Illuminating Switch Plates--A DIY Attempt Gone Bad and the Power of Blogger Karma

Find a Light Glow in the Dark WallPlate Insert

Last winter, I spotted the above pic on the internets and thought, "I can DIY that!" I stashed the idea in my 'make some day' idea bin, and few weeks back, I decided to finally give it a go. A bit of plastic rescued from the recycle bin, a drop or two of glow-in-the-dark paint and I would be golden. Or so I thought. The outcome was tragic. The paint was gloopy; the plastic too...plastic-y. I trashed the whole thing and forgot about it. 

Then--get this--a week later--I kid you not--a week later I received an e-mail from the distributor of the product, Pat Bay Reflective. They offered to send out a few samples for me to review and share with you guys. It was like some sort of blogger Karma, or something!!!

They sent a couple all-in-one replacement plates called GloPlates and a few little add-ons, called Find a Light. A quick perusal of the packaging told me that they'll glow for at least 20 years, they need exposure to daylight or artificial light to charge, and they're made in the USA.
It took only a few minutes to have all them installed, and then it was just a matter of waiting for nightfall to see how they measured up.
First, each glowed, but some did better than others. That's because the plates' glow-ablity is dependent upon how much light they're exposed too. So, for example, the add-on pictured below was installed in my kitchen near a window. Nice glow, right?
created at: 11/23/2010
Now check this one out.
created at: 11/23/2010
It's in my hallway, which isn't exposed to much natural light and the overhead light is only on minutes at a time throughout the day. It's glowing, to be sure, but it's not nearly as vibrant as the one next to the window. Although, I didn't retouch either of these photos in any way, I did have to crank up my ISO and crank down my shutter speed on this last one. But it's a good representation of how it looked in real life. Of course, my eyes weren't adjusted to the dark either, so, for instance, if I had just woken up in the middle of the night, the glow would have appeared more vibrant.
Ultimately, I'd give both the GloPlate and Find a Light products a thumbs up, with the caveat that they need sufficient light to give off a healthy glow in the dark. That being said, they'd be PERFECT for guest rooms, kids' rooms and anywhere you find yourself playing 'find the switch'. 
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to test that blogger Karma again and try to DIY a BMW. 
Curbly.com did not receive monetary compensation from Pat Bay reflective for this post; however, a sample product was provided to the reviewer.

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DesigningMom on Nov 25, 2010:

I'll be waiting to hear. Hope I get the first ride.

DIY Maven on Nov 25, 2010:

DM--I'll let you know when that BMW arrives.

DesigningMom on Nov 24, 2010:

Ha ha ha Maven. I hope your Karma holds up and you get your BMW.

Being I've just spent the last six nights in hotel rooms I can tell you how nice these are on the lgiht switches when you come in from a day of fun. Without this type of glow we'd have had no clue where to find the light switches. They should make other type of glow in the dark products to help one find their way around their homes at night. These are neat. Thanks!


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