animated) products. Of course we can do a basic backlit, but our real specialty is an animated product.  With our patented process for maintaining consistency of colour between the illuminated and the non-illuminated image, we avoid washing-out. The colour of the image when the light goes on, so the image is consistently appealing and powerful in both the on and the off modes.

Key Features + Benefits

  • Dual mode
    Can be seen when the sign is off or when backlit
  • Light Weight
    A typical display with size of 6″ x 12″ weights ~10 oz
  • Thickness
    0.88mm thick
  • Flexible
    Can be bent to contour to curved surface (5mm radius)
  • Very Rugged
    Same handling a piece of vinyl
  • Installation
    No light box or heavy infrastructure involved.
    Installs with Velcro tabs, pre-drilled holes an acrylic mounting frame kit.
    Hangs in seconds – Construction typically not required
  • Shipping & Handling
    Minimal damage in transit


  • Viewing Angle
    Better than 160 Viewing – signage is effective from a broad field of directions
  • Can be Seen
    in High artificial light, dim light or even foggy conditions
  • Efficient
    Low Power Consumption – Typically 5 – 10 watts
  • Light source
    A Cold light and power is not lost from heat generation
  • Indoor/Outdoor
    Non-glare for easy viewing
  • Can be
    Easily embedded in or attached to safety wear
  • Vibration and impact resistant
    More reliable and less fragile than filament and glass-based lighting products

Technical Information

Sign Material: Multi-laminate construction
Sizes & Shapes: Any shape up to 36″ X 72″ of animated area. Custom shapes available
Viewing Angle: Better than 160 degrees
Brightness: 00-150 CD.m2 based on size of EL panel
Life: 20,000 hours+ (Life is increased if sign is animated or cycled)
Weight: A typical display with size of 6″ x 12″ weights ~10 oz
Safety: No Ultraviolet Radiation emitted
Indoor/Outdoor: Can be operated in both environments
Operating Temp: -30c to +70C
Storage Temp: -40c to +85C
Humidity Range: 5% to 95% humidity
Operating Current: Maximum to 0.25 mA/cm2
Operating Power: Low power consumption, approx 5-10 watts – “OPEN” sign
Power Resources: DC 1.5V to 24V and/or AC110/220V
Power Inverter: Different power configurations to optimise sign parameters
Supply Voltage: AC60V to AC220V
Supply Frequency: 1.5KHz sine wave at AC 100Vrms
Approvals: Solid State switching power supply (UL listed)
Warranty: 1 year factory Warranty for EL Signs, Displays and Inverters


Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.

[email protected]