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Can I use a transistor to change the glow intensity of EL Wire to music? Answered

I am looking to do something similar to this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Music-LED-Light-Box/
but with EL Wire. Is it possible to use the same setup and just have the transistor as an interrupt between the wire and the inverter, or would it be a better idea to use a transistor that operates at a different voltage/amperage?

As a follow up, would the audio signal itself need to be amplified for the best effect, or should it be fine on its own?
I am intending to run it off of my iPod, but I have the option of routing the signal through a portable headphone amplifier.

To clarify, I want the wire to pulse, flash, glow, what have you to the music.  While I realize that such devices exist, I need to



Best Answer 8 years ago

EL wire is a long capacitor and unlike an LED, ElectroLuminescent wire
runs on 100 VAC 400 Hz not DC.
As you lower the frequency EL wire gets dimmer.

The TIP31 is just a NPN 3A DC transistor,  No help here.

You need to search for a audio input EL inverter.
If I find a old schematic using a pic to change EL intensity I will publish it.
It used up / down buttons not audio for brightness. Though it would not be
very complicated to use audio as the Fq control.


Thank you, all, for your advice. Techniboy, I would like to know a bit more about the kit, if possible (how it works, power requirements, etc). Best of luck on the eBay Account.

Glenn Burrow

8 years ago

The problem with that idea is that you basically want to change the el wire brightness with the volume, but the brightness of the wire is going to shift with the frequency or pitch instead. Plus the power needed to drive the el wire is too much for a headphone output. The only solution is a rather complex circuit or a microcontroller. They are not terribly difficult but they are rather confusing.


8 years ago

In short: no. I do sell a kit though that is either one or two channel ( high and low) that will allow you to vary the lightwires intensity. The basic kit (one channel, no el wire) is $18 plus shipping, two channel is about $35/40. If you are interested in the JD&J products color organ then put another post on this question saying you are. I am trying to get an eBay account to sell these on.