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RH Technical Industries Ltd
8 Regents Court
South Way
Walworth Industrial Estate
SP10 5NX

Backlighting Solutions

Handheld electronic devices featuring brightly glowing keypads have achieved wide acceptance in the marketplace. This is primarily because of carefully engineered flexible electroluminescent (EL) lamps. These selectively backlit keypads reveal numbers, letters, and other characters to create a fresh and uniform look.

Light emitting diodes (LED’s) provide uneven light across a keypad, resulting in some characters being too bright while others were barely visible. New-product designers had been demanding thinner, whiter, and more-uniform illumination than other technology is able to provide.

Electroluminescence (EL) is a means of generating light by the electrical excitation of light emitting phosphors, In this case, the light emitting phosphors are located between two electrically conductive plates. Applying an alternating (A.C.) current activates the system producing light. At least one of the electrodes consists of a light transmissive conductive material allowing the light to escape.

When connected to an alternating current of high frequency, RH Technical Industries innovEL (high performance printed electroluminescent lamps) emit a cool even bright light. The lamps are extremely thin and flexible and can now even be formed.


Even bright light, thin construction, lightweight, cool, flexible, low power consumption, 9v/12v battery or mains power, can be sequenced or animated.

EL backlighting is a visually appealing solution providing a diffuse uniform illumination. The technology is lightweight, cool and is compatible with rugged, lightweight and thin-film materials.

A Cold Light Source:

EL Lamps are a very thin, electrically stable, ‘cold’ lighting medium. The EL Lamp comprises a polyester substrate, which is selectively applied with a phosphor/dielectric combination essentially forming a parallel plate capacitor.

EL Lamps are an alternative to conventional lighting techniques such as LED's and fibre optics, and have become increasingly used in a wide range of sophisticated electronic applications especially where minimum thickness is critical to a design.

As we manufacture our EL lamps in-house we can custom design them to suit your requirements. We are able to tailor the shape and even include cutouts within the lamp to allow an exact fit for your application. We can selectively apply (i.e. to light only where backlighting is needed) the EL materials to the lamp allowing lower costs to be realised whilst maximising illuminated area and minimising power consumption.

How Long Will it Last?

In normal operation, EL Lamps can be expected to perform with an acceptable level of brightness greater than 5000 hours. The life of the lamp is directly dependant on the voltage, frequency, temperature and humidity at which it is driven. Devices which only require low illumination levels can expect longer life from the lamp than those with higher requirements. The brightness of the lamp will decay in a linear fashion from initial power up.

RH Technical Industries provide light to sensitive applications – without customary problems of heat, electricity or EMI – in user-friendly forms that fit our customers’ applications.

Our high quality custom backlighting solutions offer many advantages:

  • Design flexibility, Easily customisable
  • Low start-up costs
  • Low power
  • Long life (5k+ hours in most configurations)
  • Thin (as low as 0.013" / 0.33mm)

Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.