~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
simplyluck
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~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby simplyluck » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:11 am

Ok so I'm a complete newb and virgin burner. What are the pros and cons to El Wire and Side Glow Fiber?

Currently I'm leaning towards side glow because it seems like it may be easier to work with, requires less power and since it uses LEDs for high source there are more color options and the ability to program color changes..... I plan on using this for lighting my bike, outfits and potentially around camp. I need to be budget conscious but don't mind spending a little more for the better option or something that won't require more battery changes.
Like I said I'm a complete newb here and haven't had any experience with either; your opinions, suggestions and tips are sooo very appreciated! Thanks!

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Ratty
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby Ratty » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:39 am

2016 OUT- El Wire It's expensive and short lived.

2016 IN- Cheap strings of battery op LED xmas lights. These are available not only at Christmas time but durring other holidays as well. I bought a gazillion sets at the dollar store. They don't break. Batteries last a very long time. You can 'dress them up by running them through tubular Christmas garland, regular plastic tubing, wrapping them in tule or even painting them with translucent paint/nail polish. they are easily inserted into your clothes and hats. (Mount the battery pack in a pocket or bag and arrange the lights.)

2016 IN- Cheap stake lights from the dollar store. You don't have to use the stake. They can be zip tied to your bike, hung in a net bag from your shade structure or taken apart and used on your person.
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some seeing eye
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:02 am

You might do a search of this Power and Illumination branch of ePlaya.

EL wire is cheap, but it has a lifetime of 1000-2000 hours. My experience is that it dims as the batteries run down.

Agree on the advantages of LED illumination of side glow plastic fiber. There is a new laser-illuminated side glow glass fiber, but it is not inexpensive. https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic ... ilit=laser

Flexible LED strips are easily available as well.

Report back on your research for others with the same question.
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simplyluck
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby simplyluck » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:46 am

some seeing eye wrote:You might do a search of this Power and Illumination branch of ePlaya.
Agree on the advantages of LED illumination of side glow plastic fiber. There is a new laser-illuminated side glow glass fiber, but it is not inexpensive. https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic ... ilit=laser


Ok, so there is Plastic fiber and Glass Fiber. Might be a dumb question but can either be illuminated by LED and/or Laser?

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Ratty
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby Ratty » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:15 pm

Simplyluck. I admire your interest in lighting. I tend to toss it on and call it done. Have you prioritized all your playa needs? Food prep, storage, cleanup, menu, shade, nest (sleeping bag-mattress-coverings), tent, clothing, accessories? Fancy lighting is so far down on my list that I would never get to it.

Some people make expensive mistakes the first year. That being said....I can't wait to see what you come up with. Be sure and swing by the Meet & Greet on Wednesday night and show off.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
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some seeing eye
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:20 pm

simplyluck wrote:
Ok, so there is Plastic fiber and Glass Fiber. Might be a dumb question but can either be illuminated by LED and/or Laser?


Plastic side glow fiber is illuminated by LED or halogen bulbs. I have never heard of a laser designed to couple to plastic side glow fiber. The new side glow glass fiber is only illuminated by lasers specifically designed to couple to it.
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simplyluck
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby simplyluck » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:50 pm

Ratty wrote:I can't wait to see what you come up with. Be sure and swing by the Meet & Greet on Wednesday night and show off.

Thanks! I'm definitely working on pulling everything together and I'm trying to get as much done now as possible, even though I'm sure that no matter how much prep I do now it will still be a crazy mad house right before leaving and there will inevitably be a few things that get forgotten. These forums are so great and truly invaluable!!!! I will try my best to make it out to the Meet and Greet, as long as I don't get distracted by all the bright and shiny fun things on the playa!

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reggie13
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby reggie13 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:42 pm

Ratty wrote:2016 OUT- El Wire It's expensive and short lived.

2016 IN- Cheap strings of battery op LED xmas lights. These are available not only at Christmas time but durring other holidays as well. I bought a gazillion sets at the dollar store. They don't break. Batteries last a very long time. You can 'dress them up by running them through tubular Christmas garland, regular plastic tubing, wrapping them in tule or even painting them with translucent paint/nail polish. they are easily inserted into your clothes and hats. (Mount the battery pack in a pocket or bag and arrange the lights.)

2016 IN- Cheap stake lights from the dollar store. You don't have to use the stake. They can be zip tied to your bike, hung in a net bag from your shade structure or taken apart and used on your person.


Ratty, can you specify WHICH "dollar store"? like Dollar General, Family Dollar, Everything's a Dollar....(these are Southern stores in north Louisiana). is it a chain or local?

thanks!

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BBadger
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby BBadger » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:41 pm

You can buy "fairy lights" at online retailers for pretty cheap, on the order of $4 a piece. Search for something like "fairy lights blue" to find those that aren't just warm white. Many run on CR2032 coin cells, so they can be easily incorporated into hats without weighing much. Much brighter than EL wire or typical side-glow fiber. Those will probably be my only LED decorations besides my hat and some wheel lights on my bike.
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Krokodyle
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby Krokodyle » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:53 am

Keep in mind that any lights that use PVC to coat their wires--fairy lights included--have a good chance that they have lead on/in the coating and likely well beyond the limit set by the EPA or state standards. Lead is used on wire covering to keep the plastic from cracking, as well as it being a flame retardant, which is why you (should) see those warnings on the shelf when you buy them at a brick and mortar store. Wash your hands after handling them!
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BBadger
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby BBadger » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:28 pm

I think as far as fairy lights are concerned, they're using polyurethane, not PVC.
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CaverX
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby CaverX » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:23 pm

If this idea is still alive, here is a project I remember from eplaya: sideglow fiber project

I want to play with this idea, but sideglow fiber was a bit expensive last time I looked.

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tatonka
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Re: ~ El Wire vs. Side Glow Fiber Optics ~ ...Ready Go!

Postby tatonka » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:20 pm

" Make me strong , not to be superiour to my brothers , to fight my greatest enemy ....... myself . " Chief Dan George .


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