Technology Comparison Between EL, POF and Fibrance™

The technologies outlined in the document are referred to as EL Wire (Electroluminescent), POF (Plastic Optical Fiber) and Fibrance™.

EL Wire is a phosphor based lighting element which requires a high voltage and frequency to operate. A typical DC Inverter will typically convert to AC power at around 110V and 1000Hz, which allows the phosphor particles to get excited and glow. However there is a delicate balance on how the phosphor glows. The higher the voltage or frequency, the brighter the phosphor will glow. By using too much of either, the phosphor will either burn out rapidly (>frequency), or it becomes increasingly difficult to make a stable inverter (>voltage). Under normal operating conditions, you can expect between 4-6,000 hours of life with Electroluminescence, however environmental and usage will degrade the phosphor at a faster rate. Heat, UV, and high frequency will all degrade the phosphor by as much as 90%. Because it requires tiny 34 gauge wires to rely on strength, excessive back and forth movement will also cause the EL to short out. These same wires also add rigidity to the product, which makes it undesirable for wearable applications. If EL Wire needs to be replaced at any point in its life, the whole line needs to be replaced. EL Wire is best used for retail installations and stage performances.

POF is typically operated with an LED, which has a very rapid light loss. Compared to EL Wire, it starts out brighter, but gets much dimmer in a short distance, typically less than 1 foot. POF is typically used in low cost items and consumer goods because the low upfront cost of the LED and low cost per foot of the POF. The core is much larger than Fibrance™, and has a greater bending diameter. Because of the large jacketing, it is good for consumable items like bracelets, necklaces, and smaller items, however it does not hold enough light to perform under most conditions to be a viable lighting solution.

Fibrance™ is typically operated with a Laser source, due to the bright convergence angle and minimal power consumption per lumen output. Its brightness is virtually unlimited based on the laser module used, and has a long lifespan, around 20,000 hours. Once the usable lifespan is exceeded, unlike EL Wire, only the module needs to be replaced. Because there is no core wires, the flexibility becomes natural with the environment. Its minimum bending diameter is 5mm, and becomes broken if exceeded. Larger jacketing allows the fiber to become very robust, and impermeable to environmental factors. Because there is only light passing through Fibrance™, the shock hazard and low operating voltage is extremely minimal. The fiber itself is 1/3 the weight of EL Wire and has the brightest light output per power consumption of any light source on the planet. This makes it ideal for retail and artistic installations, consumer products, wearable and safety industries and much more.

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