Introduction: EL Wire Christmas Tree Lighting
- 6 meters of red el wire (2 packages of 3m)
- 6 meters of green el wire (2 packages of 3m)
- EL Inverter and Power supply Optionally, you could use an EL sequencer, such as the one in my other 'ible.
- ~100ft dark green wire
- 6 jst extension cables
- green heat-shrink tubing or electrical tape
- soldering equipment, including iron, solder, wire cutters
If you plan to cut the el wire to size, you will also need:
- jst cable (enough for each cut segment)
- a magnifying glass (the corona wires are tiny!)
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Step 1: Making Extension Cables
- Measure out two wires, about 25 feet each and tie them to something.
- Put the other end of the wire into a drill, and spin it to twist the cables together. Keep in mind that the twisted cable will be shorter.
- Cut the resulting cable into lengths appropriate for your tree.
- Cut the jst extensions in two and solder them to either end. Leave as little of the red/black wire visible on the female end as that will be in the tree. Polarity does not matter.
Step 2: Electronics
At this point, the wires are ready to go on the tree. You can either spiral them up the tree, or you can do what I did which was to cut hoops. Cutting into the wire is not for those low on patience; it can take some time and several tries to solder the tiny delicate corona wires. Here is a short tutorial on how.
As previously mentioned, there are two ways to go about powering the wires: going directly to an inverter, or using something more elaborate, such as an el sequencer.
To share a single inverter, it probably makes sense to make a splitter using the remaining short jst extension cables, one male to several female plugs. I do not have pictures of this because I went the sequencer route which has eight ports for el wire. This allows one to program patterns. The simple startup pattern that I use on my tree is available on github.