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Does Glow in the Dark Paint Work without Blacklight

Glow in the dark paint is getting famous nowadays. From baby toys to handmade crafts, people are using this type of paint a lot. There are various types of outdoor glow in the dark paints available in the market. A person can pick any from them according to the demand. But if you are willing to buy a package of glow paint, a question will surely arise, “Does glow in the dark paint work without blacklight?”

The answer is both yes and no. The presence of blacklight requires depending on the type of glow in the dark paint. To clarify our answer to this question, we need to discuss the construction of glow paints. Apart, we will describe some scientific terms to defend our answer. So, without any unwanted words, let’s go to our further discussion.

A Short Brief on Light

The main element of light is photons, which does all the work. Photons are very small particles which can go faster than anything on this planet.

Light becomes visible to the human eyes when photons reach them. The color, brightness, and other facts of light depend on the number of photons.

Some types of light are not visible in our bare eyes. Such types of light contain more energy than normal types. Most of the times, they are harmful to humans.

The reason why we have given some information on light is to let you realize the impacts of the blacklight in the case of glow paints. So, let’s go to our next part of the discussion.

Why Blacklight or UV Light is needed?

We know that an object only glows when it gets heated and spreads photons. But an object painted with glow in the dark paints never gets heated. If you touch a painted craft or wall, you will find it cold. So, here, the common theory of glowing does not work at all.

Glow in the dark paint consumes energy from the blacklight or UV light to glow. Such types of light contain lots of energy which can be stored and used. Glow products actually get charged through the blacklight to glow by itself instantly or in future.

What is Glow in the Dark Paint?

Glow in the dark paints contain some particles that help the paint to store energy to glow. Unlike the common method, they don’t get heated to spread photons to make them visible in the dark.

Each glow paint follows the luminescence theory for glowing. Manufacturers create luminescent materials and add them with normal paints or objects to help them glow. Most of the times, luminescent elements collect energy from natural sunlight or blacklight. The brightness, color, durability depends on the quality and density of luminescent materials.

There are mainly two types of glow in the dark paints depending on the character of the luminescence. The character also determines whether you need to use blacklight when you wish the paint to be glowing.

Types of Paints and their Necessity for Blacklight

The glow paints are divided into two sections depending on the need of blacklight when they are about to glow. They are:

  • Fluorescent Paint.
  • Phosphorescent Paint.

The first type cannot glow without the presence of the blacklight. This type of paint needs energy instantly to glow. The type cannot store energy and stay charged to glow in the future. A user needs to put the painted object under the blacklight so that it can glow. If you have blacklight along you can use this fluorescent paint without hesitation. It will give you proper service and glow for several times with ease.

Another type is very vital and useful too. But the main difference is this type of paint can glow in the absence of blacklight too. All you have to is to put the painted object under blacklight or UV light to get charged. The elements of this paint can store energy for glowing in the future. After proper charging, the paint will glow for a long time in the dark. So, in this case, blacklight is not mandatory at all. You can recharge the paint using sunlight too in the absence of blacklight.

Final Decision

We said earlier that our answer is both yes and no. You might have understood why we said so.

The answer is yes when you are using fluorescent type glow paint on an object. In this case, the paint in the absence of blacklight is just common paint.

The answer is no when you have phosphorescent paint to use on a surface for glowing. Objects painted with this type can store enough energy from sunlight or other types of light in a short time. When they glow, they don’t need backlight or anything. They can glow better than others in a dark situation.


You can compare this subject with computers. Though laptops and desktop computers work in the same way, their power supply unit makes the difference. So, every glow in the dark paint works fine. But the capability to glow in absence of blacklight divides them into two types. You can pick any of them to paint your wall, showpieces, or anything. Just make sure that you can provide blacklight if you buy fluorescent paint. But you don’t have to worry about blacklight if you have phosphorescent paint.

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