Singapore is testing glow-in-the-dark walking paths
Posted August 21
Taking a stroll at night can sometimes be difficult due to lack of visibility.
Singapore has come up with a novel way to solve this problem: The country is experimenting with a glow-in-the-dark trail that would make nighttime walks a little bit easier, not to mention safer. The technology is part of a larger project to transform an old railway track into usable public green space.
So, how does it work? The track glows because of embedded strontium aluminate compounds, which absorb ultraviolet light during the day to emit luminescence at night. Although it’s still in the testing stage, the light provided by the trail currently is pretty underwhelming at night, as you can see from shots of the path on Instagram:
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In the below Instagrams, taken at what looks like dusk, the path seems to glow brighter than during the darker nighttime hours.
The city is soliciting feedback from residents to determine what the path should be made of. Other options, which could also be combined with the glow-in-the-dark technology, include grass and fine gravel.
Other cities have tried out similar technology with varying degrees of success. In the Netherlands, they built a highway with glow-in-the-dark lines to guide drivers, as part of the The Smart Highway Project. However, they found that heavy rains were enough to render the lights ineffective.
Check out the video of the innovative road in action:
In Poland, they developed a glow-in-the-dark bike path. The path was designed with increased safety in mind.
"We hope that the glowing bicycle path will help prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents at night," Igor Ruttmar, TPA president and CEO, told ABC News. "It's a problem here in Poland, especially in the areas farther from the cities that are darker and more invisible in the night."
Here’s what the path looks like at dusk:
A similar path inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” exists in the Netherlands. The patterns of luminescence in the path resemble the famous painting:
Roads and paths aren’t the only place glow-in-the-dark technology is being utilized. DIY items that can be made to glow in the dark include pumpkins, beer and a bedroom ceiling that resembles a starry night. Time to turn out the lights and get crafty.