Step 4: Select and order the EL wire and inverter
There are many sources for buying EL wire online, such as coolneon.com and worldaglow.com
thin (angel hair)
normal thickness (2.3 mm diameter)
extra thick/phat (3.2mm or 5mm diameter)
I prefer normal thickness, high brightness wire for most applications. The thin wire can be bent into finer shapes, but it is more fragile (better suited for a hat or a tiara, for example). The thick wire is more durable, being protected by a thicker outer plastic core, but it cannot be bent as tightly and may not be suitable for designs with fine details or sharp bends.
There are two standard phosphor colors for EL wire: aqua blue (which is white with a clear sheath when off), and white (which is pink when off, due to the addition of a red phosphor in the mix). The other colors (pink, red, orange, yellow, lime green, dark green, dark blue, and violet) are achieved by filtering the aqua light through a tinted outer sheath. Aqua tends to be the brightest, although the brightness can be adjusted when you select your driver.
EL wire uses a high voltage and high frequency alternating current to activate the phosphor. An EL driver, also known as an inverter, is required to convert your low voltage DC power from the battery into a high voltage AC source. The length rating of the EL driver should be matched to the total length of glowing wire that you want to illuminate, regardless of whether it is wired in series or in parallel.
Some drivers will produce a steady glow in your EL wire, others have built-in options for blinking and sound reactivity.