Spray-on Starpath makes roads glow at night

During the day, paths coated with Starpath absorb UV light, which is released when darkness falls. The technology could be a cheaper, more energy-efficient alternative to nighttime street lighting, its maker says.

Follow the blue gravel road... Pro-Teq Surfacing

A glow-in-the-dark pathway? Yes please. A glow-in-the-dark pathway that harvests UV light during the day to power its nighttime illumination? Yes please very.

UK company Pro-Teq Surfacing just introduced Starpath, a spray-on technology that can be applied over concrete, tarmac, wood, or any other existing solid surface to give it an artificial sparkly blue glow.

The idea is that the aggregate non-reflective, anti-slip light source can enhance visibility at night, making for a potential money-saving alternative to street lamps and stepping in to aid local governments that may be trying to cut costs by cutting nighttime lighting altogether.

Starpath is applied in layers -- first a polyurethane base, then the light-absorbing particles, and then a finishing coat that makes the surface water-resistant and gives it longevity.

"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," says Hamish Scott, owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing. "It adjusts accordingly, its almost like it has a mind of its own. Further, the surface is environmentally-friendly and aesthetically pleasing."

Starpath is currently getting a trial run (walk?) on a highly trafficked footpath in Christ's Pieces, a well-known park in Cambridge, England. The Cambridge pathway measures 150 square meters, which Pro-Teq said only took half an hour to cover with spray. The surface was ready for use less than four hours after the job began.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


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