What is Electric Wallpaper?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Electric wallpaper is a tool that is used to provide a viable lighting alternative in homes and office space. Essentially composed of sections of wallpaper that contain conducting metal strips, electric wallpaper is applied in the same manner as conventional wallpaper. The strips are capable of emitting light when connected to a power source.

Several major electronics manufactures have developed versions of conductive wallpaper. In each case, the premise is the same. The idea is to provide a simple means for providing subtle lighting that acts as part of the overall wall design without the need for conventional fixtures. Essentially, the embedded metal strips carry both the live and the return functions of an electrical circuit.

Pins are spaced at even intervals along the strip, creating a connection to the underlying metal strip. These pins in turn are attached to small lamps or bulbs that emit the lighting for the room. Because the electric wallpaper strips are placed so that the pins can be inserted through the paper fa├žade with only a tiny puncture, it is possible to rearrange the lighting in the room without additional wiring or the use of extension cords.


In general, the conducting metal strip network that is found in electric wallpaper will support a wide range of light duty electrical appliances around the home. The strips are configured to manage a step down voltage range that is between one to twelve volts, which is usually enough to handle the majority of lighting needs in a room with no problem.

While some consumers have raised concerns about the safety of electric wallpaper, there appears to be no danger. Current manufacturing standards call for a layer of insulation on the metal strips that make it impossible for persons to receive a shock while inserting a pin through the top layer of the wall covering and making contact with the strip. Proponents of the paper note that it meets the same safety standards that are in place for any household lighting appliance.


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