Glowing Views

Non-Karnovian Radiation

There have been rumors in our town about the various types of research we do up here in our laboratories. There was the time that someone stood up at town meeting to ask what should be done about the Jeffries building that nuclear reactor up on the mountain.

Fortunately this sort of thing dies down and we all move forward with our secret plans for world domination that I update daily here on my blog.[1, 2, 3]

Today’s tidbit is not about Karnov Radiation. We are looking at glow powders that are perfectly safe and FDA approved for use in lip gloss, fingernail polish and on skin. They’re really cool plus they come in a wide assortment of colors and spectral reactivity.

Several years ago I was thinking about how to light up safety patches in the cottage without the use of electricity. There are chemically reactive glow sticks but those die unless you harness a lightning bug to them to keep the chemicals active. Alternatively there are dry glow powders that simply need exposure to light to activate them. The energy is then stored in the powder and slowly released for up to 30 hours.

One of the most powerful forms is Strontium Aluminate which is safe, fast charging and easy to work with. Years ago I ordered some little packets of the powder and have been experimenting with mixing it with various compounds to create permanent stripes, patches and ceilings that glow inside building making the edges of the room clearly visible so that we can navigate in case of a power outage during our long dark winters.

In the butcher shop we have stripes of glow powder mixed with polyurea along the walls and over doorways. The colors code the directions within the butcher shop so that incase of a blackout one knows how to exit the building rather than retreating deeper into the safety of the inner sanctum. The patches over the doorways and stripes around the rooms are bright enough to see by and best of all use no electricity. Utility power is rather unreliable in our area – we lose about two weeks of power a year – especially in the darker winter months. Having an independent lighting solution in the dark reaches of our secret mountain laboratory improves safety.

Using the right mixes of powders I can design the wavelength of light on my non-electric lightning patches so that some are strongly visible to insects, irresistibly catching the flies eyes. This attracts bugs to my AQUA traps where they get naturally removed and recycled. Our building is designed to keep vermin out but there is the possibility that a fly might fly in when we pass through the door. We have a number of defenses that work in passive, active, psychological and biological ways to guide the flies away from where we don’t want them and into the traps to dispose of them. Normally this is done with nasty colored, loud, bright, high power, dirty ugly bug catchers that must be cleaned out regularly. After reviewing these I decided to build something beautiful, simple and effective right into the structure of the butcher shop.

Pretty fun stuff!

Outdoors: 34°F/30°F Sunny, Light Snow
Tiny Cottage: 64°F/57°F

Daily Spark: Honey never goes bad because it’s too sweet.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Glowing Views

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Fascinating information in an area I’ve never visited. I love long-term unpowered (well, not powered by paid-for power) solutions.

    Beyond just evacuation: There is an 8 LED, inflatable solar lantern called Luci being offered through The Grommet and retailed at places like Big 5, which saves shipping. All of fifteen dollars. Enough light to use a room, read, etc. for over six hours. The things look flimsy, but if you don’t make them into footballs (my grandkids did that with a couple belonging to their other grandfather) they are very durable. I have one on edge in a shaded south-facing window and still get it charged. They take up tiny space uninflated, and could simply be window ‘decorations’ when not needed. You might acquire some. They’d be nice winter blackout insurance. They’re bright enough to permit cleanup and standby prep if a blackout hits you mid-operation in the butcher shop.

    Reflexive editing: Next-to-last paragraph of your post: “an”, not “a” and “improves” rather than “improve.”

    Hope the advent of winter is treating you all gently. We’re getting some light rains, wishing for more. At least the state isn’t currently trying to combust.

    • Thanks for the edits! Fixed. Funny thing is typos like that are an interesting window into the thinking process as I compose – I switched back and forth between word choices, but didn’t proof read well enough. :)

      We have a LED lantern which we use in the winter month for chores since it gets dark so early. We love it. It is very bright, using the new style of LED. It is also safe so we won’t have a Ms. O’leary situation. All of the lightning in our cottage and butcher shop is via LEDs. I started using the LED lights back in our old farm house back in the 1990’s but they were poor quality at that time, unreliable and expensive. The newer class of LEDs are great.

  2. Laurie says:

    What a great idea using the powders to highlight exits and light switches. Aren’t you the clever one. Where does one find strontium aluminate?
    We are building our farm to be off-grid and so we are thrilled that LED’s have come a long way. We use LEDs in our camp trailer when we are down working on the farm. It is powered by a small solar set up and propane for heat. The LED bulbs give off better light than what was in the trailer when we purchased it.

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