With so many machines to choose from, players often look for something familiar or glitzy that shouts, "Come over and play me." Many times they find it in electronic game toppers. In that vein, Durel Corp., Chandler, Ariz. (www.durel.com), (an affiliate of 3M and Rogers Corp.) developed electroluminescent (EL) lamps specially designed for backlighting gaming machines. The lamps are said to be bright and white in color, offering long life, low power consumption, and uniform backlighting. They are suitable for machine toppers, slot glass, and gaming-machine billboards.

Durel's EL lamps, made from proprietary phosphers, distribute light evenly over an entire surface. This eliminates hot spots that degrade graphical details, an important consideration in graphically intensive gaming machines. The EL lamps save space, claim Durel officials, because each lamp package is less than 0.025-in. thick. Also, EL is a cool energy-saving alternative to conventional hot bulbs.

The lamps can be attached to the back of graphic glass with flat C-channel clamps or adhesive, saving room as compared to large fluorescent-bulb cases. The EL technology provides thin two-sided illuminated screens that can be moved from machine to machine simply by unplugging two wires and moving the lamp and driver, or power supply, which plugs into a standard 110-Vac outlet.