New to LightTape?

What is Light Tape® ?
LightTape® is the brightest, longest, widest and most flexible electroluminescent lamp in the world. Available in almost any length, from thin strips to wide panels, Light Tape is the thinnest and most versatile light source in the world, perfectly suited for accent lighting, backlighting surfaces, safety and theatre lighting, as well as branding and outdoor advertising. Electroluminescence (EL) is the conversion of electrical energy into light by the activation of a phosphor layer by an alternating current. In other words, when the low electrical current passes though the phosphors, they become excited and vibrate producing light.
How does Light Tape® work?
A layer of light emitting phosphor is sandwiched between two very thin flexible electrodes. One is opaque and the other is transparent to allow light to escape. When a high frequency switching AC current is applied, the phosphors become excited and begin to rapidly charge and discharge, resulting in the emission of light.
How is Light Tape® different from other Electroluminescent technologies? ?
Light Tape®’s one-of-a-kind chemistry is protected by numerous patents. Our material layers are bonded at a chemical level, producing brighter and more durable lighting source, a true solid state system. Other EL is produced via a printing process with the rear electrode glued to the surface, which easily separates with flexing or temperature changes, leading to premature failure. Our formulations combined with our process, produce a much more efficient and brighter lamp.
Rather than batch processing, and glue small pieces together to try and make longer lengths. Manufacturing Light Tape® is a roll to roll process, the only one in the world. We have developed proprietary manufacturing processes utilising the latest technological advancements in state-of-the-art machinery, allowing us to produce the longest lengths of EL in the world.
What are the advantages in using Light Tape® instead of other lighting systems such as Flourescent bulbs, LEDs or fiber optics?
There are numerous advantages over other antiquated lighting technologies:

• Light Tape® Provides uniform lighting over large areas.
• Complete dimming control.
• Can be customised to suit virtually any bespoke design.
• Generates no heat.
• Extremely easy to install.
• Consumes less power (up to 93% less power).
• Thin and flexible (typically 0.254mm - 0.305mm thickness).
• No glass to break or gas to escape.
• Available in multiple colors.
• Can be conform over curved surfaces.
• Can be controlled via 0 -10 VDC or DMX 512.
• V60 and 5VA burn rating for industrial applications.
• No maintenance required.
Where is Light Tape® manufactured?
Light Tape® has been proudly developed and manufactured in the USA for nearly two decades. Highly quality controlled manufacturing processes, combined with in-house cutting edge technology make manufacturing Light Tape® in the USA the logical decision.
Is Light Tape® suitable for outdoor applications?
Absolutely, Our patented formulas have a built-in moisture barrier, in addition to this, our exterior rated Light Tape® is encapsulated in a fluoropolymer barrier film to further protect against the elements and has an IP67 rating. We recommend a channel extrusion for outside to allow for surface expansion and contraction, this can be easily clipped into place for efficient installation. Light Tape® is designed to stand up to the worst environments.

UV Protection
Our proprietary chemistry which binds our coating layers have built in UV protection. We also utilize specially formulated laminating films that further protect the phosphors from sunlight. We do however recommend controlling the power supply with a PE Cell so that it remains switched off during daylight hours, as the lifespan of the phosphors can be reduced if they are energised when exposed to direct sunlight.
Does Light Tape® have an adhesive backing?
Light Tape® does not come standard with an adhesive backing, but if required we can apply adhesives to suit a specific application. Click here for more information on adhesives and protective sealants.
Can you see Light Tape® through fog and smoke?
Yes! Electroluminescence is used, especially in egress and safety lighting, because it emits light at a specific wavelength. Due to its clarity and lack of glare, the light is able to penetrate through fog, smoke, snow, haze and other normally poor visibility conditions.
How far away can you see Light Tape®?
NASA did a study for the Air Force to determine Light Tape® could be utilized to identify runways and planes. Their planes were able to mark Light Tape® from distances over 5 miles. The Air Force uses electroluminescent technology today on their planes.
How much light do Light Tape® lamps generate?
Light Tape® is an accent light, with brightness measured on the surface for visibility versus cast for task lighting. The light output is measured in a unit of measure called foot lamberts or candelas per meter squared. Light Tape® has a light output range of 22 to 120 foot lamberts. The average surface brightness is 120 Candelas per Meter Squared.
How much power does Light Tape® consume compared to LED's?
Light Tape® consumes significantly less power when comparing to LED's. For accent lighting, 1" (25.4mm) wide lengths of Light Tape® will use only 1.1 watts per meter, whilst LED Strip will typically consume between 7.2 - 14.4 watts per meter. When backlighting, Light Tape® will use approx 44 watts per meter, compared to LED's which will typically consume 60 watts per meter when edge lit, or 100 watts per meter when backlit with a lightbox. Click here to download energy consumption specifications.
Does Light Tape® illuminate simultaneously from both the front and back?
Light Tape® only illuminates from one side, however because it is less than 1mm thick, two lamps can be used “back to back” so the light emits in opposite directions. We recommend that a separation between the two lamps of 1/16" (1.6mm) or more be created by using Plexiglass or any other non-conductive barrier.
How long does Light Tape® last?
Our lamps have no glass, gas or filaments to break. They do not “burn out”, and will only have some brightness loss over long periods of time. In most applications, our lamps typically last 5 to 10 years. However, in areas where the lamp is lit at low brightness levels such as egress lighting, the life can reach 10 to 20 years before the lamps output levels become noticeably reduced.
Does the brightness differ from end to end or over the surface area?
Absolutely not, Light Tape® has a capacitive load and not a resistive load. Therefore, the brightness remains unchanged over the full length of the lamp. Light Tape® lamps generate zero heat, that is why our lamp is so efficient, since heat is a form of energy loss.
How durable is the Light Tape®?
Light Tape is heavy load capable, vibration and impact resistant. Able to withstand high physical impact and still illuminate. The lamp can be bent, curved and flexed, however care must be taken not to crease or create a hard fold as this might break the seal of the protected outer lamination. If it is accidentally punctured, it will still light, however the puncture must be sealed with Edge Guard™ end seal tape. Please note, LightTape® is designed for compressive loading only, tensional and shear loads must be avoided to avoid damaging the layers of the lamp.
How do I power the Light Tape®?
Light Tape® is powered by our Smart Driver™ systems. We offer a variety of solutions depending on your input energy source and total illuminated surface area. International AC inputs as well as common DC inputs are no problem.

Designs and Ordering

How do I place an order for Light Tape® ?
If your not sure exactly what components you require, simply contact us and we can talk through your project and determine the most suitable configuration. Alternatively, by following these guidelines , we should be able to provide you with product information and a quotation to suit.
What different sizes and colours is Light Tape® available in ?
Light Tape® is available in 14 different colors, and in lengths ranging from 0.25" (6.35mm) up to panels 30" (762mm) wide, available in both internal and external finish grades. Contact us or check out our Design Guide in our Technical section of our website for more details about specific sizes!
Can you customise Light Tape® to suit my project ?
Absolutely, no shape is impossible to illuminate, regardless of the size. Light Tape® is the most versatile lamp in the world, suitable for any kind of bespoke design, it can be cut into just about any shape and size whilst maintaining its uniform illumination. Simply let us know the details of your design and we can do the rest. Click here for more details.
What is the lead time for Light Tape® orders ?
Our standard lead-time for orders is usually one to two weeks for standard widths. Custom widths and shapes can be longer depending on complexity and needs to determined on a case by case basis. In some cases we can deliver overnight where required. Let us know, we wont leave you in the dark!
What makes up a Light Tape® system?
Our systems consist of:
1) Light Tape® EL Lamp/s,
2) Smart Driver™ Power Supply,
3) Interconnecting Electric Wires between the Lamp and the Power Supply.
4) We also offer other accessories to suit specific application requirements, such as housings, adhesives and protective overlays.
Do I need a light box when using Light Tape® ?
With Light Tape® no bulky light box is necessary! Light Tape® can be mounted anywhere using Velcro or double sided tape/panels. It can also be sandwiched between Plexiglas panels or run inside a clear extrusion. You can overlay your digital image directly on top of Light Tape®. The close proximity and uniform light will really make your image POP!!
Do I need a separate power supply for each segment of Light Tape®?
No, our power supplies work on total surface area. You can have as many strips or panels as you want, Just make sure that the cumulative area is within the specified range of the power supply, as detailed in our
How do I determine which power supply to use?
The area, length multiplied by the width of the lamp determines which Smart Drivers™ is required. Our Smart Driver™ systems are designed to illuminate specified areas. For instance, our DSD 200 can power 1-200 in2 of Light Tape®. Refer to our Smart Driver™ Power Supplies catalogue.
Can you provide custom colors?
We do have the ability to customize colors. However, we are limited to commercially available filters. If you have a filter you would like us to use, we can purchase and apply to the Light Tape. We can also send you our natural blue and extreme blue green colors along with a filter color swatch to use as a base to test other filters on site.

Once you have found something you like, we can order a sample roll (or rolls if multiple colors) of the filter and create samples for approval. Once approved, we can purchase enough filter to complete the project. Development and roll costs will be invoiced along the way.
What are your most popular Light Tape® widths?
The most popular Accent lighting widths are 1” (25.4mm) and 2” (50.8mm). For Step lighting, the most popular width is 0.25" (6.35mm). For Backlighting, we commonly make panels using 6" (152.4mm) - 30" (762mm) widths at 6ft (1.83m) lengths.
I have a very custom shape. What file formats are compatible with your laser cutter?
We custom cut a lot of specialized and custom shapes for different clients. Our laser cutter can accept .plt, .dwg, and .ai file formats.

Technical and Installation

when testing small sections of Light Tape®, is there a minimum load needed for testing?
You should always be above the minimum load rating of the power supplies specified range. If you have a Smart Driver™ designed for total load, and you only test on piece, it may not illuminate. If so, the unit will probably want to keep turning itself off as it goes into under-load protection mode.
Will running Light Tape® when the total load is above or below the recommended load levels cause damage to the Smart Driver™?
You should always start your power supply in the lowest output when connecting a load. For short periods of time to test connections, low or high load should not be an issue. However, continuously operating the Smart Driver™ power supplies in an underloaded or overloaded state will cause the power supply to fail.
Why is the Light Tape® buzzing/humming/making noise?
As Light Tape® operates at a high frequencies it can produce audible harmonics which will be minimised once it has been secured in place and installation is complete. Please note the following:

- Ensure the Light Tape® is not directly mounted to resonant surfaces such as metal, as this may produce amplified harmonics. We recommend mounting to a cork, or foam layer completely covering the subsurface.
- Ensure Light Tape® is laying flat and is adequately secured, if the material is loose it can produce amplified harmonics.
- Refer to the Light Tape® Safety & Handling guidelines for additional instructions.
Why is the Smart Driver™ making noise?
Our engineered power system utilize high frequency AC switching to illuminate Light Tape® lamps. If excessive harmonics exist, please note the following:

- Ensure the Smart Driver™ is not directly mounted to resonant surfaces such as metal, as this may produce amplified harmonics. We recommend utilizing insulating rubber when mounting in place.
- Double check the load rating on the power supply. Under-loading or over-loading can cause unwanted side effects.
- Check output of Smart Driver™ to ensure it is operating within the recommended range.
- Refer to the Smart Driver™ Safety & Handling guidelines for additional instructions.
How fast can you switch Light Tape® on and off?
EL powers up and down instantaneously. There are no filaments to break nor any resistance in the structure that leads to heat, making it one of the most durable lighting technologies available.
Does flashing hurt Light Tape®?
No, it can actually extend the operating life of the lamp. We also have DMX compatible power supplies which can be used to integrate Light Tape® into your lighting control system.
What type of power sources can be used?
Light Tape® can be operated from either AC or DC power sources. Our Smart Drivers™ systems are compatible with most energy sources. If AC is used, refer to the AC Power Supplies section in Power Supplies. If DC, refer to the DC Power Supplies section for details.
Does Light Tape® have polarity for DC input?
Light Tape® has no polarity, just connect one output per side from the Smart Driver™. When connecting to a battery, it is important for the Smart Driver™ input to be connected to the correct terminals. We use the common red and black wire configuration for positive and negative connections.
Can you use solar power?
Yes, Light Tape® is able to run on our 12, 24 or 28 V DC Smart Drivers™. Solar energy can be utilized to keep the batteries fully charged.
How far can the Smart Drivers™ be from the Light Tape® installation?
You can install Light Tape® up to 300ft (91m) from the Smart Driver™. This enables you to run all wiring back to a central power source. The line loss will not typically impact the performance of the Lamp. Always consult local electrical codes for wiring regulations and installation requirements.
How far can I run Light Tape® before I must reconnect to the power supply?
You can run lengths up to 150’ (45m) depending on area/width of the Light Tape®. Each segment can be connected into a home run then back to the power supply.
Can Light Tape® be cut to any length?
Absolutely, Just cut to the required length with scissors, sealing any cut ends with Edge Guard™ end seal tape, and crimp a connector assembly to one end. See our connection instructions here for more details. Please note, for any external applications, it is recommended that any Light Tape® lamps be factory sealed to ensure protection against moisture ingress.
How do I mount Light Tape® to surfaces?
For indoor use, you can use double sided adhesive tapes or Vibramount™ adhesive foam panels on the back of the Light Tape®. Be sure to clean the surfaces with some denatured alcohol (Methylated spirit) prior to mounting. For general outdoor applications it is important to account for changes in the weather and environment which can cause different surfaces to expand and contract at different rates. An extrusion or other channel mounting system such as Snap-N-Light™ will allow the Light Tape® to float. These systems are extremely easy to install and should be able to “do it yourself!”.
What type of adhesive needs to be specified?
Light Tape® is very lightweight, so you do not need a heavy duty adhesive. Typically, 3M Transfer Tape is suitable for interior installations. If installing on metal, please use Ultrabond Lite material, as the foam core will dampen harmonics. If outdoors, we can assist to determine the most suitable adhesive to suit the specific application. Click here for more information.
What is durashield?
Durashield is a clear overlay tape that does not leave any residue when removed. It provides resistance to abrasion and impact, and is Ideal for flooring applications where the customer wants to walk on the Light Tape®. It is also suitable for shop front windows. It holds up well to the environment, including UV and can almost be considered a permeant solution. Click here for more information.
Are there standard extrusions available for mounting Light Tape®?
Yes. We offer extrusions for both indoor and outdoor mounting. We strongly recommend a channel extrusion for outside to allow for surface expansion and contraction. Click here for more information.

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