Saturday, January 30, 2010

Things that Glow-In-The-Dark

"Glow-Tape" is a staple of any theatre operation.  Its great for making all those things that are shin-busters, head-bangers, and fall-hazards.  How many times have you run-around five minutes before a show with a flash-light 'charging-up' the glow-tape?  Crazy, isn't it?  Especially if you have to do it again between each act.  And after awhile, it just won't 'take a charge' and you have to repace it.  What a pain.

Technology marches forward, and we in the theatre industry benefit from it.  Cool.  The problem is, what if no-one told you there was a better way?  Introducing high-tech glow tape that really does the jobStrontium-Aluminate (SrAl) is a chemical compound that is non-toxic, non-radioactive, and generally safe to work with.  It has the ability to be 'charged-up' (activated with UV light) and maintain it's glow for 8, 12, 24, even 48 hours (depending upon the exact formulation) after it is activated.  Some products will glow for up to 45 days.  Wow.  Good Stuff.  Very Good Stuff.  This ain't your father's glow tape.  Uh-uh.  And get this: A quality Strontium-Aluminate based product will typically last 20-30 years.  Oooh.  Ahh.  (And the crowd cheers.)

Over the next few posts I'm going to provide information about some of the great benefits and products that are out there that are extremely applicable to the performing arts environment.  Glowing stuff is not just for backstage, it's for many locations around your facility.

For starters, lets look at the great literature that is available.  Check out these web sites for some very good reading material:

PSA (Photoluminescent Safety Association):
Check-out their various tabs, particularly the 'Codes' section.

PSPA (Photoluminescent Safety Products Association)
Download their "PSPA Guide to the Use of Photoluminescent Safety Markings Part 1 Egress Markings in Stairwells" document on the Technical | Standards tab - it's a treasure trove of recommendations.

And for a commonly used reference in the US, visit the New York City Department of Buildings web site to get "Reference Standard 6-1 - Photoluminescent exit path markings"

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