Clean Power

Published on July 29th, 2009 | by Jeff Kart

14

Phosphorescent Pathways Glow at Night

July 29th, 2009 by  

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When the sun goes down, some walkways in Birmingham, Michigan, start to glow.

They’re fitted with a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark pavement marking system from Glow-Mark Technologies LLC of Royal Oak, MIchigan.

The system consists of encapsulated “pucks” fitted into brick pavers, wood or other material with a boring drill.

The pucks are secured with a special 3M adhesive and cost $5 to $9 each, depending on the size and quantity purchased, according to David K. Sturley, managing partner and inventor.

Only naturally occurring ultra-violet rays, present even on cloudy and overcast days, are needed to charge the inserts.

At night, the pucks shine for up to 12 hours without electrical wiring, company representatives say.

There’s no need for more expensive conventional pathway lighting, electricity from the grid, or related maintenance like replacing lightbulbs and corroded wires.

Glow-Mark says the pucks are designed to last more than 15 years.

The company is pushing the system for commercial and home use, to offer an alternative to electrical installations and enhance safety by marking ledges, stairs, pools and decks.

So far, there have been two brick paver installations in Birmingham, Sturley says.

(Image credit: Glow-Mark Technologies.)


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About the Author

is typing about issues in the Great Lakes, from advanced biofuels to zero-emission vehicles. Jeff is an environmental journalist and social media evangelist based in Michigan, where the summers are short, the winters are cold, and the stories are plentiful.



  • David Sturley

    Size of phosphors, loading amount and encapsulation technique has a huge impact on glow intensity and duration. Done properly, this stuff is magic! 

  • Uncle B

    We are about to travel through deep canyons for survival in America, where frivolous ventures will be much regretted. Food supplies and food preservation will soon become more important than driveway lights, and the very air we breath a merciful gift! The Mercuric rains and nuclear leaks, the contaminated food and water supplies, the sad condition of our air, sickening Shiite in our lakes rivers streams and seashores swirling around our nostrils, our tongues, to kill us all a little bit each day, and neuter our children with plastic’s estrogens. Death comes mercifully earlier now, to Americans, Aids, a blessing in disguise, STD’s a boot camp for real grown-up American life, haunts our daughters, and the death camps are prepared, and the furnaces warmed for our final show – The chemical ageof America is closing down.Drive way lights won’t help us now, mophene, and your daughter heroine are all that is left to eas our pain, a chemical solution to be sure!

  • Uncle B

    We are about to travel through deep canyons for survival in America, where frivolous ventures will be much regretted. Food supplies and food preservation will soon become more important than driveway lights, and the very air we breath a merciful gift! The Mercuric rains and nuclear leaks, the contaminated food and water supplies, the sad condition of our air, sickening Shiite in our lakes rivers streams and seashores swirling around our nostrils, our tongues, to kill us all a little bit each day, and neuter our children with plastic’s estrogens. Death comes mercifully earlier now, to Americans, Aids, a blessing in disguise, STD’s a boot camp for real grown-up American life, haunts our daughters, and the death camps are prepared, and the furnaces warmed for our final show – The chemical ageof America is closing down.Drive way lights won’t help us now, mophene, and your daughter heroine are all that is left to eas our pain, a chemical solution to be sure!

  • Uncle B

    We are about to travel through deep canyons for survival in America, where frivolous ventures will be much regretted. Food supplies and food preservation will soon become more important than driveway lights, and the very air we breath a merciful gift! The Mercuric rains and nuclear leaks, the contaminated food and water supplies, the sad condition of our air, sickening Shiite in our lakes rivers streams and seashores swirling around our nostrils, our tongues, to kill us all a little bit each day, and neuter our children with plastic’s estrogens. Death comes mercifully earlier now, to Americans, Aids, a blessing in disguise, STD’s a boot camp for real grown-up American life, haunts our daughters, and the death camps are prepared, and the furnaces warmed for our final show – The chemical ageof America is closing down.Drive way lights won’t help us now, mophene, and your daughter heroine are all that is left to eas our pain, a chemical solution to be sure!

  • All Phosphors Are Not Created Equal!

    In response to John B’s comment regarding glow intensity and duration, it should be noted, A new class of synthetic photophosflorescent pigment, developed by Nemoto, LTD., a multi billion chemical concern based in Tokyo, Japan has in fact created the finest glow phosphors in the world. Low technology, inferior chemical grade component knock offs by others are in the market place. Typically used for toys and trinkets, it is by no means on a par with Nemoto’s product line up. As for your comment regarding laboratory data results, with a veiled suggestion of skewed or untrue results, it is indeed true, certain data does come from lab results; namely NASA and the international space station currently operating high above the earth. The space station is extensively outfitted with high quality glow phosphors for emergency blackout situations and boasts a functioning life span of 35 hours per charging cycle. Nemoto’s trade name for this magnificent technology is LumiNova. I would suggest you research for yourself the above captioned information and help set the record straight.

  • All Phosphors Are Not Created Equal!

    In response to John B’s comment regarding glow intensity and duration, it should be noted, A new class of synthetic photophosflorescent pigment, developed by Nemoto, LTD., a multi billion chemical concern based in Tokyo, Japan has in fact created the finest glow phosphors in the world. Low technology, inferior chemical grade component knock offs by others are in the market place. Typically used for toys and trinkets, it is by no means on a par with Nemoto’s product line up. As for your comment regarding laboratory data results, with a veiled suggestion of skewed or untrue results, it is indeed true, certain data does come from lab results; namely NASA and the international space station currently operating high above the earth. The space station is extensively outfitted with high quality glow phosphors for emergency blackout situations and boasts a functioning life span of 35 hours per charging cycle. Nemoto’s trade name for this magnificent technology is LumiNova. I would suggest you research for yourself the above captioned information and help set the record straight.

  • All Phosphors Are Not Created Equal!

    In response to John B’s comment regarding glow intensity and duration, it should be noted, A new class of synthetic photophosflorescent pigment, developed by Nemoto, LTD., a multi billion chemical concern based in Tokyo, Japan has in fact created the finest glow phosphors in the world. Low technology, inferior chemical grade component knock offs by others are in the market place. Typically used for toys and trinkets, it is by no means on a par with Nemoto’s product line up. As for your comment regarding laboratory data results, with a veiled suggestion of skewed or untrue results, it is indeed true, certain data does come from lab results; namely NASA and the international space station currently operating high above the earth. The space station is extensively outfitted with high quality glow phosphors for emergency blackout situations and boasts a functioning life span of 35 hours per charging cycle. Nemoto’s trade name for this magnificent technology is LumiNova. I would suggest you research for yourself the above captioned information and help set the record straight.

  • Eric S

    Actually the new generation of these synthetic phosporous holds a charge much better than in the past. Lab testing has shown much slower diminishment in the light intensity. Somehow this company has figured out how to make it last in exterior applications. Usually moisture will ruin the phosporous.

  • Eric S

    Actually the new generation of these synthetic phosporous holds a charge much better than in the past. Lab testing has shown much slower diminishment in the light intensity. Somehow this company has figured out how to make it last in exterior applications. Usually moisture will ruin the phosporous.

  • John B

    I’m familiar with the material used in all these things; it is usable for a few hours and quite dim for hours after that. its only bright for a short period of time (minutes.)

    its a good use for the front of a house – car lights can help charge them and if you needed more than a few hours– use a fluorescent for 30 sec to charge them up again for a few hours.

    everybody claims 12 hours etc– but while in the lab it does do that it is so dim its useless after about 5 hours

  • John B

    I’m familiar with the material used in all these things; it is usable for a few hours and quite dim for hours after that. its only bright for a short period of time (minutes.)

    its a good use for the front of a house – car lights can help charge them and if you needed more than a few hours– use a fluorescent for 30 sec to charge them up again for a few hours.

    everybody claims 12 hours etc– but while in the lab it does do that it is so dim its useless after about 5 hours

  • John B

    I’m familiar with the material used in all these things; it is usable for a few hours and quite dim for hours after that. its only bright for a short period of time (minutes.)

    its a good use for the front of a house – car lights can help charge them and if you needed more than a few hours– use a fluorescent for 30 sec to charge them up again for a few hours.

    everybody claims 12 hours etc– but while in the lab it does do that it is so dim its useless after about 5 hours

  • John B

    I’m familiar with the material used in all these things; it is usable for a few hours and quite dim for hours after that. its only bright for a short period of time (minutes.)

    its a good use for the front of a house – car lights can help charge them and if you needed more than a few hours– use a fluorescent for 30 sec to charge them up again for a few hours.

    everybody claims 12 hours etc– but while in the lab it does do that it is so dim its useless after about 5 hours

  • John B

    I’m familiar with the material used in all these things; it is usable for a few hours and quite dim for hours after that. its only bright for a short period of time (minutes.)

    its a good use for the front of a house – car lights can help charge them and if you needed more than a few hours– use a fluorescent for 30 sec to charge them up again for a few hours.

    everybody claims 12 hours etc– but while in the lab it does do that it is so dim its useless after about 5 hours

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