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GID Vials, Tritium, TRASERS, Powders and Chemicals GLOW IN THE DARK! Answered


So I get a lot of questions from my post and instructables.

Tritium Vials are Radioactive Hydrogen H3, also known as hydrogen-3 is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is contained in small glass vials coated in colored phosphor then encased in glass or sealed plastics. These are commonly seen in Gun Sights, Watches (TRASERS) and some Emergency Exit Signs.


Small amounts are legal and for approved uses. Read the NRC guides

Typically the Trit vials are small, expensive and dim. The latest GID (Glow in the Dark) Chemsticks, LED's and GID Powders or paints seems much more effective and usable.

* Cyalume, as used in a lightsticks, emits light by chemiluminescence of a fluorescent dye (also called fluorescor) activated by cyalume reacting with hydrogen peroxide in the presence of a catalyst, such as sodium salicylate. It is the most efficient chemiluminescent reaction known. up to 15% quantum efficiency.


New LED low power requirements and high Lumen or light output have provided many solutions that are low cost, high power and longer lasting.

GID Paint or Powders are "charged" with light or daylight sources as with your traditional kids toys or stickers. New products are brighter, glow longer and are now waterproof, have many colors and applications.


Also this is occasionally confused with the chemical illumination. However these paints powders and materials use common phosphorescent materials include zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate. Use of zinc sulfide for safety related products dates back to the 1930s. However, the development of strontium oxide aluminate, with a luminance approximately 10 times greater than zinc sulfide, has relegated most zinc sulfide based products to the novelty category. Strontium oxide aluminate based pigments are now used in exit signs, pathway marking, and other safety related signage.


Hope this helps!

01/2011 - Update Source for Materials


Additional Tritium Resources

* U.S. NRC: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/ops-experience/grndwtr-contam-tritium.html
* U.S. EPA: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/tritium.htm
* U.S. DOE (Argonne National Lab): http://www.ead.anl.gov/pub/doc/tritium.pdf
* California EPA: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/water/phg/allphgs.html
* University of Idaho: http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/tritium.htm


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10 years ago

Very nice! Great job putting this up, and now when you get questions, you can just reply with the link to this topic.

One thing you may not know: the Instructables text entry system ("editor") does not automatically detect URLs and make them active :-( You have to do that yourself, by using the "Make link" icon (the globe with a little chain below it). If you want to, go back and re-edit the text above. For each URL, highlight it and use Ctrl-C (or Cmd-C on a Mac) to copy it into your paste buffer. Then click the icon, and paste (Ctrl-V) into the popup window. When you hit OK, the URL will be orange, indicating an active hyperlink.

You could also use a bit of copy editing, but there's nothing that is incomprehensible :-)


10 years ago

Quick find!

Thanks for tips... I did that from my G2 phone. I planned to go back and edit later.