The first pilot project, done pro bono by the creators, is to become reality this year along a 150-yard strip of trial road in Brabant, a Dutch province on the Belgian border. The idea is that luminescent green road markings painted on the road will make street lighting redundant. This is intended not just to save lighting costs, but also to increase safety by improving visibility on roads that had no lights at all.
A crucial component is a new photoluminescent paint created by Mr. Roosegaarde that, he explains, has much in common with the paint on glow-in-the-dark toys. (Its ingredients are closely guarded.) The mixture is painted onto the roads in the normal fashion, and the markings are charged by sunlight during the day — and by headlights through the night — so they remain visible for 10 hours after nightfall. All of the standard road markings, from lane indicators to emergency shoulders, will appear after sundown in an otherworldly glowing green, which Mr. Rossegaarde says is the color easiest to see in the dark.