The New Car Paint that Glows and Flashes

by Ed Attanasio - Thu, Dec 3, 2015 4:21 PM

There were "oohs" and "aahs", and shocked looks at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas when people saw Chevrolet’s 2016 Camaro green Krypton concept car with body panels that use layers and flash patterns of color that conduct electricity.

That’s right! By just turning a switch, embedded patterns light up, but when you touch the vehicle’s surface, it feels smooth just like regular paint. It’s called LumiLor paint and it was surely one of the biggest hits of the SEMA Show. The product is patented by Darkside Scientific, which calls the technology “LumiLor Electroluminescent Coating System” and is the company’s very first product.

How Does It Work?

The technology uses two conductive layers of material sandwiched together, so that when an electrical current is applied, the paint glows. Depending on the desired effect, multiple layers of paint are applied to create a design and color. In the case of the Camaro at SEMA, it glows with luminescent green Chevy bow-tie logos that flash on both front quarter panels and doors.

LumiLor designs can be left totally invisible until the electrical current is applied. The company offers five colors, and based on how it is applied and what clear goes on top, some variation to those colors is available. The luminescence—the paint’s glowing quality—has a half-life of 10,000 hours, enough to last for more than one year of continual use.

It took the company nearly four years to perfect the system. Andy Zsinko—the product’s mastermind, who had 25 years of expertise in aftermarket painting, and who first crafted the glow-in-the-dark paint for his motorcycle—unfortunately passed away on in March, 2015. One of the functions of the paint was to increase visibility, and therefore safety, for motorcycles. Zsinko lived to see the paint system become fully functional, but sadly missed the incredible reviews of the technology at this year’s SEMA.

Chevrolet’s 2016 Camaro green Krypton concept car

Recently, the company opened a training center in Las Vegas for technicians to learn how to apply the system. At this time, nearly 30 shops from across the planet have signed up to use the LumiLor paint.

What does it cost? Roughly, it will set you back $10 a square inch. When applied liberally, the cost can quickly escalate—as with the Camaro prototype, which ran up to about $80,000. So, for right now, only the super rich can afford this “electrical paint,” but hopefully soon you and I will be able to drive a vehicle that actually glows and flashes!

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