In the VynEL Add Light. Anywhere. project, we aim to show how to add integrated light to any material. In this project, we show the various steps to bond a lighting element called VynEL to a garment, which can be used for safety, entertainment, athletics, camping and more.
Designer: Justin Metras
VynEL is a unique, flexible lighting element created from the element Phosphor. Similar to EL Panels, when an electrical current and frequency are applied, it lights up beautifully, providing a creative accent light to anything it touches. In this project, we use a heat bond material called "Heat 'N Bond" to apply the VynEL to a mesh fabric, similar to a hi-vis safety vest.
Step One: Cut out the heat bond to the exact same shape and size as the VynEL circle. If too little is cut, then there causes a lip between the VynEL, and clothing that can be lifted off when pressure is applied. If too much heat bond hangs over the side of the panel, the appearance is not as clean as the material has a different finish than the VynEL and fabric.
Step Two: Measure and iron (or heat press) the heat bond material to the fabric. Depending on the bonding material and fabric, expect to press for about 10-30 seconds to create a solid hold. While still warm, remove the backing on the bonding material and position the VynEL directly over the center, taking extra caution to line up the sides.
Step Three: Turn over the fabric and VynEL panel and press the iron on the back of the fabric, keeping the fabric in between the iron and VynEL. Again, depending on material, expect 10-30 seconds of pressure with the iron and remove. Make sure the settings of the iron do not have any steam, as this can cause the bonding material to not hold nearly as well. Wait to cool and voila!
By this time, you should have a garment with a bonded flexible light attached. If you have areas where the VynEL is lifting off the panel, cut small pieces of the bonding material where applicable and repeat steps again. Note, various bonding materials have a different hold, so we typically recommend the highest strength bond as possible.Plug in the inverter, and you should have a sweet glowing garment.
Learn More About This Project