EL questions



hello everyone, i've been lurking on this site for a fair amount of time, as i have a slight addiction to seeing what i'm doing, so i have a few flashlights, pretty well all of the energizer hardcase flashlights (the grey LED ones, not the yellow/orange incandescent ones) aswell as a 5d maglight with a 5w LED... i've put lots of extra lighting on my truck, mostly accent stuff, but a few others here and there... i just recently learned about EL panels and EL strips... i don't know why i've never heard about it, there seems to be limited resources on how to work with the panels, i even contacted the manufacture, and they pretty much ignored my questions and gave me general answers...

ok, so i am trying to do a few things with EL panels and strips, i have not started them yet, but will be fairly soon and want to get a little education first, before i spend all this money and find out something won't work for me!

there are 2 projects i am going to be working on specifically, first is going to be making a ford symbol, on the back of my pickup, glow blue at night, i was suggested than an EL panel would be the best for this, i've searched as much as i possibly could and cannot find an answer to my questions for this, both on this forum, and google.

first, it is going to be outside, in quite hot to very cold temperatures, as i live in a climate of extremes (-40 to +35 celcius) will the EL panels work in these temperatures, if not, will these temperatures actually damage them to the point that they will not work again when they get closer to a normal temperature?

second, i have read people talking about when they cut the panels they are near impossible to seal again so that there is no moisture contamination, the panel i use will be coated in clear epoxy, so i would hope that is enough, but apparently even that sometimes doesn't work... (i need to cut a panel into an oval shape, and i find very little chance of finding one the right size and shape, pre made)

third, i was told that if these panels are in direct sunlight or heat, they will deteriorate very quickly, which will not work for me at all, because it will be on my truck i drive every day, and park on the street...

second project is doing a conversion of the dashboard of my truck to a different color, many people use LED's for this, but there is lots of problems with uneven lighting, the EL strips or EL tape seems like my best bet for this... because the numbers on my dashboard are circular, around the gauge, and the strips are straight, i will most likely need to cut the strips into smaller pieces to make them circular also (or multi angled) can i solder these strips to eachother, or to wire, after cutting them, or is this not possible? I did see a how to, on this exact thing for the EL wire, but i want to double check that the tape will be the same

second question for second project, the power source for the EL strips will be coming from the power to the incandescent lights (12v dc) and using an inverter, supplied with the kit i get, if the source, 12v dc, has a dimmer on it, as most vehicles do, will this dim the EL panel also?

for what it's worth, i know how to solder, i know basic electronics, however i am not fond of anything more complex than a resistor, or a capacitor, or relays... they are really confusing to me

thanks in advance for your help