Be safe, be seen on dark winter nights with the EL wire running jacket!

As winter approaches and the nights begin to draw in it's more important than ever to be visible when out running or cycling. Last winter I had several near misses when out running, despite wearing high visibility gear, this year I'm taking no chances!

EL wire or, electro luminescent wire, is a thin translucent wire which glows when an alternating current is applied to it. EL wire is widely available online, cheap, and is often supplied with pre soldered connections. I'll be the first to admit there are no shortage of wearable EL wire projects on instructables but I think mine is a little bit different.

As I wanted to run in the jacket I needed to be able to detach all of the electronic components so that I could wash the jacket (something that needs to happen VERY often for running gear) hence the need for semi permanent connections.

After a lot of thought I decided hook and loop (velcro) connections were the way to go, as one side of the hook and loop could be permanently attached to the jacket and survive the washing machine unscathed.

Read on to find out how to create your own ultra high visibility running jacket!

**DISCLAIMER** EL wire is quite bright, please make sure you turn the EL wire off when you are anywhere you are likely to cause excessive distraction to people (e.g. near busy traffic intersections) ***

Step 1: Materials / Tools Required

As always the first step it to gather all the tools and materials you require.


  • Glue Gun
  • Tap measure
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Blade (optional)
  • Cutting Mat
  • Needle and thread or Sewing Machine


  • Running Jacket
  • EL wire (See step two for selecting the correct length of EL wire)
  • EL wire battery pack / inverter
<p>saw come up with a new control system with ipad might be useful for you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8c6u_P4lUM</p>
the velcro worked like a charm on leather! held up well. even if the wire came off I was able to attach it back very easily.
dont you set your camera to a low shutter speed for the light painting? Also I sort of did this but instead of velcro I used small black safety pins. The safety pins are almost invisible on the jacket.
<p>Yes the light painting was done with a shutter time of around 10 sec. </p>
<p>Ooo I'd love to see the separate instructable on the light painting, it's so cool! The jacket also looks totally awesome!</p>

About This Instructable




More by Major Peel:3D printed wrist watch (which almost works)  Enable the 'Super Control Panel' on Olympus MFT cameras Detachable EL wire running jacket 
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