The LilyPad Electronic Platform is an electronic platform designed to be easily sewn into fabric using conductive thread, which provides designers freedom from the traditional construction method of soldering.
EL wire (electroluminescent wire) is a thin wire the glows when an AC voltage is applied. The wire is often wrapped in a colored transparent tube and is quite pliable. Many people often outline clothing (hats, pants, jackets, etc.) with EL wire, giving the garment an interesting colored glow. We, however, want to not only outline a garment but also control when the EL wire is lit.
Controlling the EL wire is not difficult but it does require some electronic pieces that everyday crafters may not be familiar with.
Step 1: EL-Wire Difficulties
This is the beginning of our problem: how can we use the LilyPad to turn the EL wire on and off if the EL wire is controlled by an AC signal and the LilyPad uses DC? And the problem is often even more difficult, because the LilyPad board can be powered between 2.7-5.5 V. Inverters often have input DC voltages of 1.5V, 3.0V, and 12V, though input voltages range between 1.5V and 18V. Furthermore, if there is a spike or surge with the inverter it may damage the LilyPad.