Some local councils in the U.K. have started shutting off streetlights at night in public parks, with the goal of saving money on electricity apparently trumping safety concerns. Either that or there is no crime in British parks, in which case, total darkness is just fine.
In the event of actual safety risks, a U.K. technology company called Pro-Teq has come up with a way to illuminate public pathways that not only eliminates electricity expenditures but has the added benefit of being eerily beautiful.
The solution is a spray-on substance called Starpath, which operates on the same principle as all of those glow-in-the-dark toys and stickers we all loved so much as little kids.
The coating is water-resistant and non-slick, so pedestrians are in no danger of slip-and-fall mishaps.
"Our surface works best over tarmac or concrete, predominantly tarmac, which is the main bulk of the U.K. path network," Pro-Teq rep Neil Blackmore says in promotional video. "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."
Like any other glow-in-the-dark substance, Starpath spray absorbs and stores energy from light when it’s bright outside, then glows when the lights go out. In this case, the glow is an ethereal blue rather than the unsettling green favored by many glow-in-the-dark toys for kids.
Whether the glow is bright enough to deter criminals who rely on darkness before attacking unsuspecting pedestrians has not yet been tested. The stuff has been applied so far only to a 1,600 square-foot footpath in Cambridge’s Christ’s Pieces Park (see photo above).
But the application process there took only 30 minutes and the path was open to pedestrians after just a few hours of drying time.
See the Pro-Teq video, with footage of the glowing pathway set to a chilled-out electronic soundtrack, in the video below.
SOURCES: TakePart.com, Digital Trends