Light color

also phosphorescent paint, glow-in-the-dark

Light color is the term for a coating of surfaces that emit a higher light intensity than was incident on it. There are in the printing industry daily and afterglow. The difference is that fluorescent colors in daylight increase the perceived impression of brightness, contrast, phosphorescent emit light themselves.

Technical background

Lights substances by the end of the incident light for more than a thousandth of a second after, one speaks of fluorescent substances. Daylight colors by fluorescence convert to the short-wave ultra-violet portions of the light spectrum radiated on it in longer wavelength components. This is done by electrons which are excited by UV radiation to assume a higher energy level. Once they are no longer supplied with energy, they fall back on the starting level and send their excess energy in the form of photons. It thus gives the impression that the coated objects are brighter compared to their surroundings.

Phosphorescent have the ability to store the energy of incident light and they give delayed by phosphorescence again into light energy. They are self-luminous (Autoluminophore).


Coated with special inks such surfaces appear brighter than their surroundings in general, which they deserve increased attention. In this afterglow of course regardless of the lighting conditions in the environment applies in the dark. The effect occurs in day-glow colors enhanced in dim light conditions, so a heavy blue light spectrum on.

Application possibilities

By the lighter impression and the increased attention it day-glow colors are often intended to signal signs at construction sites, which you can see from afar, used. Afterglow, however, are widely used in the coating of surfaces to be visible even in the dark, such as Signs for escape routes, dials on clocks or scales of measuring instruments.


Fluorescent colors are and remain inks that do not light themself, but light only remit. For their consideration so light is needed. In their processing they behave with 5 micron diameter as conventional pigment ink. They are largely resistant to external influences. In afterglow only prolonged contact with water or humidity should be avoided. In general, the water-based paints are safe for health.


Sources and additional literature

[1] Hille, Frauke Helene: Veredlungsmöglichkeiten und Spezialeffekte für Bücher und Broschuren; Diplomarbeit, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (FH), Fachbereich Medien, Studiengang Verlagsherstellung, 2008