What Are Photoluminescent Products?

Photoluminescent items have the ability to take in energy from other sources and then emit it as lighting diminishes. Self-luminous products absorb photons released by internal or external lighting. The photons remain stored until a situation causes illumination to fail or become extremely low. They are then released or radiated from the item with photoluminescent qualities to provide a green glow for a matter of minutes or hours depending on the product. The effect has been common in children’s toys for numerous years; however, it has been more recently applied in alternative areas such as building safety.

What Types of Photoluminescence Exist?

Resonant radiation is the simplest form of this photoluminescent technology and involves absorbing a certain wavelength photon while one of equivalent length is emitted. Minimal energy transitions happen during this process, which occurs in as little as ten nanoseconds. A chemical substrate can experience internal transitions prior to emitting stored energy. Fluorescent properties are the best example of an advanced transition happening within the substrate materials. In fluorescent products, the amount of emitted energy is less than what was absorbed. Time oriented release involves the discharge of stored photons over an extended period. The most specialized form of this technology is called phosphorescence and entails the absorbed photons activity being heightened to a triplet state. The time required to reach a singlet state once again ranges anywhere between minutes to hours.

Understanding Photoluminescent Technology in Regards to Safety Objects

Where do these degrees of photoluminescence fall within the area of glow-in-the-dark products? Self-luminous toys, building code compliance items, and additional types of merchandise utilize the most advanced transition to provide an extended glow period. Their phosphorescent transition allows an object to supply a continuous glow for a certain period of time. Newer pigment types have amplified the glowing effect and allowed for longer visibility timer periods. Safety products include a specialized inorganic pigment with the capability of absorbing ambient light. These materials become immediately visible in emergency situations and have been proven to deliver improved reliability over alternative compliance choices.

How Does the Science of Photoluminescence Improve Safety?

Photoluminescent materials are highly common in the area of building and transportation safety. Films are applied to signing, marking tapes, and further items used to identify points of egress within a structure. This same technology has been applied in public transport vehicles such as:

  • Planes
  • Trains
  • Boats
  • Subways

Manufacturers apply materials with photoluminescent qualities to protective items ranging from fire equipment signing to traction tapes. Each product is designed to enhance the visibility of a space where accidents are possible. Self-luminous products have been introduced as an alternative to traditional building safety compliance choices because they provide visibility at times when lighting or smoke reduces this structural feature. These qualities have been added to traction tapes as well to provide further benefits in locations where the combination of a slippery surface and low light conditions could be devastating. This technology has greatly advanced the abilities of building owners desiring to deliver the utmost protection to their occupants and allowed businesses to increase the success of their products.

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