Light activated and other Reactive Surfaces and Materials

This is a placeholder page to discuss various surfaces and materials that interact with light by developing/glowing/etc.

  • Photosensitive/Glow in the Dark

  • Photochromic

  • Thermochromic

  • Hydrochromic

  • Magnetic field display

Photosensitive Display

These are displays that use glow in the dark pigment/ink/vinyl/material and UV lights/LED's to create images that fade over time.

Harvey Moon of MBLabs created Persistence, a piece that uses an array of ultraviolet LED's on a radial arm to draw things on a "glow in the dark" canvas. There is some similar work with Lasers on the laser projector section.


This is a pigment/ink that can be screenprinted or embedded in other materials like resin/plastic that can be activated by sunlight or bright UV lights/lasers.

Example projects and products:

An exploratory video of someone using photochromic elements in plastics and activating them with UV lasers, UV LED's and sunlight.


These are materials and pigments that change between two color states when a certain amount of heat is applied.

(Examples to come)


These are pigments and other materials that change color when water comes into contact with them but then change back when they eventually dry out.

Magnetic Field Display

These are essentially slim materials embedded with small magnetic elements that effectively show magnetic fields when a magnet is placed nearby - they are completely analog.

Last updated