The Bedazzling Charm of Glow-in-the-Dark Sidewalks

Slate’s design blog.
Dec. 26 2013 11:04 AM

The Bedazzling Charm of Glow-in-the-Dark Sidewalks

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A solar-powered public footpath in Christ's Pieces, a public park in Cambridge, England

Courtesy of Pro-Teq

U.K.-based resurfacing company Pro-Teq is currently testing Starpath, an ultraviolet-powered glow-in-the-dark pedestrian footpath in a Victorian park in Cambridge, England, that hopes to revolutionize the way we light our public spaces.

Starpath is created using an innovative, cost-effective resurfacing process that can be sprayed directly onto existing concrete, tarmac, and other hard surfaces. A polyurethane base, a coat of light-absorbing particles in a range of colors and sizes, and a waterproof, anti-slip finish are applied without the need to remove worn-out surfaces. It dries in 30 minutes, causing minimal disruption.

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Christ's Pieces park before bedazzling

Courtesy of Pro-Teq

In a press release, Pro-Teq owner Hamish Scott said that he hopes city councils across the country, many of whom are turning off streetlights at night to save money, will adopt Starpath technology to save energy and increase public safety with increased visibility. While the Starpath isn’t bright enough to replace streetlights it does create a varying intensity of ambient light depending on how dark it is outside. What’s more, the aggregate used is nonreflective and doesn’t produce glare, just a starry walk through the park at night, which means that it can also be used in denser areas including private driveways without creating another reason to fight with your neighbors.

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Check out this video to learn more about Starpath:

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.

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