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Entire glow in the dark room? Answered

Ignoring the practicalitites of expense, chemicals etc, would it be possible to paint and ENTIRE room, or at least a whole ceiling, in glow-in-the-dark paint? I'm thinking what would it be like to have an off-the-grid room that would have a useable amount of light, using glow-in-the-dark paint, for say 4 hours after sunset. Can anyone find any pictures of a room painted like this?


I found this Instructable searching for information on using glow paint as a replacement for solar garden lights. If the pricey, high-quality glow paint can light up a room for hours after being exposed to light, I imagine that it might work well for what I'm imagining, but does anyone have any experience with this? I envision rocks painted with glow paint that illuminate my garden paths and eliminate the need for low-voltage/solar lights altogether.

First, let me disclose that I am a Senior Technician at Glow Inc., which manufactures glow in the dark paint.

The majority of glow paint sold in retail stores is 1/30th the brightness of high-end glow paint. Not only are the higher end pigments 20+ times brighter, commercial products are usually made with a 20% ratio compared to retail product at about 1% ratio.

A quart jar of V10 grade glow paint sitting next to my bed was bright enough to read by after the first hour. It was bright enough to navigate the room after 5 hours. If you painted all 4 walls and ceiling, I am quite certain you could read by it all night.

You can find our paints here:
Glow in the Dark Paint

Danny Clark
Glow Inc.

With how much charging? If you read the old posts, it sounds like the idea is to illuminate the room at night given no more than "typical" (indirect sunlight through windows?) illumination during the day. I doubt that even really good GITD paint is up to it. (The advantage of solar panels is that you can put them in the sun and the powered light-source where you need the light.)

A problem with solar-powered light sources in general (both GITD and solar-electric) is that they tend to waste a lot of their energy when it isn't really needed. My solar garden lights go on at dusk, and "waste" an hour or two wort h of their scarce energy lighting up their LED before it's really dark enough to need it. Sometime I'm going enter one of those "low power microcontroller design contests" with nothing more than a solar-powered solution that has a better "dark detector."

I still stand by my original statement that I am certain a room painted with V10 level glow paints would provide at least 4 hours of enough glow that you could read. This includes the fact that there is no other lighting or power and the only charging source is the windows. In fact, I think it would be down right annoying to sleep in the room. Danny Clark Glow Inc.

Interesting. So in rough figures how much would I be looking at to paint a 3m x 3m ceiling?

Two quarts ($334) for the ceiling. But it gets the least amount of charging light. The walls would be a critical component. You would need 2.5 gallons ($1250)for the whole room. I am providing costs for reference only. I am not posting this to be a sale or spam. My intention was to simply point out that high-end glow in the dark is an option. Danny Clark Glow Inc.

Totally understand that, thanks. Well it seems like it could be an interesting and totally unique option. Although I'm guessing international shipping might be a problem?

We can ship raw glow pigment, but not the paint internationally. Thanks, Danny Clark

It sure is possible.... In fact - a few years ago - a friend did that to his dorm room... With washable glow in the dark paint :) As for would it work for your use.... probably not as phosphorescence doesn't give off that much light in this application :/

Wow... any pictures by any chance? OK then, other ideas for extremely low power, or no-power, lighting?

No, unfourtunatly... but it was really cool :) Suggestions would be LED, fluorescent (electronic ballast though) and of course, solar during the day :)

Yeah, been looking at LED solutions. I'm looking for REALLY low power lighting, like just enough to get around without tripping over furniture. I'm hoping that three 1W luxeons might do it. Any more than that and I may as well just go for a 8W compact flurescent. Of course LEDs have the advantage of being easier to drive from a DC source. I'm hoping a solar setup will be less complicated, cheaper and more efficient to drive DC sources than to drive components designed to use typical 110/240 V AC.

Um, just to avoid bumping into things, you can get away with a LOT less than 3W of LEDs. I'd guess more along the lines of one 20mA LED (About 0.1W?) per 100 ft2. We live in an otherwise very dark area and have some of those LED nightlights with single 5mm LEDs (most are no longer white, since the white LEDs burnt out. Grr. Orange, green, and blue "not state-of-the-art" replacements are still plenty to see by.

State-of-the-art in glow-in-the-dark has improved recently, but there's still a significant issue that it has to be "charged" first with rather bright light. I find the places I most want to have "backup" lighting are the places that don't get bright light during the day to charge GITD paint anyway.

Hmmmm.... interesting. This is for a holiday house I'm sort of designing / spec-ing out. I'm trying to go for an entire off grid solution. So this lighting would be the ONLY light source after sunset. I guess I need to grab some LEDs and try it out at home. I've got a few 0.5 W LEDs that I want to try, I'm not convinced that a few standard LEDs would cut it, but I'll definately give it a try...

When I was visiting my brother at college, I saw one guy who had made a really cool design on the ceiling with fishing twine, and then had a black light shining on it. That was cool.

I like your outside-the-square thinking! glow sticks maybe not so environmentally friendly, and not so many fireflies here in australia... i'm thinking lots of garden-type solar lights as a temporary solution, and when i can afford it a proper solar panel, inverter, battery solution.

crap..i accidentally deleted my comment (still getting the hang of things here)

anyhow, solar panel is a good option.. depends on your location, a wind turbine might work as well (work round the clock)..i havent build one, but ive seen a cool instructable here: 1000watt wind turbine

but i still thinks that fireflies in jars would be waayy cooler..hehh joking..cheers