FFE Magazine

Will glow-in-the-dark roads soon replace Streetlights?

15apr netherlands glow roadWill Netherland’s highways soon phase out streetlights in favour of glow-in-the-dark technology? Engineering firm Heijmans is experimenting on this new alternative lighting idea.


Heijmans has teamed up with interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde to create paint with ‘photo-luminising’ powder that absorbs light by day and glows green for eight hours at night. Roosegaarde said that the technology addresses the government’s desire to cut down on energy, saying ‘This road is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.’


Heijmans added that the idea is also ‘a sustainable alternative to places where no conventional lighting is present.’


The team’s pilot project has already been implemented on the N329 in Oss, south of Amsterdam. The team also plans to develop a heat-sensitive paint mixture that glows when it registers changes in the temperature of the environment. The paint will look like snowflakes on the road and will signal drivers if the roads become icy.


The UK Highways Agency is monitoring the trials closely to see if the technology would be applicable in Britain. However, LoughboroughUniversity’s Transport Safety Research Centre said new technologies like Heijmans’ should prove that they are better than technologies that are already being used.


Professor Pete Thomas from the research centre said ‘we need hard evidence about how this compares to what we already have and to back up any safety claims.’



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