For a Warm Green Glow: TraxEyes

City Councils like Bristol spend around 40% of their budget on electricity and a significant proportion of that goes on street and path lighting. Bills can run to millions as it costs from £36 to £90 a year to run just one street light! To save money, several UK councils are already turning off what they deem as non-essential street and pedestrian lighting but there could now be an answer!

A new solution could be TraxEyes – a zero pollution, zero maintenance and a zero running cost technology that Bristol City Council is already test running in St Werburghs. TraxEyes are glow in the dark marker studs can ensure a safe route along pathways, cyclepaths, canal towpaths, jetties, bridleways, campsites and through parks in conditions that would otherwise be low or no light. The studs glow because of photoluminescence - they absorb light energy in daylight and then emit light at night and so no electricity, wires or batteries are required. Amazingly they emit good light for twelve hours of darkness after a mere eight minutes of exposure to daylight.

One TraxEyes stud costs just £3.89 and a box of twenty studs, enough to cover 50 metres of cyclepath, costs just £77.80. If electrical lighting was used for the same distance, the cost of hardware installation alone would be much greater; add in maintenance and energy use and the cost exceeds the total cost of using TraxEye studs each and every month.

Inside them is a resin disc embedded with light emitting crystals, encased in a clear plastic shell for protection against the elements. A small steel pin penetrates the disc and this is used to anchor the stud. The head of the pin is encased in tough plastic which keeps the stud safe during the straightforward installation and marks its location. Checking for vandalism and the occasional wipe over to remove debris is all the maintenance needed.

The studs are far more energy efficient and sustainable than street lighting or reflectors and are much longer life than solar panels. They are non-toxic, non-radioactive and contain no harmful chemicals. They emit a soft green light - not radioactivity!!

Glenn Vowles

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