Can I Cut EL Panels?
When working with EL Panels, it's important to know how the panel works before making any cuts. This ensures a steady frequency throughout the panel, and keeps an nice even glow throughout as well. A typical EL Panel will have a bus bar that extends around the outside of the panel. This essentially separates the positive and negative frequencies from touching. From the inverter, a high frequency is produced which enters the panel and extends around the outside. Typically by turning the panel to the backside you can see where the positive and negative wires enter through the panel, and it will generally wrap all around the outside of the panel. This is important to know because when you try cutting the EL Panel, the frequency will stop at the point where you cross the scribe line. If you cut the panel right next to where it enters the panel, you may notice that it sparks, and eventually burns itself out, or the panel has inconsistent lighting and dark spots. This is because the whole surface of the panel is not getting the proper frequency.
The higher quality panels (typically American Made) will have multiple bus bars that extend in the middle of the panel as well. This disperses the frequency better and makes the frequency more consistent; a middle bus bar is typical in larger panels, but smaller panels do not need a central bus. All Ellumiglow panels have a conductive backing which does a pretty good job dispersing the frequency throughout the panel, so even when you cut them, they keep glowing throughout the panel. Just be cautious and use the information on this page to help inform you whether or not you should cut the panel.