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Glowing Roads

Submitted by: Aimi Wen

Humans have become increasingly dependent on electricity. Electricity lights our homes, provides us warmth, moves us from place to place, builds things, and so much more. However, there are several instances where our precious electricity is wasted. In every city and town, long, dark, and sometimes empty roads are lit up with rows and rows of street lights. Electricity has to power every one of those street lights. Even on empty nights, electricity is used, uselessly lighting up the roads where nobody is travelling on and wasting all that electricity. Luckily, a solution has been put forward.

In 2014, Daan Roosegaarde thought of a way to harness solar power in a simple way: glowing paint. At one point or another, we all have had or seen glowing paint, which glow with luminescence at night. Personally as a child, I had glow-in-the-dark stars stuck up onto the ceiling, giving me comfort and light in the inky black darkness of my bedroom. However, these seemingly silly paints don’t last long, rendering them completely useless as a replacement of street lights. Fortunately, Roosegaarde was able to make his green paint last up to eight hours. As of right now, this glowing paint is being used along 15,000 feet of Highway N329 in the Netherlands. His work has not gone unnoticed. People from all over the world– from Tokyo to the UK– have taken an interest. If successful, this paint will hopefully be implemented around the globe, reducing our electricity usage. But, for now, we will have to play the waiting game. Will this paint be durable and usable?

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