Glow in the Dark Color Guidelines
Once you decide to introduce glow, selecting the right nightglow color is as essential as the daytime look. Choosing the perfect glow color increases visual interest, expands product value to a 24 hour usable timeframe, and can possibly incorporate an important safety feature into your finished design.
For many years professional grade photoluminescent glow was only available in the familiar color of “safety green”. The days of single color choice are happily gone. Lunabrite offers numerous colors in high performance nighttime glow, each with variable levels of brightness, longevity and color. Here are a few scientific explanations and guidelines to help you select the ideal color to achieve your desired effect.
How our Eyes see Glow Colors
The nightglow color decision typically affects the glow brightness result. This is partly due to the materials themselves, and also how the human eye perceives color. For example, Green nightglow crystals provide a very strong level of perceived brightness and is the most popular color in the safety industry. This is chiefly because the human eye is highly attuned to Green. The more scientific explanation is that humans do not have full color vision. We have two normal cone cells in red and green, with a third type of cone that is a mutant green. That helps explain why Green is measurably the brightest night glow color to the human eye, and therefore is a good choice when high visibility is vital.
What Glow Colors are the Brightest?
Although Green emits the brightest glow, high quality Blue and Aqua (Blue/Green) nightglows are also exceptionally visible with long lasting glows. New Purple nightglows finally offer a soft Violet color with a longer lasting glow of up to 8 hours. While not as bright as the Green or Blue choices, new glow color options in the highly desirable Red and Orange ranges offer exciting visual alternatives and emit light in these popular warm colors. Red and Orange nightglow may be lower on the brightness scale but could be the ideal choice when logo color matching takes precedence.
Why do certain glowing colors appeal over others? This phenomenon is called “non visual response to light”. It means we collectively interpret things to include the ambient lighting level and the light color, specifically the glow colors being emitted, beyond interpreting the item alone. These “non-visual” reactions in our brains have rhythms similar to the natural cycles of brain activity that regulate seasonal sleep disorders and other phenomena as well. Great design often includes additional emotional touch points that are strongly silent.
Glow Color and Aesthetics
Depending upon individual project requirements, choosing the right nighttime glow color may not necessarily be based solely on glow brightness level. Sometimes the ultimate decision has more to do with the mood you’re trying to create. Different colors certainly reflect different emotions and effects. While Red transmits energy and passion, Blue conveys harmony, purity and stability. Purple has enhanced items displaying royalty and piety. Orange can be a showstopper if paired with hues of Royal Blue, or more subdued if added as an accent to Bright White.
Also keep in mind that mass affects glow brightness. Using a thin 3/16” Lunabrite round rope accent line with a Green nightglow will not be perceived as brighter than a larger 4” x 6” area using LunaGel smooth flat sheets in Blue or Turquoise nightglow. So if glow color is ultimately important, a larger area will always be perceived as brighter, instead of just the glow color selected.
Depending upon the ambience and glow effect you are looking to create, Lunabrite can assist in offering custom colors that match your vision. Not all glow colors are alike and based on your design objectives, we can help you match the right color with optimal glow performance.
Choose Your Luminous Nightglow