What is glow in the dark and why does it work? Firstly any information I talk about in any of my articles is based purely on photoluminescence and strontium/aluminate technology. There are different types of glow in the dark from natures own bugs to natural rock to radioactive and so on, however I will only be talking about strontium/aluminate glow in the dark technology.
Photoluminescent pigments will absorb high energy light sources like sun light, day light or powered light and then re-emit this energy as low energy light over a long period of time. The better pigments for example will emit over a 12 hour period or more. The ability to store and release this light is automatic and repeatable with no need to start or set off a reaction in order to obtain the photoluminescent glow. This cycle of absorption and emission can continue until the host body has either yellowed or deteriorated to the extent that the individual particles are no longer working as a cohesive unit. These pigments are non-toxic, harmless and non-radioactive.
The use of glow in the dark pigment is growing as this still relatively new technology is discovered. Their main use however is in applications where outside or interfering light is not a concern or can be controlled. For example homes, sheds, warehouses, public buildings, motor homes or caravans. Outdoor use of glow in the dark products is very limited and you would need to have a product with a very strong after glow to have success in this area.
Different colours have unique glow times and strengths. As a general rule yellow/green pigment is the brightest followed by Aqua then Blue then Orange and at the lowest Red. When selecting a colour for glow in the dark pigment it is advisable to refer to the manufacturer table as seen in my article on selecting the correct glow in the dark pigment. This table will show the after glow strength for the colour chosen so making it easier to select a correct pigment for a given project.