Incredible Glow in the Dark Pathways
Innovative glow in the dark pathways, changing the way we experience the landscape.
Imagine riding a bicycle at night on an unlit path that seems to glow from within. What if this energy saving path could be installed in a matter of hours instead of days? How about using this new material for playgrounds, roofs, and paths? Does it sound too good to be true?
Well, it’s not. This revolutionary surface, appropriately named Starpath, has been developed by Pro-Teq Surfacing in the UK and was originally tested on a footpath in Cambridge, England. The 1,614 square-foot path took 30 minutes to cover and was able to be used in less that four hours.
How to create a Starpath
Starpath is applied in three layers: first, a polyurethane base, then a coat of light-absorbing particles and finally a durable, waterproof finishing coat. The non-reflective surface can be applied over all sorts of solid materials and is able to produce a subtle, teal glow at night by absorbing and storing UV light collected during the day.
“This product adjusts to the natural light, so if it is pitch black outside the luminous natural earth enhances, and if the sky is lighter, it won’t release as much luminosity,” says Hamish Scott, owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing, on the product’s website. “It adjusts accordingly, it’s almost like it has a mind of its own. Further, the surface is environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing.”
The Chairman of the Judges from the Global Business Excellence Awards said, “Pro-Teq Surfacing is literally on track to light up the world with its amazing invention for illuminating paths and roadways. The product known as ‘Starpath’ can be sprayed on to hard or soft surfaces and at night the chemicals in the treatment interact producing a glow, doing away with for the need for costly lighting. The beauty of the product is that it is easy to apply and the path or road is ready for use in only four hours. Pro-Teq Surfacing is clearly heading for stardom and phenomenal success.”
But how does it work?
According to their website, “Pro-Teq offers a quick drying, spray applied elastomeric coating into which a wide range of mediums can be added. Add stone to create a nonslip pathway, or inject rubber crumb to resurface an old playground. Whatever your surfacing requirements, our wide range of flexible products can offer the answer.”
In addition to paths and playgrounds, Pro-Teq also offers a waterproof membrane intended to be used as a roofing product. This fast-setting product is comprised of 100% solids and is VOC free. “PUA4620 has been developed as a high strength rigid material for use as a coating onto prepared concrete.” It is designed to be fast curing, resistant to abrasion, flexible and durable.
The product is available in 11 colors ranging from bright reds, greens and blues ideal for playgrounds, to more subtle tans and browns for foot and bike paths and black for rooftops.
What about the environment?
While the product is new to the market, the company does not expect it to be hazardous to the surrounding environment as it does not contain any harmful or hazardous materials. It can also be rejuvenated quite easily by simply applying a new coat, which adds to its environmental viability and practicality.
“It’s something that’s very environmentally sound, there’s no ongoing energy costs,” says Pro-Teq owner Hamish Scott. “And we’re also sorting out the problem of pathways that have come to the end of their lifetime.”
While this product is not bright enough for replacing busy streets, it is perfect for pedestrian and bike paths that might otherwise have limited travel at night. In this manner, Starpath is offering yet another alternative for designers seeking to create a certain ambiance in their design while still creating a usable space at night. It may prove to light the way for more energy efficient lighting schemes in both public and private spaces.
Article written by Erin Tharp
Erin is a registered landscape architect and has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is working for her own firm, Tharp Design.
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