Many cyclists and runners avoid paths that aren’t lit at night due to the inherent risk of pot holes, cracks and lurking boogiemen. A new technology out of the United Kingdom provides a new way to light up the darkness.
Called Starpath, the alternative to street lighting absorbs and stores energy from the sun’s UV rays during the day. At night the surface releases the energy, allowing the particles to glow in the dark.
According to an article from Road.cc, the world’s first glow-in-the-dark rec path surface is being tested at a city park in Cambridge, UK. The article notes that the concept, if successful, could be implemented elsewhere in the city as an alternative to streetlights on foot and bike paths.
The application process is described in this video:
Starpath comes from the British company Pro-Teq. It’s a spray-on technology that can be applied over concrete, tarmac or any solid surface to give it a teal colored glow at night. In addition to its luminous look, it also has anti-slip properties and is non-reflective.
“This product adjusts to the natural light, so if it is pitch black outside the luminous natural earth enhances, and if the sky is lighter, it won’t release as much luminosity,” Hamish Scott, owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing writes on his company’s website. “It adjusts accordingly, is almost like it has a mind of its own. Further, the surface is environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing.”
While it’s too soon to tell if the Starpath will become an alternative to streetlights, as a cyclist I’d love to see a glow-in-the-dark path like this along my commute at night.