The complete guide to choosing your luminescent paint
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How to choose the correct luminescent paint?

02 July 2024

peinture routière photoluminescente

 

Thanks to its unique and incomparable properties, luminescent paint opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to visibility in the dark. Whether it’s for road safety, industrial signage or creative projects, luminescence brings sustainable, eco-friendly visibility to all users.

Whether illuminating a pathway, adding an artistic touch to a space or ensuring better visibility in low-light conditions, this special paint has the potential to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and deliver unrivalled results.

 

But how can you be sure you’re making the right choice of luminescent paint from the many options available?

Which reference should you choose for your project?

 

We understand the importance of selecting the best luminescent paint for your specific needs. Making the wrong decision can not only compromise the effectiveness and durability of your project, but can also lead to unnecessary expense and frustration. That’s why we’ve decided to share with you our guide to the essential thoughts to consider before making your choice.

 

In this guide, we’ll take you through the different features to consider when selecting the right luminescent marking. To do this, you’ll need to consider a number of criteria:

  • The context and specific area of use
  • The type of surface to be painted
  • Preferred colour and desired performance
  • The preferred application process

 

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Let us accompany you on this luminous adventure, follow our guide’s advice and discover how to make the most of our innovative technology.

 

 

What is luminescent paint?

A luminescent paint, also known as luminous paint, is a coating that has the ability to emit luminosity after being exposed to a light source. It is made up of special pigments capable of storing light energy and re-emitting it in the dark. In the dark, the paint becomes “brilliant”.

There are two types of luminescent paint: photoluminescent paint, which glows when exposed to a light source (such as the sun or artificial light), and fluorescent paint, which emits luminosity under UV or black light.

Used in a variety of fields, such as safety signage, interior and exterior urban design and roads, luminescent “glow” paint is appreciated for its durable and functional qualities. It improves safety in dark areas and adds points of visibility to furniture, while offering solutions.

 

 

Step 1 – Choosing the right paint according to the project

 

Application peinture luminescente en extérieur

In what situation will I use luminescent paint?

 

When it comes to choosing the ideal luminescent paint, it’s important to consider the project and the use to which it will be put. The type of paint and its context of use play a crucial role in the decision-making process.

The first parameter to take into account is the place of use: whether it will be indoors or outdoors. Depending on the project, there are two types of marking: solvent-based and water-based.

 

 

Water-based and solvent-based paints have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

  • Water-based paints are more environmentally friendly, emit fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are easier to clean, making them ideal for indoor environments and enclosed rooms where health and safety are a priority.
  • Solvent-based paints offer better adhesion and durability on difficult surfaces such as metal or concrete, but can be more toxic and give off harmful odours. Solvent-based paints are preferred for exterior applications and structural work.

Product safety and non-toxicity are key considerations, especially for indoor applications. By carefully evaluating these criteria, you can select the luminescent marking that best meets your specific needs and guarantees optimum results.

 

Installation site and work Solvent-based paint Water-based paint
Marking in outdoor areas
Marking in indoor areas  

 

Step 2 – Choosing the right paint for the surface to be covered

 

Application peinture luminescente sur asphalte

What surface and material have I decided to paint?

 

When choosing your ideal luminescent paint, you should also consider the surface to be painted to ensure optimum adhesion and durability. Surfaces such as bitumen, asphalt, concrete or metal have different characteristics that require specific types of marking.

 

For example, for bitumen or asphalt surfaces, solvent and water-based paints and cold coatings are recommended for their ability to adhere well and withstand outdoor conditions. For concrete, solvent-based and water-based markings also work well, offering good coverage and appreciable longevity.

On the other hand, metal surfaces require special metal paints that offer corrosion protection and enhanced adhesion.

By choosing the right paint for each type of surface, you can ensure uniform application, a professional finish and optimum luminescent paint performance over time.

 

Surface to be painted Solvent-based paint Water-based paint Cold coating Metal paint
Bitumen, asphalt  
Concrete  
Metal      

 

Step 3 – Choosing the right colour for the job

 

Application peinture luminescente en fonction de la couleur

What colour and finish should I use for my project?

 

Selecting the colour of your luminescent paint is a key step in achieving the desired look for your project.

Before making your choice, refer to the codes and regulations in your environment. Certain industries and professional environments require you to follow certain rules of use and colours.

 

For example, green markings, such as our almond green road marking product, are often associated with soft mobility. They are therefore widely used to create cycle paths or make green lanes safer.

Yellow, although less intense, is a colour often used to attract attention and enhance safety in industrial areas, such as marking emergency exits and evacuation routes. It can also be used for temporary markings in specific areas with potential hazards.

Finally, the white colour is more neutral and versatile. This version can be used both on roads (outside traffic areas – product awaiting certification for traffic areas) and for signage wall applications. Because white is universal, it can be adapted to a wide range of circumstances.

For creative projects, the variety of shades on offer (white, almond green and yellow) means you can add a touch of colour to your design while maintaining a practical function thanks to photoluminescence.

It’s important to understand that the colours in the catalogue (white, green and yellow) reflect the colour of the paint in daylight. As soon as the marking is plunged into darkness and becomes luminescent, the three types of paint will present a green marking with a luminous appearance.

To find out more

 

Step 4 – Choosing according to desired performance

 

Application peinture luminescente en milieu industriel

What are my requirements in terms of luminescence time?

 

As mentioned above, the colours available – green, yellow and white – vary in terms of aesthetic appearance, but also in terms of performance and luminescence time. Each paint colour has its own luminescence time.

Luminescence time is an essential criterion to take into account when making your final decision on luminescent paint. It determines the paint’s ability to emit luminosity over an extended period after being charged by a light source. It all depends on the project you’re undertaking and your needs in terms of how long you want the paint to perform.

 

For example, long-lasting luminescence is particularly important for safety applications, such as road marking projects on cycle paths or greenways. The markings need to be bright for several hours, without tiring, to ensure the safety of users (cyclists and pedestrians) in a dark environment. The photoluminescent paint, chosen in class G, will then be able to accompany cyclists for almost the whole night, i.e. for more than 10 hours. It is therefore preferable to choose our almond green reference to take advantage of this exceptional luminescence time.

In an industrial environment, escape route markings and emergency exit signs need to be visible for extended periods, where continuous visibility in the dark can be vital. This may be the case during occasional power cuts or simply in certain places where there is a lack of light.

On the other hand, for decorative or artistic projects, exceptionally prolonged luminescence (for 10 hours) is not essential. Even with a luminescence time of 6 hours, the visual effect remains impressive and captivating. You can choose a white or yellow marking for your project.

By taking the luminescence time into account, you can ensure that your project fully meets your functional and vital needs, while offering reliable, long-lasting performance.

 

Luminescence duration Almond green paint White paint Yellow paint
Class G (10 hours of luminescence)    
Class E (6 hours of luminescence)  

 

Step 5 – Choosing a high-performance product

 

Application peinture luminescente certifiée et brevetée

How can you be sure that the product you choose performs well?

 

When it comes to choosing a luminescent paint, quality and durability are key factors in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your project.

A high-quality luminescent paint offers better coverage, more intense luminosity and greater resistance to weathering and wear. This durability is particularly important for outdoor applications or high-traffic areas, where the paint is subjected to rigorous conditions.

 

Opting for a certified paint not only guarantees optimum long-term performance, but also optimum luminescence duration, and luminous autonomy throughout most of the night. The quality of the photoluminescent pigments used in the paint plays a major role in this duration, and investing in a high-quality paint will ensure not only a more intense brilliance but also prolonged luminous persistence.

By choosing a quality-certified luminescent paint, you’re investing in a product that will maintain its brilliant finish and luminescent effectiveness, ensuring the safety and aesthetics of your space over the long term.

Many luminous paints on the market promise dazzling results in the dark, but how many can claim to last 10 hours? None of them can… except for our patented LuminoKrom® technology. Our marking product is certified class G, according to the international standard ISO 17398.

 

Step 6 – Choose according to the equipment available

 

Application peinture luminescente à la machine airless

What equipment do I have to carry out the work?

 

The final parameter to take into account when choosing your luminescent paint is the equipment you have to apply it. Each category of paint requires specific tools for effective, uniform application.

Solvent-based paints, intended for outdoor applications, should be applied using a professional machine dedicated to road marking, the airless spray. This will guarantee incomparable results in terms of precision and uniformity of marking.

 

Water-based paints are applied either with a spray gun, roller or brush. Water-based paints are generally preferred for use indoors, in closed rooms, when working on walls or various items of furniture.

Cold coatings, on the other hand, lend themselves perfectly to use with a spatula, allowing precise, controlled application.

For metal surfaces, a pneumatic spray gun can guarantee smooth, even coverage, essential for good adhesion and durability on large surfaces. For smaller areas, opt for a brush or roller for effective results.

By taking into account the tools at your disposal, you can not only select the most appropriate paint, but also optimise the application process for a professional, long-lasting result.

 

Equipment used Solvent-based paint Water-based paint Cold coating Metal paint
Airless spray      
Spatula      
Pneumatic spray gun       ✓ 
Roller/brush     ✓ 

 

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Selecting the right luminescent paint may seem complex, but by taking into account the various criteria and tips covered in this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed choice that’s tailored to your needs. It’s essential to have a good understanding of the types of markings available in the catalogue, their specific applications, and the tools required for optimum use.

We hope this advice will help you with your marking project and help you make effective decisions. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences and ask questions to our sales team. We’re here to help you with your innovative luminescent projects.

 

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LUMINOKROM® in the press