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‘Glow in the dark’ road lights the way to energy savings in the Netherlands

The pricey cost of powering street lights has inspired clever minds in the Netherlands to come up with glow-in-the-dark road markings.

Introduced this week after several years of development, the markings now light a 500-meter stretch of highway in the country, with one Dutch reporter saying it was like “driving through a fairytale.”

The unique ‘glowing lines’ technology is the work of a team of designers led by Daan Roosegaard, who combined paint with a photo-luminising powder to create road markings that charge up during daylight hours and emit a soft green glow through the night, for as long as eight hours.

The result, we’re sure you’ll agree, is rather striking.

glowing lines 2

This week’s roll-out, on the N329 highway about 60 miles south-east of Amsterdam, marks the beginning of a test period (presumably they’ll ditch the plan if there are a ton of accidents), though an official launch is thought to be likely in the coming weeks.

With an art and design background, it’s little surprise that Roosegaarde’s future plans for his luminescent road markings could be even more dazzling. For example, his team have been looking into the idea of creating temperature-sensitive markings, so if it’s freezing cold, giant snowflake shapes could appear on the road surface to warn drivers to take extra care with potentially icy conditions.

Speaking to the BBC last year about the project, Roosegaarde said energy use is becoming an issue of growing importance for all nations, with the Dutch government shutting off street lights, among other measures, to save money. He added that his glowing road “is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.”

[via Wired]