Electroluminescent Lamps & Backlighting

Electroluminescient Lamps

Electroluminescent Light Manufacturing

GSI solidified its commitment to printed electronics in 2004 when it acquired the assets of a leading electroluminescent (EL) display company. The acquisition enabled the expansion into supplying at high volumes printed lights for automotive, consumer, and medical lighting applications. These lights are multilayer printed structures that are AC driven but are “cool” sources. Applications are currently being printed for backlighting of medical device displays, commercial signage, automotive accents and consumer nightlight products. Typical applications include:

EXIT Sheet Inspect EL electroluminescent GSI

  • Nightlights
  • EXIT signs
  • Address signs
  • Animated Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays
  • LCD backlights
  • Keypad backlights
  • Automotive instrument panels
  • Automotive gear indicators (PRNDLs)
  • Digital and analog clocks
  • Remote control keypads


Electroluminescent Lamp Technologies & Capabilities

The manufacturing of EL lamps requires printing multiple layers of dielectric and insulating layers in high precision. Lamp finishing requires part level removal and subsequent connector attachment. GSI can support the full layout of new designs and advise on the appropriate functional constraints. GSI capabilities supported by lamp technology can offer:

  • Standard phosphor based colors: white, blue, blue-green, green, and orange (other colors possible using internal dyes and external filters)
  • Lamps to 19” x 23” illuminated area
  • Little to no shape limitations. If you can draw it – GSI can light it
  • Power: EL lamps require AC input power. A battery or other type DC power source can be used in combination with a DC-to-AC inverter


GSI Electroluminescent Printing and Product Advantagesprinted backlighting automotive SIMCO EL electroluminescent GSI

EL lamps are essentially a flat capacitor structure with microencapsulated zinc sulfide phosphor particles sandwiched between two electrodes. One of the electrodes is transparent to allow light to escape. Application of an AC voltage across the electrodes generates a changing electric field within the phosphor layer. This change of field causes the phosphor particles to emit visible light.

EL lamps draw very little power, and produce little heat. Because they don’t contain filaments or mechanical parts, EL lamps are not susceptible to shock, vibration or catastrophic light failure, making them ideal for applications such as cellular phones, hand-held portable electronic devices, and automotive backlighting and “mood” lighting. GSI is a recognized leader in EL production, testing, and qualification. GSI’s EL lamps are among the brightest available. We can design EL lamps for most any size, shape, or form you can imagine.

GSI has invested in the laser processing, printing, and converting equipment to produce repeatable EL lamp constructions. Laser processing is available for highly selective transparent conductor ablation. High volume precision screen printing with camera registration ensures consistent layer to layer registration of critical dielectric and conductive layers. Finished lamps are produced with or without protective laminates.

GSI has years of experience and has optimized the best material solutions to produce very robust lamp designs. Material selection has been optimized to extend and maximize lamp useful life. It is not uncommon to find multi-year extended performance of GSI lamps due to the materials selected.

Volusion EL electroluminescent GSI Exit sign printed

  • Industry Leader —GSI is a recognized leader in EL production, testing, and qualification
  • Over 20 years of lamp manufacturing experience with over 85 million lamps shipped to date
  • Superior Brightness — GSI EL systems are among the brightest available, with green: 100 cd/m2 (29fL) and white-on/white-off: 35 cd/m2 (10fL)
  • Flexible Applications — GSI can produce your custom EL lamp design to back light, or selectively back light areas of small, complex or unusual shapes for specific applications
  • Extremely thin (typ. 0.30mm thick) and lightweight
  • Constructed on clear flexible polyester film for maximum durability and moisture resistance
  • Impervious to shock, vibration, or catastrophic failure
  • Even, uniform illumination
  • Low power consumption
  • Cool operation, produces no heat
  • Long-lasting, providing thousands of hours of useful light
  • No glare

Our team includes experienced engineers and a full service art department that is prepared to meet your manufacturing requirements.
Click to visit our engineering page.

If you are looking for printing solutions for medical, industrial, automotive, or consumer products, give us a call at
630-325-8181. Let’s work together to find a solution that fits.

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