Lighting is one of the most important visual and functional parts in almost everything today, specially automobiles. The last decade has seen an explosion in the upgrades and options available in automobile lighting. Apart from extensive use of lighting elements for design and styling by automobile manufacturers, like the different new shapes and forms of headlamps and tail lamps, day time running lights, incandescent, fluorescent and L.E.D lighting, and the most recent – light tape, there are plenty of other places where the play of light is vital to the aesthetic appeal of the object in question. Even modern architecture employs extensive use of lighting in the form of patterns, glow signs, etc.
Ohio based Darkside Scientific have come up with a technology that will change the face of lighting as we know it and disrupt the world lighting industry. The game changing offering is as simple to understand as it is amazing. An environment friendly coating that the company’s head Andy Zsinko spent years on research and development for, can be sprayed on top of any kind of surface, whether flat, curved or dynamic, and having an electric current passed through it, will glow bright as any light emitting device.
The spray is called LumiLor and is getting all the right attention. It can comfortably adhere to multiple curved surfaces as well to form solid layers of paint. Once the current is applied, the coating emits light which causes the image it is sprayed upon, to light up. The coating requires not even the dimmest of lighting environments and in fact, performs brilliantly with crisp imagery of whatever lies underneath, when activated in complete darkness.
Colour range for LumiLor
Presently, the company has their colour range for LumiLor restricted to just four, of which Green and Blue are supposed to be the brightest and the remaining two are White and orange. The white is supposed to be better than all the other three for showing off bright colours like red, yellow, purple, etc. and can be mixed with just about any colour to offer the same amount of glow. The orange also meshes well with almost all the warm colours. The light can even be used to accentuate a layering of chorme paint but not as brilliantly as the rest of the bright colours.
The greatest part of the challenge for Darkside isn’t mixing the colours, but coming up with the best possible way of wiring up the paint in order to send the current through it. It wouldn’t be a very good idea to let the wires stick out of and mar the beauty of your custom paintjob, hence R&D on the wiring and how it needs to be done, is vital to the final visual outcome of the efforts put in.
The company discloses that the product won’t just be limited to vehicles, but have multiple applications all over, given the advantage of it being “spray-on” and requiring just electric current to light it up. It could be the next thing after glow signs on buildings, or lightings on race tracks and air strips, even beacons and countless other forms of displaying information over a large surfaces or areas with lighting being just as important as the message being displayed. One could also have a gigantic graffiti on one side of a multi storeyed building and light it up with LumiLor and it would become one of the most amazing pieces of wall art in the world.
Electroluminescent paint – the exact functional term for the product called LumiLor – is cool on automobiles since the electric current, and hence the glow can turned on and off, and controlled in terms of brightness of emission. Darkside has also displayed a custom application of this paint with a mix match of electronics that allow different sections of the painted body area to light up independent of each other through different activation switches.
There are however a few possible drawbacks and only once the product hits the streets will it be sure whether they come into play or just fade away as unreasonable fears. Since the brightness and intensity on the paint can be pretty high, safety hounds have reason to believe that this could tip the scales away from the favour of road safety due to its limitless forms of deployment and the customization options that come with it can all be pretty diverting and disturbing to other drivers’ attention.
The present LumiLor has a half life of approximately 10,000 hours, i.e it loses half of its glow intensity by that much time. The company is of course working on increasing that half life and further developments to push the product more and more toward flawlessness. Even right now, a LumiLor coated bike or car can be lit for three to four hours an evening and still the person would be more likely to replace their engine before they would think of replacing the paint.
The company has come up with a product that has amazing potential. It is well capable of replacing everything in the world of lighting industry and that’s saying something given that it amounts to a staggering figure of $300 billion.