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Electroluminescence (EL) is an optical phenomenon and electrical phenomenon in which a material emits light in response to the passage of an electric current or to a strong electric field. This is distinct from black body light emission resulting from heat (incandescence), from a chemical reaction (chemiluminescence), sound (sonoluminescence), or other mechanical action (mechanoluminescence).

electroluminescent panel [\i-ˌlek-trô-ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sənt\   \ˈpa-nəl\]
A surface-area light source employing the principle of electroluminescence; consists of a suitable phosphor placed between sheet-metal electrodes, one of which is essentially transparent, with an alternating current applied between the electrodes. Also known as electroluminescent cell; electroluminescent lamp; light panel; luminescent cell.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Assorted References

The electroluminescent lamp, another semiconductor lamp, consists of a flat-plate capacitor with a phosphor (similar to those used with fluorescent lamps) in the dielectric; it is used with alternating current. These lamps are used for night-lights and engineering applications such as...