While chemical lights, such as the light sticks you see people waving around at concerts, are nothing new, Hakko Giken Co. and Saga University in Japan have developed a new fluorescent, light-emitting gel that is a lot brighter and can be seem for up to a kilometer.
The company had previously created a light-emitting solution by blending oxidizing and fluorescent agents, but the compound had some problem in that it was too thin and would run down walls and could possibly contaminate soil or anything else it oozed into. The new material is a thicker gel that retains it luminescent properties while remaining in gel form.
The gel ranges in viscosity and the light that is emitted from it can be adjusted from about a half hour to sixteen hours.
The material has all kinds of possible application in emergency situations from both usage as a light source for rescue workers as well as a beacon for someone in trouble (for example, in a watercraft).