The days of failing your MOT due to a broken indicator or tail lamp could soon be over, if an illuminating advancement in paint technology continues to develop, according to leading automotive website carkeys.co.uk.
‘In the near future, auto designers might be able to ditch the requirement to tack on rear indicators and brake lights to new vehicles, and instead craft their cars with smooth, uninterrupted surfaces. And it’s all thanks to electro-luminescent paint,’ says Head of Car Keys Chris Smith. ‘This advancement has the potential to dramatically impact on automotive lighting, and automotive design at the same time,’ he said.
Electro-luminescent paint carries an electrical current which, when activated strategically, can make parts (or all) of a vehicle’s paintwork light up, in various configurations or colours. This was recently demonstrated in Australia where a Lexus with electro-luminescent paint displayed a ‘bar graph’ on the sides of the car which pulsated according to the driver’s heart rate.
And, in the United States, Ohio-based company Darkside Scientific is wowing custom motorcycle enthusiasts with petrol tanks, fenders and other body parts that light up using electro-luminescent coatings. The company’s light-emitting product can be spray-painted on flat, curved, or uneven surfaces turning them into a light, although there’s no sign yet that the product will be bright enough to replace headlamps.
‘While the widespread use of LEDs is perhaps the biggest change to vehicle lighting in recent years, now that the principle of electro-luminescent paint has been established and is being tentatively applied, the possibilities seem limited only by imagination,’ Mr Smith says. He added that advertising, messages, police ‘Stop’ instructions, even ‘Sorry!’ signs could all appear from nowhere on a vehicle’s bodywork.
‘Although for the moment it’s just custom bikers and Toyota who seem to be early automotive adopters of light-emitting coatings on vehicles, the use of electro-luminescent paint to take automobile light technology into the next phase seems clearly indicated.’
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Mr Chris Smith
Head of Car Keys
Managing Editor of Car Keys