Tips for Using Glow-in-the-Dark Paint at Home for Survival

Tips for Using Glow-in-the-Dark Paint at Home for Survival


Living Ready contributor Vincent Zandri hit on a bright idea last month with his article on using glow-in-the-dark paint for emergency lighting around the home. During a blackout, or just in dark spaces, glow-in-the-dark paint could illuminate critical areas or objects. reader superfluities left an excellent comment on Zandri's article about the best ways to use glow-in-the-dark paint for survival. What follows are some tips for using glow-in-the-dark paint for survival.

Pick the Right Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

The problem with glow in the dark paint/powders (GITD) is the quality varies wildly on brightness and length of glow. Powder that needs to be mixed into paint, like Glow Inc., works well but has a grainy texture to it.

The less grainy option is pre-made glow-in-the-dark paint, but the shelf life isn’t long. It tends to dry out in the can, similar to what happens with fingernail polish. GITD items have lifespan, too. As they get older they don’t work as well.

Consider How Glow-in-the-Dark Paint Recharges

The problem with using glow-in-the-dark paint for a survival situation is it has to be charged with bright light. You would need to expose it to direct sunlight for some time to get a lasting effect into the night. That might not be possible depending on the situation.

Prime with White Paint First

Painting an item white – preferably flat white – first will enhance the glow and help the particles absorb more light when charged. Bright Sites brand gun site paint is very good, but is priced and sold in a quantity for coating gun sites, not tents.

Choose Light Green Colors

For the brightest glow, always go for the lightest green color of glow-in-the-dark paint. A red/blue/orange glow will be only half or less as bright as the traditional light green glow color.

Determine How Glow-in-the-Dark Paint Will Be Used

In my opinion, the strength of GITD stuff is when you get up at 3 a.m. to stoke the fire, and you can see your coated flashlight laying next to you or the GITD tent ropes.

Building on those comments was reader apupster2, with this sage warning about using glow-in-the-dark paint around the home.

I would be cautious about painting areas around your home. You are essentially “painting the target.”

If blackout conditions are needed at night and you have painted your driveway and sidewalks and they are glowing in the dark, you’ve just advertised your home as a potential target.

In my opinion, it's a nice concept with regards to safety (seeing the pavement at night to prevent falls) but doesn’t make much sense in a strategic sense.


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