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  • Glow on the Go

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2006
Sally B. Patterson

Safe Lites LLC of Eden Prairie, Minn., manufacturer of GlowSkin active illumination systems, has developed a way to animate the electroluminescent lighting technology for use in eye-catching moving advertisements.


The company incorporates a processor into the illumination system that can activate each lamp or segment of lighting independently and can be programmed to control sequential flashing and fading. Working with Hunt Adkins, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency, Safe Lites installed animated ads for cameras on train cars. The words light up one after another, and then the camera image flashes.

GlowSkin lighting works by adding low levels of electrical energy to phosphors. It already has many applications in promotional displays, public safety items, entertainment products, protective and novelty clothing, and industrial and automotive illumination. Its advantages include high brightness at great distances and in all weather conditions, visibility even without reflection from an outside light source, imperviousness to temperature, and low power consumption. It can be manufactured in almost any shape and color, can be attached to just about any surface, and is even washable.

The ability to create animated lighting sequences should usher in even more applications and generate some very conspicuous consumption.

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