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Conductive Tape

Conducti-tape-scaled

Conductive tape acts like a wire. It carries electricity between a battery and components like LEDs, buzzers, and motors. I’ve used conductive tape to light up a doll house, turn a battery in to a flashlight, accessorize a purse, create an electric rose, and more. I never leave the house without it! (You think I’m kidding. I’m not.)

Hide an LED under a toothpaste cap!

Hide an LED under a toothpaste cap!

Wiring for a shoe box doll house.

Wiring for a shoe box doll house.

Choosing conductive tape for your project

My favorite conductive tape is the Z22 Nylon Conducti Tape. It’s the best choice for most projects because it doesn’t tear and it’s conductive on both sides.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing conductive tape for your project:

Conductive on one side or both sides?

1) Both sides conduct: It’s easiest to work with tape that is conductive on both sides—the ribbon side and the sticky side. Tiny metal particles are added to the adhesive to make the sticky side conductive. (Conducti Tape Z22, Conducti Tape D34)

2) One side blocks: Sometimes it’s handy to have tape that blocks electricity on one side and conducts electricity on the other. (Conducti Tape X44)

3) One side is neutral: The most economical tape tends to be metal foil tape with a sticky side that either doesn’t conduct at all or doesn’t conduct very well.

Sticky on one side or both sides?

1) Double-stick: Some Z-conductive tape is conductive on both sides AND sticky on both sides too! (Conducti Tape D34)

2) One side is sticky: Most available tape is sticky on one side only. (Conducti Tape Z22, Conducti Tape X44)

Ripstop nylon vs. metal foil?

1) Nylon: The nylon “ribbon” used in some conductive tape can bend without tearing, so it’s a good choice for projects that will bend and flex or get moved and bumped. (Tiny metal particles are added to the nylon to make it conduct electricity.) (Conducti Tape Z22)

2) Metal Foil: The metal foil tape is usually more economical, and shiny and pretty, but will break if it is creased or flexed. The most inexpensive version of this tape is sold for stained glass projects, and the sticky side is not very conductive compared to industrial tape. (Conducti Tape D34)



AttributeTape
Sticky and conductive on both sidesConducti Tape D34 (copper foil)
Sticky on one side, conductive on both sidesConducti Tape Z22 (ripstop nylon)
Sticky on conductive side, blocks electricity on shiny sideX44 (aluminum with polyester coating)