We receive many questions about how well glow materials can be seen from a distance. How far away is glow still visible? Are large areas of glow more visible than smaller areas? Can a small part be made to glow brightly enough to stand out, even from a distance?

There are three factors that determine the visibility of glow from a distance: the size or mass area of the glow material, the quality of the glow materials and the surrounding extraneous light at the location.

Size Matters
Bigger--300x182The American stereotype is that we believe “bigger is better”.  We are known for big SUV’s, Big Mac’s and big screen TV’s. Although numerous friends contend they feel happier in a simpler “less is more” lifestyle, many Americans prefer living large!

With glow materials however, bigger actually can be better. For most situations, larger areas of glow will be more visible from a distance than smaller areas of glow.  If a large piece of glow material and a smaller piece of the same quality are viewed under similar conditions, the larger sized piece will appear to glow brighter and be more visible from a distance.
Tackle-Box-Glow-300x240However, smaller parts can be made to glow brighter by using stronger glow formulations for that part. We can customize the type and amount of glow to compensate for a smaller square area. Visit our Customize page for more info on creating custom materials.

Quality Counts

Glow materials produced with higher quality photoluminescent crystals will perform much better in all aspects compared to materials produced using crystals of lesser quality. Higher grade materials will greatly boost the crucial properties of brightness, duration and distance. We proudly use the highest grade of glow crystals to assure optimum performance.
Tim-Exit-Sign-Photo-300x200In tests conducted using Lunabrite high quality High Performance Yellow/Green Glow Sheets, a 10” X 10” sheet was visible in compete darkness at ¼ mile.  Meanwhile competitive glow products failed the test. In some tests, further distance can be achieved depending upon the conditions. A local power company in the FL Keys reported our Photoluminescent materials could be seen up to1 mile away based on their test results at sea under clear weather and darkest night conditions.

You Can Clearly See

All glow materials are best viewed in full darkness with dark adjusted eyes. This is similar to entering a dark movie theatre after the film has started. Your eyes need to become adjusted so you can see in darkness.  If you move from a brightly lit area into the dark, it is important to take a minute or two to allow your eyes to become fully adjusted to the darkness to correctly distinguish full glow performance.
City-Lights-at-Night-300x172Also, glow in the dark products are most visible in complete darkness without other competing lights around them. This means that glow materials work well in dark areas but will not be as visible in a public outdoor area already illuminated by competing lighting.

In large urban cities, the ambient night glow of street and safety lighting can impact the perception of glow brightness. This is similar to viewing stars in the night sky. Stars are far more visible and brighter on a dark, clear night in a country or campsite setting, rather than viewing from a highly populated urban setting. The stars have a fixed brightness in the sky no matter viewing location, but the perception of glow strength is altered by the competing ambient lighting.

No matter the setting, glow in the dark produces an enchanting night effect and safety feature. Our Lunabrite technical team is available to help you select the proper material to maximize the glow performance.

Let us know your questions and experiences with glow materials and visible distance!