Phosphorescent - What does phosphorescent mean?
A property of materials defined as the ability to emit light after absorbing electromagnetic radiation such as visible or UV light. The emitted light usually has a longer wavelength than the absorbed radiation; this is clearly seen in one of the most common examples of phosphorescence, when UV light (that is invisible to the human eye) is absorbed and then emitted as visible light. However, it differs from fluorescence in that the radiation that has been absorbed is not re-emitted immediately; phosphorescent materials can store radiation for a time before emitting it at a lower intensity for a longer period of time.
Phosphorescent materials are commonly used to create glow-in-the-dark items that absorb electromagnetic radiation in natural daylight conditions and then glow under UV lighting, black lighting, or in the dark. They have a variety of applications that are practical or decorative in nature, such as health and safety signs, warning signs, directional signs and markers, road and pathway markings, security labels, paints, toys, stickers, and clock dials.
In labelling, phosphorescent materials can be used to make coatings and face materials or can be used as a component of phosphorescent inks; they are chosen primarily for their “glow-in-the-dark” quality, which can provide high visibility and/or a decorative appearance, and can also be used to print security labels.Go Back to Glossary