Environment

Starpath spray-on coating lights up the road

Starpath spray-on coating ligh...
UK company Pro-Teq's glow-in-the-dark spray coating could prove a cheaper alternative to conventional street lighting (Photo: Pro-Teq)
UK company Pro-Teq's glow-in-the-dark spray coating could prove a cheaper alternative to conventional street lighting (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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Christ's Pieces path before the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
Christ's Pieces path after the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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Christ's Pieces path after the application of the coating (Photo: Pro-Teq)
The coating comes in eleven different colors (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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The coating comes in eleven different colors (Photo: Pro-Teq)
The coating is sprayed on an existing surface, then an aggregate material applied (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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The coating is sprayed on an existing surface, then an aggregate material applied (Photo: Pro-Teq)
UK company Pro-Teq's glow-in-the-dark spray coating could prove a cheaper alternative to conventional street lighting (Photo: Pro-Teq)
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UK company Pro-Teq's glow-in-the-dark spray coating could prove a cheaper alternative to conventional street lighting (Photo: Pro-Teq)

UK company Pro-Teq has developed a new water-resistant, spray-on coating that absorbs UV light during the day and releases it at night, adapting to the lighting conditions in its surroundings. The technology is being given a test run at the Christ's Pieces park in Cambridge, and could prove a cost effective alternative to conventional street lighting.

We're used to seeing solar-harvesting technology being installed primarily on rooftops, but other sufficiently irradiated surfaces, including sidewalks, are also being explored for their energy harvesting potential.

Starpath doesn't produce electricity, but it does offer a possible alternative to street lighting, with very low installation and maintenance costs, as it can be just sprayed onto an existing surface and then further coated to make it waterproof. According to the company, the coating absorbs and stores UV light during the day and releases it at night, when its particles are able to adjust to the available natural light, and glow with the appropriate level of intensity.

The coating comes in eleven different colors (Photo: Pro-Teq)
The coating comes in eleven different colors (Photo: Pro-Teq)

The coating is currently being trialled in Christ’s Pieces, a park in the center of Cambridge, UK, where it has been sprayed on a total area of 150 sq m (1,600 sq ft). Pro-Teq says the coating took only 30 minutes to apply, with the surface being ready for use after only four hours.

"Our surface works best over tarmac or concrete, predominantly tarmac, which is the main bulk of the UK path network," explains Pro-Teq sales director Neil Blackmore. "When it's coming to the end of its useful life, we can rejuvenate it with our system, creating not only a practical, but a decorative finish."

Starpath has anti-slip properties, and can help users avoid collisions at night, without resorting to artificially-painted lines to divide the path. The coating is also non-reflective, and the company website lists a choice of 11 different colors. On the flipside, problems might be encountered during the winter months, with less light available during the day and the possibility of snow blocking out light from the path.

The video below details how the resurfacing technology works and explains how quickly the coating can be laid out onto a path.

Source: Pro-Teq

Proteq Starpath

19 comments
James Davis
How long until I can spray my house!!!?
BigGoofyGuy
In places that don't have snow, it could be a good thing year round. Since it comes in colors, I can see how one could paint stripes and divide using colors. One could create designs that might only show up at night? I think it has a lot of potential.
kellory
....And just how resistant to abrasion is it? In places like Ohio, we have plenty of snow, and a legal requirement to clean the snow off all sidewalks just after snowfall. (We can be ticketed after a reasonable interval, if the snow is not cleared.) So it must be able to withstand snow shovels, and snow blowers,
Durojaiye Philips
Won't this stuff degrade with time?? Considering the constant heat of the Sun thus the the concrete and tarmac get really hot at noon..... how long before you can apply another coat
Vincent Bevort
How about radiation? I remember the pale yellow light emitting stuff on our old watches that was in fact a radio active material. Is this stuff also radio active? How much light does it give during the night and how long? The images don't show any pitch black night as an example
Gideon Goudsmit
We spray painted glow in thedark paint to a sailing boats hull 4 years ago and it is still like new and lights up for 14 hours after sunset
Readout Noise
This stuff could be brilliant for reducing light pollution, which affects everthing from astronomy to wildlife, if its application is accompanied by a corresponding reduction in wasteful streetlighting.
Riaanh
I love direct ways of utilising energy resources without first needing to convert to electricity.
Brendan Dunphy
Impact of all those toxic chemicals washing at some point into the environment?
Bryan Paschke
Would love to have this on my driveway and even as a resurfacing for my in ground concrete pool. Wonder if enough UV would get through to light the bottom of the deep end.