Glow Powder or photoluminescent powder is as its name suggests, a powder that will glow in dark environments. The darker the environment the brighter the glow.There are a number of different materials that can be used as glow in the dark powder, but the most popular is strontium aluminate. Don’t be put off by is chemical sounding name. It’s extremely safe, non-toxic, non-radioactive and environmentally friendly.
Be aware of other glow in the dark materials on the market. They can be significantly more expensive and typically glow for much less time and less intensity.
When purchasing glow in the dark powder, it may be worth trialing a sample first to gauge the strength. Cheaper powders may be an indication that fillers have been used, resulting in a poorer glow.
The image on the right demonstrates the glow intensity of a high quality product shining through a bubble envelope.
WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
Glow powder by itself is pretty cool but when you apply it to a medium, that’s where it really shines (pun noted).
There are very little limitations to how you can use the powder but consider the following:
- When mixing with a water based medium, you’ll need to use the ‘encapsulated’ powder. Otherwise it will lose its brightness.
- Mixing the powder with dark colours won’t work. The lighter or clearer the medium the brighter the glow
- The powder will not ‘dissolve’ in the medium you chose. It will however stay suspended. This will depend though on how thick the medium is.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The really simple answer is that the powder particles absorb light. When it gets dark the particles let that light energy go in the form of a glow.
It takes only a few minutes to charge by any light (UV light provides an instant charge) and will glow for around 8 hours. This process will last for around 15-20 years.
IS IT SAFE?
Strontium aluminate is one of the safest materials around. It’s not toxic, not radioactive, no chemical reactions take place for it to work and it’s environmentally friendly.
It’s also an amazing source of environmentally friendly light:
- No batteries
- No electricity
- Little maintenance
- The lower light intensity means the feeding habits of nocturnal animals aren’t disturbed.