How does fluorescent light affect color?

Information and explanation of terms on fluorescent, reflective or retroflective and phosphorescent foils

1. Fluorescence "daylight colors and foils"
Fluorescent colors and foils are also called fluorescent colors or foils. A pigment contained in the color / foil reacts to UV light (contained in daylight) and makes these colors / foils appear to glow. This effect can also be observed in the almost dark and with so-called black light (e.g. in the disco).
This “glow” wears out over time, which is why there is only a maximum of 2-3 years guarantee on fluorescent foils. The more the color / foil is illuminated, the less long the “glow” effect lasts: a fluorescent foil or color that is installed in a disco will probably never fade ° is glued to the downward sloping surface, only very slowly. A film that is attached to the south side of a house in July, possibly on a surface inclined upwards by 45 °, will retain its luminous effect for a maximum of 4-6 weeks.
There are clear RAL numbers for fluorescent colors:
RAL 1026 bright yellow
RAL 2005 bright orange
RAL 2007 bright orange
RAL 3024 luminous red
RAL 3026 bright red
One area of ​​application of the color “luminous red” is e.g. B. Ambulance and fire fighting vehicles.


2. Reflection or retroflexion “retro-reflective foils
Reflective or retroreflective foils are in principle a self-adhesive foil to which glass spheres or other reflective particles are applied, which are covered with a clear varnish for protection.
Incident light (e.g. from car headlights) is reflected by retroreflective (= reflective) film at the same angle at which it enters. In the case of an uncolored film, the reflected light has the same color as the incoming light. Note: The uncolored film is called “reflective film white”, but appears silver-gray to the observer.
If the film is colored with a translucent (= non-opaque) color, the reflected light appears colored. The most common use for reflective sheeting is in (good) traffic signs. For example, there are two useful ways of producing a motorway sign: Either the letters are cut out of uncolored foil and glued onto a blue glazed foil, or the entire surface of an uncolored foil is glazed blue, omitting the letters. There are no RAL tones for reflective foils. The colors of the reflective film correspond to the traffic signs and have been tested in accordance with DIN.
The most important differentiating factor for reflective foils is the service life (in this case the time in which the reflective power of the foil meets the DIN standard).

For decoration purposes we recommend the type 1 film from Nippon Carbide (MG = merchandising grade), which has a lifespan of approx. 3 years. This film has a uniform surface.
The type 2 film (EG = economy grade) is suitable for traffic signs, is marked with a small “watermark” at regular intervals and has a service life of approx. 7 years.
The high-performance film (ULG = ultra lite grade) has a pattern on the surface (honeycomb, houndstooth, etc.), a service life of at least 10 years and a high price.
The CLPG quality (car license plate grade) is specially designed for license plates. Black reflective film is often asked for. Yes, there are, but unfortunately we don't have them.


3. Phosphorescence "afterglow inks and foils"
Phosphorescent colors and foils are also called post-lighting (and often incorrectly night) luminous colors or foils. Our phosphorescent paints and foils contain no phosphor and are therefore not radioactive or carcinogenic. They “work” with chemical luminescence. A phosphorescent paint / film contains pigments that are stimulated by exposure to UV light and only gradually “calm down” again when the light source is removed.
An example of the use of luminescent colors are the emergency exit signs with the running man. Since the afterglow of the color / foil decreases at the same rate as the human eye gets used to the darkness, it appears as if the color / foil glows equally brightly over a longer period of time, although it actually does not. Phosphorescent colors and foils always shine pale yellow-green. By themselves, the foils and colors would be white in daylight, but basically they are set so that the color tone in daylight is similar to that of the afterglow.