Glow Powder, Paint and Tritium Vials




About: So what ideas would you like to try?

Intro: Glow Powder, Paint and Tritium Vials

The materials are available online (from me- just email).
Made from light sensitive powders and adheshives the powder and emlushions are even more useful when lit by long halflife radioactive tritum vials or EL wire (Electronic Luminisence) Wire is medium voltage )40-50v "glow wire" in many colors.

I will show some DIY uses for these materials:


Map Readers

Keyboard Lights


Luggage/Bag Tags

rescue lights

fishing/work lights

Step 1: Examples

Some of my work... just paint GID powder or seal Tritium vials on locations that need light...




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    17 Discussions

    Luis Lousada

    7 months ago

    I need to purchase all the tritrium vials, as my soon wants to make a bateryless lantern, with tritrium vials, small solar pannels, and a led bulb.

    Please advise were can I purchase the tritrium or equivalent ..

    Gene Hacker

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Aren't tritium vials illegal to own now? Some kid figured out how to get the tritium out of them a while back and used it a neutron moderator for his nuclear reactor.

    9 replies
    apburnerGene Hacker

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    What are you calling Tritium. Tritium is a gas. Nothing more than Hydrogen with a couple of Neutrons tagging along. Is this "Tritium" actually combined with another element to form a compound or what. Also Tritium is not naturally occurring so it would be prohibitively expensive.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    they used to use radium and later replaced it with tritium because radium can cause bone cancer.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    hmm someones been reading wikipedia...

    "The emitted electrons from the radioactive decay of small amounts of tritium cause phosphors to glow so as to make self-powered lighting devices called betalights, which are now used in firearms night sights, watches (eg. Luminox), exit signs, map lights, and a variety of other devices. This takes the place of radium, which can cause bone cancer and has been banned in most countries for decades. Commercial demand for tritium is 400 grams per year and costs approximately $US30,000 per gram"

    GTLS contain a glass vial painted with phosphors and energized by a bit of tritium sealed inside. They're not terribly expensive. I haven't seen any large ones produced in the US, though.

    In case you were curious, I looked up the price of tritium from Perkin Elmer. I may be reading this documentation wrong, but it appears that they have a vial selling for $61 that is 20mL of water with a tritium concentration of 3.3 kBq/g. It's a calibrated standard, so I imagine that makes it a bit more expensive.

    OpcomGene Hacker

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I believe you have tritium confused with radium. By itself, radium 226 is not a neutron source. A neutron source can be made conveniently by using radium's emissions to knock neutrons out of another material. These were then used in a step to manufacture the nuclear fuel. Don't try this at home, it's very risky and at least in the US it is against the law for public safety reasons. Tritium is very safe. I have a couple of watches and compasses with it, never leave home without them! Being an isotope of hydrogen, it escapes from its ampoules upward and outward and there's nothing left around. The amount in the vial is trivial and not hazardous if accidentally released, although I suppose if one were to shove a funnel up one's nostril and break the vial underneath while inhaling, that could be dangerous. And a youtube moment!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    if anyone did that they deserve to get poisoned by it anyway... lol


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nope, you must purchase from a licensed Importer for these materials. In small quantities they are essentially 'unregulated' for use in consomer, Gun Sights, Emergancy exits etc...

    See the NRC 10 CFR 30 and sup parts B CFR 32 for licenses and transfers