When you first heard of a glow in the dark paint, one question must have approached your mind. Well, How long does glow in the dark paint last?
Now, I truly wanted to write a number here and end this article as you most probably are looking for a time period, be it minutes or hours, but the truth is I can’t.
It’s usually said that glow in the dark paints glows for 1-3 hours, and that’s true for some of them. But since many of them have an even longer glow, I don’t fully agree with this statement.
So, how long does it really glow?
Well, the answer to this question solely depends on three things – Quality, Charge, and Thickness. These three things decide how long will it glow.
Doing them right can yield a glow for many hours, maybe even up to 12 hours, but the opposite is also true. If even one thing is wrong, it literally cuts the glow by half or more.
So, let’s say you buy the best quality glow paint and get a Blacklight(best light source), but only have a single coat, guess what, it will glow only for a few minutes, and that too if you are lucky enough.
Remember, every glow paint has the capability to glow for hours, but most of them don’t since people don’t really focus on these two things.
But since you are smart enough to read till here, I know you will read ahead for getting the best results. So, let’s get the party started beginning with the quality.
A genius once said “Quality over quantity” and that even applies here. There are hundreds of glow paints in the market, but all of them have a different glow and glow duration. Why?
Because they have different qualities. Some companies handcraft these paint while others don’t, some use premium pigments while others don’t, and some make it for glowing while others do it for making some quick cash.
And being in this field for quite some time, I know how crucial quality is, that’s why I wrote it first.
Now, these glow paints are made using two things – Acrylic paints and glow pigments.
Acrylic paints are mixed with glow pigments in a certain percentage to get a balance of consistency and glow. Some companies have more pigments per ounce of paint which makes it thick and glow better.
If the last few lines were too confusing then let’s write it in simple words.
The quality of these two materials i.e. Acrylic paint and glow pigments determines what the outcome paint will be. If premium quality is used then you get a premium glow paint and vice-versa.
Now, being a normal consumer I don’t want you to go in-depth with different glow pigments, but what I want you to do is look for certain things when looking at a glow paint.
First and foremost, look at the reviews of the paint. Of course, that’s a no brainer as everyone does that. But go ahead and read whether its good for the reason you want it for.
For instance, Aurora Glow is a fantabulous glow paint that works great on most surfaces like Plastic, Metal, etc. but it’s a big NO for canvas. So, check whether its good for YOUR purpose.
Then see what the company promises the glow time, and don’t rely on the comments. You can take the comments as a reference but don’t take it too seriously.
Since the company has proclaimed its glow time, it won’t lie, but also remember that glow time is only true for favorable conditions which most of the time don’t occur.
Once you have selected the right paint, the next thing you have to do is apply it. Before you start using, make sure to clean the surface if possible.
One secret though is that these glow paints work absolutely well on a white surface, so having a white primer on the surface can give a much better result.
Now, the statement I am about to say is for every glow in the dark product you will ever use. Apply it thickly to see a long-lasting glow and life.
Having one or two coats won’t help, you need at least 4 to see a bright glow. Personally, I would recommend sticking with 4-5 coats for the best effect.
Anything less isn’t really visible and more can make it too thick and will empty your bottle with a blink of an eye, just joking though, but still, it would empty sooner.
So, remember, have 4-5 coats and wait for the previous coat to dry before applying a new one. Also, let all the coats dry before charging it.
Once all the coats dry they are ready for use. But for using it, you first have to charge them.
If you never heard of charging a glow paint like my friend, then let it get it simplified for you.
These glow paints have glow pigments inside that are like mini batteries. To charge these batteries, you have to expose them to light.
Light is like their food, just like without food you can’t work, without light glow paint doesn’t glow. Actually, light doesn’t charge it, the UV rays inside it do.
You may ask – Will it charge by any light source? Like the light in my room?
Well, it does, but the result from these indirect charges is way way worse than the direct one. Actually, the power of the source matters a lot more.
If you are using a powerful light source then it may glow a bit longer, but the fact remains the same, indirect charging is useless. Once applied, you have to charge these paints with a powerful direct light.
Some of the good chargers are Direct sunlight, LED light, high wattage bulbs, Lamplight, UV Blacklight, etc. Direct sunlight is a free source and it does make it fluoresce good, but there is a big problem with it.
And that is, you may not see the glow visible for too long. Reason being that most of the charge received from direct sunlight is used in the late evening when the sun goes down.
Till the night arrives, most of the charge is used, and only a little part remains, and then people complain that the glow paint doesn’t work. Well, it does, just change your charging source.
Out of all the chargers specified above, I would highly recommend getting a Blacklight. Literally, a Blacklight is so powerful that it can charge the paint within seconds or a few minutes, unlike sunlight that can take several hours.
I remember charging Aurora Glow bright for like 20 seconds with a Blacklight, and it glowed brightly all-night.
Let’s do a quick recap. In this article, I talked about one of the most asked questions i.e. How long does glow in the dark paint last. If you like this article, do share it with your friends or family.