Luminescent Bike Paths Light Up Town In Poland

TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych.

Not only could these luminescent bike paths help make your cold and dreary winter commute to work a bit more pleasant, they could help cut electricity usage and reduce light pollution.

They're currently part of a trial in the small town of Lidzbark Warmiński, northern Poland. The idea is the brainchild of TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych, a construction company that specializes in developing road materials.

The pathways were created using thousands of tiny “luminophores”. The synthetic material can emit a low level of light for 10 hours and then “recharge” itself during the day purely from sunlight, according to Polish news site Wyborcza. That means the light is totally self-sufficient and doesn’t require any electricity, so it doesn’t just look good, it’s good for the planet too, perhaps replacing conventional street lights.

Although phosphors can glow in numerous colors, the company and town council chose blue as they thought it suited the surrounding environment best. If the project is a success, they hope to roll it out across other towns in Europe.

This isn’t the first company to toy with the idea of harnessing luminescence to light up towns. Glowee, a France-based startup company, has been developing lights powered by bioluminescent bacteria to light up public areas and buildings.

“Similar bike path can be found in Netherlands. Truthfully speaking it was an inspiration for us to do such project in Poland. However, our technology is different and in contrary to Dutch solution it doesn’t need any additional power. Creating such bike path is part of our currently running campaign for traffic safety increase” Waldemar Królikowski, director of The Board of Regional Roads in Olsztyn said in a statement.

TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych.

TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych.

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