LyTec electroluminescent (EL) wires from Elam EL Industries Ltd., New York, shine brightly in one of 11 colors, are cool to the touch, and highly flexible.

A patented process, developed by a former Intel scientist, applies thin-film coatings to flexible, cylindrical substrates. The process embeds a thin-film layer about 100 th the thickness of a human hair between three other microlayers. The result: a 360°, continuous electroluminescent light source that radiates from a flexible, durable wire. Applications for EL technology include textiles, novelties, decorations, and toys.

"EL technology is playing an increasing role in toy design as companies work to differentiate their products and increase consumer value," says Avi Timor, president of Elam USA. "Until now lighting options were few; incandescent lights are heavy, dangerous, and easily breakable, and LEDs don't bend."

LyTec was recently integrated into Hasbro's Nerf Nite basketball game. Toy makers Rainbow and Atomic also have designs on the flexible light wires. A LyTec Designer's Kit includes about 20 wire samples in 11 colors and different diameters, power supplies, accessories, and manual.

Elam El Industries Ltd.