Look at me! Look at me!

You’ve seen bikes covered with glow-in-the-dark and reflective surfaces. They look cool, but they might not provide the eye-popping visibility that you really expect.

What if there was a captivating coating for your bike that increases your conspicuity while looking sexy? Darkside Scientific has developed an electroluminescent (EL) coating system that can be painted onto your bicycle and accessories.

Lumilor bicycle helmet

Darkside Scientific’s Lumilor coating is more than a weak glow-in-the-dark paint. Like other EL technologies, an electric current passing through an EL surface generates light. Familiar devices with EL lighting include green glow night lights, some automotive dashboard lights, and LCD backlights for devices such as wristwatches. More recently, makers have incorporated EL wire into clothing and accessories for wearable displays at night clubs.

Darkside Scientific developed an electroluminescent coating that you can now paint onto many surfaces. Unlike reflective and and phosphorescent materials, Lumilor is active, electric illumination. You can vary the intensity, turn it off and on, and leave it illuminated for as long as you have power.



Lumilor requires training and equipment to apply correctly. Currently, Darkside are working frantically to train and certify paint shops around the nation. When news first broke of their new EL paint, they could accommodate only a handful of the thousands of requests they received for sample work. The bike helmet above is among them. Another was for an engineering project by a group of students at Florida International University for an electroluminescent bicycle.

globol electroluminescent bicycle

A dynamo hub provides power to illuminate the frame. You can’t see it in this view, but this team also coated the seat stays with red EL paint that become blinking turn signals.



Lumilor EL paint opens up a universe of possibilities to improve safety for night cycling with an amazing cool factor thrown in as a bonus.


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Disclosure: This post was written as part of Progressive’s Apron Project, helping tell the story of people and their initiatives making progress towards a greater good. I have been compensated as a contributor to this project, but the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

One comment

  • August 21, 2014 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

    That’s neat!!

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