electroluminescent paint in creative use

Make any object function as light with paint

Electroluminescent paint (EL paint) is a type of light emitting paint which allows any object to function as light. Electroluminescent refers to the ability of a substrate or substance to emit light when an electrical current passes through it.

It’s easy to make electroluminescent coating yourself with these 5 steps

Electroluminescent coating has a complex structure and it consist of several layers which together allow and support light emitting abilities.

  1. The first layer is a highly conductive, low resistance material which allows supporting the current throughout the whole lit surface.
  2. The second layer is dielectric which functions as insulation and prevents any burning and shorting. It, furthermore, guarantees even distribution of the current onto the entire surface.
  3. The third layer is “the colour of the light” which is sprayed under black light. This layer contains electroluminescent pigment.
  4. After the colour, a layer of zero resistance conductive coating takes place.
  5. The last layer is a clear coat of conductive coating. It can also be an ordinary car coating as long as it is electrically conductive.

Any surface type can be painted with EL paint

EL paint is usually suitable for any non porous material including wood, fiberglass, metal,plastic and vinyl. It is also possible to apply it on glass and rubber by applying first adhesion promoters with automotive clear coatings. Electroluminescent paint is the latest exclusive trend in car and motorcycle decoration. The EL paint application is rather simple but it does require experience, knowledge and, above all, professional equipment. Therefore, EL coating  job should be carried out in a specialized paint shop.

Electroluminescent technology is common in screens and billboards but it is also applicable on for example cars and motorcycles. The following video throws light on EL paint applications.

Electroluminescent paint available in the UK

There are not yet many producers of EL paint. The two most well known include brands include LitCoat and LumiLor. In the UK there is one applicator of LumiLor:

We Spray Anything
We SprayAnything Ltd
UK / West Midlands / B60 3EU

LitCoat, for its part, is available online in a variety of volumes. Unfortunately, the coating is not yet available in the UK. However, ordering it from the USA is no problem. The prices of EL paint vary depending on the volume of the order. For example a starter pack costs about £250 and the price of a large pro-kit is between £1.400 and £1.500.

It’s easy to apply as well

  1. Ensure you read ALL safety directions and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for each chemical prior to using it,
  2. This project deals with high voltage AC, it’s very easy to electrocute yourself if you do not seal the circuits prior to applying power!
  3. Ensure you use all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when handling the paints and chemicals, and
  4. Store all chemicals in a safe place, away from children.