Everything You Need to Know About Glow in the Dark Prints

Are you thinking about getting a glow in the dark print? Learn everything you need to know for proper care, how it works, and more by reading this article from The Night Sky.

Gazing up at the night sky has always captivated human imagination, evoking a sense of wonder and curiosity. In the realm of art and design, this fascination has been beautifully captured through the innovative use of glow in the dark prints, including those designed by us here at The Night Sky.

When the lights go out, you can now watch the night sky come alive, all within the comfort of your own home. So, should you consider a glow in the dark print? Here’s everything you should know before (and after) buying one to commemorate a moment with a loved one or a special date and time.

What is a Glow in the Dark Star Map Print?

Glow in the dark prints are captivating fusions of art and science, designed to bring the celestial charm of the night sky into your living space. With your own glow in the dark art, you’ll bring even more wonder and awe into your home. Each glow in the dark artwork from The Night Sky is made from 300 gsm fine art paper with a soft texture and matt finish. Each print is crisp and clean, solidifying that special moment in time just for you.

Surprisingly, this technology isn’t exactly new. Initially used for safety signs and watch dials, the origin of glow in the dark items first relied on radium. However, today, safer compounds, such as phosphorescent and photoluminescent entities, are used to create a similar effect without any negative repercussions.

How Glow in the Dark Works 

So, how does your glow in the dark star map shine so bright? Here’s exactly how glow in the dark works.

Glow-in-the-dark wall art, like star map prints, shine because of something called phosphorescence. When exposed to light, this material essentially soaks it up. Then, when it gets dark, they slowly release this light, which is why they glow. 

glowing star map print

Phosphors are the key ingredients in glow-in-the-dark materials and are substances that have the ability to exhibit phosphorescence. When exposed to light, phosphors absorb energy and then slowly re-emit it over time, resulting in the characteristic glow. Different phosphors can emit different colors, ranging from green and blue to red, depending on their composition. 

The efficiency of a phosphor in storing and releasing light is determined by the quality of the material and the wavelength of the absorbed light. High-quality phosphors can store light energy more efficiently and for a longer duration, enhancing the brightness and longevity of the glow. This intricate interplay between the absorption and slow release of light by phosphors is what brings your glow-in-the-dark map to life, transforming it from an ordinary print into a magical replica of the night sky.

How to Charge Your Glow In The Dark Print

To ensure your glow in the dark print shines its brightest, it's important to charge it correctly. The best way to do this is by exposing it to direct sunlight for about 30 minutes (20 minutes at the least!). This exposure will enable the print to glow for up to two hours. 

While other light sources, such as indoor lighting, can also charge the print, they won't provide the same level of brightness as sunlight. You should avoid using LED light, as it won't charge the Night Sky star map. Also, keep in mind that the duration and intensity of the glow can vary depending on the strength (lumens) of the light used for charging. By giving your print the right amount of light, you'll maximize its magical, luminous effect once the surrounding environment becomes dark and the stored energy is allowed to be gradually released as visible light.

The Importance of Charging Your GITD Print

charging GITD before and after

Charging your glow in the dark creations is the key to unlocking their mesmerizing potential. Witness the transformation: on the right above, we can see the initial brilliance straight out of the box, and on the left, the enchanting glow after just 30 minutes basking in the sunlight. This simple yet powerful process adds the magic touch to your GITD prints, making them truly come alive.

How Long Does Glow in the Dark Print Last?

The duration of the glow can vary based on the intensity of the light source used for charging. It's important to note that the glow will gradually diminish over time, with the brightest glow occurring shortly after charging. 

As mentioned, the recommended charging for the Glow in the Dark print is 30 mins of direct sunlight, which will allow up to 2 hours of glow. Other light sources will charge the print but won't have the same brightness as a direct sunlight charge. The exact length of time the item will glow after 30 minutes of charging can vary as it is entirely dependent on the lumens of the light used to charge it.

However, the physical print itself, when properly cared for, can last for many years, making it a lasting memento and decorative piece. 

Does Glow in the Dark Print Need Sunlight?

Well no, glow in the dark prints don't necessarily need sunlight to charge. While direct sunlight is the most effective way to charge them and achieve the brightest glow, other light sources, like indoor lighting, can also charge the prints. However, the resulting glow will be less intense.

What is the Brightest Glow in the Dark Material?

The brightest glow in the dark material is strontium aluminate doped with europium and dysprosium. However, we here at The Night Sky have found that the quality print material used for our glow in the dark constellation maps makes the stars glow the best, mimicking the night sky as realistically as possible.

Is Glow in the Dark Safe? 

The photoluminescent pigments we use at The Night Sky are non-toxic and safe. They don't emit any harmful radiation, and their glow is purely a result of the energy they absorb and store from surrounding light sources. 

Why Should You Make Your Special Moment Glow?

Glow-in-the-dark art prints add a magical touch to your indoor space. They capture special moments, turning them into enchanting visuals that light up in the darkness. Whether it's a star map of a significant night or a special quote, making it glow in the dark brings an added layer of wonder and charm, making your cherished moment stand out in a truly luminous way.

Not convinced? Here are more reasons to consider glow in the dark stars for your next meaningful gift:

GITD is the Perfect Gift for All Ages

A glow in the dark sky map is perfect for any age. It can ignite the imagination of a child struggling to sleep, helping soothe them and envelope them in wonder and awe as they settle into a restful night. It can provoke feelings of awe in adults, young and old, reminding us of the beauty of this incredible world and universe.

GITD is Aesthetically Pleasing and Awe Inspiring Decor

Glow in the dark art ideas invoke a sense of awe. They inspire and remind us that there are many things we don’t know. Yet, they can also bring together your home or bedroom decor, creating a cozy and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

GITD Allows You to Stargaze from Indoors

While nothing quite matches the glowing stars outside, a glow in the dark star chart comes pretty close. Whether it’s raining, cloudy or snowing outside, you can still star gaze from the warm and dry indoors. 

Tips for Prolonging Your Glow in The Dark Print

Inevitably, it’d be a plus if our glowing star map lasted forever. So, here are a few ways to ensure yours stands the test of time.

  1. Regular Recharging

Regular charging under appropriate light sources will ensure that your glow in the dark print continues to illuminate your space with its unique charm. The best light source is direct sunlight.

  1. Frame Your Print

Framing your glow in the dark print can help it last longer by providing protection from environmental factors like dust, moisture, and direct handling, which can degrade the luminescent materials over time. By keeping the print secure and protected, framing further ensures that its glow in the dark qualities are preserved for a longer period.

  1. Handle Your Print with Care

Handling your print with care is essential for its longevity. The prints are delicate and rough handling can damage the surface where the luminescent material is applied, leading to a reduction in glow effectiveness. Thus, avoid touching the print surface, keep it away from sharp objects, and prevent creases or folds. This will ensure the integrity of the luminescent layer. 

Additionally, keeping the print free from dirt, oils from hands, and other contaminants helps maintain its brightness and overall quality for a longer period. Always wash and dry your hands before handling your print.

  1. Avoid Harsh Conditions

Keeping your print indoors is important to avoid harsh climates and conditions that can impact the quality of the luminescent layer. Consider hanging your print in the office or bedroom, but avoid areas, like the garage or shed, where weather and climate can be a little less predictable.

  1. Avoid Harsh Cleaning Chemicals

Harsh cleaning chemicals may wipe away the luminescent material. Thus, these are best to avoid. Instead, use a dry cloth (such as a dust-buster) and simply dust off the print as needed.

  1. Avoid Overexposure to Light

Excessive light, especially sunlight, can cause the color to fade over time. This fading can reduce the visual appeal of the print and also diminish its ability to glow effectively. Sunlight contains UV rays that can break down the pigments and luminescent materials in the print. By limiting exposure to intense light, you can help maintain both the print's vibrant color and its glowing properties.

Make Your Star Map Glow with The Night Sky

Bring wonder and awe into your home or a loved one’s home with your own glow in the dark print by The Night Sky. All of our star maps are as accurate as possible, helping you commemorate a beautiful and sacred moment in time and cherish it forever.

Create your Night Sky today!