Cambridge City Council has taken an historic pathway and covered it with ultraviolet particles that could be the future of economic and environmentally sound street lighting. The particles turn blue when the sun sets on them and absorb the light during the day so they can emit it at night.
The technology has been dubbed 'Starpath' and it’s believed that one day in the future this technology could replace street lighting because it’s more efficient and cheaper than conventional forms of lighting. The technology is currently under trial at the Christ’s Pieces walkway in Cambridge and the council plan to replicate this technology in other areas of the city.
Councillor Andrea Reiner, an executive responsible for public places, said, “This is an interesting idea that the surfacing company asked if the council would like to explore for a trial period. If we decided to put this to use on paths in the city, we would want to balance any safety benefit against the desire to preserve the historic nature of our open spaces."
The new tech’s been developed by Pro-Teq Surfacing, a Surrey based firm who have patented the UV powered “Star path”. The innovative technology is the result of chemical trials which comprised a multitude of product samples and different application techniques. This is a product that should be very cost effective to install and to maintain, which has to be good news for any struggling councils.
The system isn't much more than luminous particles spread onto a path. They’re then sprayed to create a protective film which helps them maintain their glow. Pro-Teq Surfacing are saying that the particles could be made to glow in any colour, so part of the path could be sectioned off for a cycle lane.
Whether this technology could be useful for car parks or gravel roads or if it’s just something that will make pathways clearer at night, only time will tell. Until we get flying cars our roads will have to keep improving.