This project came about the lack of a good visible number that can be seen during the day but even better at night. On a daily basis delivery truck drivers passing by, trying to find street numbers.
During the course of the week the Emergency services were called to an emergency in our road. This made me decide to use the "Flashing mode". This in turn will make it easier to see as you are looking for a flashing house number..... a list to make this project work to it's full use.
A: It must be visible in the daytime as well as night
(the porch light on the whole night just to light up the number a waste of electric)
B: Must attract attention during emergencies or when you are expecting visitors.
C: The end product must look good as it is part of the house.
D: Auto mode. Meaning to come on when the daylight fades and switch off early morning.
E: Install it on the front door. At a nice height. Can't mount it on the front wall or gate as parked cars obstruct it from view. One can only use the front Porch area because every neighbourhood has it's horror of vandalism......!!!
Step 1: The Start of the Project........
As technology gets better we came across a magic wire that glows when you apply power to it.. They call it Electroluminescent Wire "EL" for short. (nice long word)
This will answer all our questions and won't be hard to form a number...
By adding a circuit we can make it flash on and off to attract the attention should an emergency service need to find your house at night.....
As it uses low voltage it is safe to run wires neatly to the unit...
"EL" wire is sold on eBay and comes in various colours the colour is your choice.
The length I used was 1m (one meter)
Using Windows Clip Art.... selected a nice font for my number and printed out the number "21".
Attached the A4 size paper on a white piece of 3mm thick plastic sheet the size of a A4 piece of paper.
("perspex"..... it's called in some countries)
Done some marking for the size of the number and then cut the sheet to the correct size for my window.
By using a good tape, taped down the paper and started to mark out the holes that must be drilled for the EL wire to weave through.
Also drilled 1,5 mm holes where cotton will be used to hold down the wire so it stays in line.....
Once all the holes are drilled. Cut out the number so that we can spray any colour for the back ground. This is done so that the number will be visible during the day as EL wire is not that bright to use in bright daylight. As the number is very big it will easily be seen during the day, it's the night time we are concerned about.
Step 2: Spray Painting Number.....
My colour was Black for the back ground... By using Matt black spray paint in a can I sprayed the sheet. After the paint has dried.
Removed the paper to reveal the black number.
Step 3: Placing EL Wire on Number Sheet.
Thread the EL wire through the holes. Try to avoid bending the wire, rather make a curve like in the letter "S".... Make the loops at the back. Using strong cotton and a needle stitch the sections to the back by making knots.
(All I can suggest is to look at the photos as it is hard to explain in words.)
With the use of these photos I hope you get the Idea and you can maybe find a better way to make this to suit you.
The black battery box contains the inverter... This circuit steps up the 3 volts to several thousand volts as this is how the wire works. The Phosphor in the wire glows when you apply a high voltage through it. This in turn will consume battery power to only work for four or five hours. I converted my unit to work on a mains adaptor from 220 volts to 3 volts. By adding a circuit that will switch off the 3 volts on and off every second. One can add a switch to turn the the number into "Flashing mode". This in turn will flash the number on and off every second making it highly visible to visitors or emergency services to find your home.....
One can buy a kit from various suppliers to provide the flashing mode as I did. No need to go into detail as there are many kits on the market to day that can be used.
I used an electric timer that one can buy at any electrical store. This is a better option as to " Dusk to Dawn " light switches because they need wiring and effort to install.
With the the timer one can set it to switch on and off to suit your needs. Plus in the winter the Sun can play games by going to bed earlier and rising later
Step 4: ....... Here Is the Project Working
I used double sided tape to fix the number to the window as this house is not mine....But you can use various ways to attach it to any surface you feel it will look nice to you....
I hope you were able to get the Idea and build this for your home....Maybe add a square frame around the number in a different colour...