EL Wire (5mm) for Neon?


Aug 7, 2017
Fresno, CA
Designing "Guys and Dolls" for the spring and I am looking at an inexpensive way to create neon signage. I'm wondering if anyone out there has ever used an adapter/inverter to run EL wire through the dimmer system, so each sign can have it's own channel and I don't have to rely on run-crew and batteries to make the effect happen.
Thanks in advance!


Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2014
Lawton, OK
Pictures from a production of "Two Rooms". I think I used 3mm EL wire and a variable DC power supply to the inverters to dim them up and down which is not supposed to work but it did beautifully.
But for the Guys and Dolls signs, I think you would get more bang for your buck by painting signs with UV-reactive paint and buying/renting a powerful UV fixture.
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Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Apr 6, 2010
Madison, WI
Best thing I've done is to take clear flexible tubing and paint it with a couple coats of the UV paint of your choice (wildfire or rosco works best)

Lay out the tubing in the style you need and hit it with UV light.

Did a production a while back that wanted the set lined with neon.... Budget would not allow it, and I wanted it to look more realistic than just painting UV on the flat surface. It worked surprisingly well, granted, I had access to some very good UV lights.

p.s. it worked much more effectively than the camera gives it credit for.



Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
May 28, 2009
Phoenix, Az
ELwirePros is my goto for EL wire. It’s just a pair of guys that do nothing but EL wire. They normally do battery stuff but I’m sure they could help you out with a dimming system.

They are reasonably priced as well.


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2008
Ellumiglow has some drivers that are made for dimming if I remember. They're the only one's I've had any luck with for EL wire.

If you could swing it RGB "LED neon" goes for about $60/m. Not exactly inexpensive, but can use normal LED DMX decoders, looks great, and gives you a lot more intensity. I've purchased it from Environmental Lights. They advertise 20m reels that are scary expensive, but if you call them they can help you with product selection and will sell it to you by the meter.

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