You CAN Make Glowing Water Without a Black Light. See How

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How to Make Glowing Water Without a Black Light

Glowing water can be harmless and safe if done without the use of a black light. Anything can virtually glow in a black light. It’s no biggie! Here, we show you how to make glowing water in ways that are easy, safe, and hence, enjoyable.


Black light is a commercial name given to UV-A, which are “near ultraviolet” rays with longer wavelengths, just out of the human visibility spectrum. Hence, the name ‘black light’. What we see through a black light emitting bulb is the violet or blue color of the glass, but we can’t see the UV rays it emits. UV rays are dangerous in many ways, affecting the eyes and skin, specially of fragile tissues (those of kids).

We have always been amused by the idea of things other than lights and bulbs glowing around us in the dark. It also makes us curious to know the reason behind the glow. Let’s put that to an end! It’s due to the use of a chemical called phosphorus or phosphorescent materials. These chemicals have the property to throw light of their own. They do not glow immediately, but after being exposed to light for a long time, they store this light in the form of energy. When the lights are turned off, these chemicals emit the stored energy in the form of light; thus, we see them glow in the dark.

Now that you know how it works, we give you some ideas to glow water! There are not many options, but they all surely work well.

Using Glow-in-the-dark Paints

Glow-in-the-dark paints are easily available at online stores, or craft stores. As mentioned above, these paints contain certain amount of phosphorus, and make excellent colorful glow materials!

glowing paints


If you want to experiment making glow-in-the-dark paints at home, you can try this:

  • You will need a package of phosphorescent powder and a clear liquid – clear acrylic gel medium, polyurethane, or epoxy. Make sure the phosphorus powder you buy is safe, and from a craft store, or can be used for craft purposes. Handling pure phosphorus powder is dangerous and can cause severe health issues!
  • Phosphorescent powder comes in different colors; so choose your color, and mix 1 spoon of it in 3-4 spoons of clear liquid. You might find difficulty mixing the powder with the liquid. White acrylic paint can be used as a blender in such a case. Once the powder is mixed, your paint is ready!
  • Now you can drop thick dollops of this paint, or make a trail of thick colors of different shapes in the water, to make it glow with an artistic touch!

Since you have the paint ready with you, you can also try painting the wall, canvas, wood, or anything you want to glow!

▶ You might be wondering, why not mix the phosphorus powder directly with water? Well my friend, the reason is that phosphorus alone doesn’t dissolve well and glow on its own inside water.

Using Glow Sticks

Glowing water with glow sticks is the easiest way! They come in different colors too.

glowing water sticks


  1. You can either simply put the glow sticks or glow rings in a jar or pool of water, and get the water glowing instantly.
  2. You can also place different-colored sticks around the jar, which reflect and give beautiful effects. Buy the biggest sticks you can find at the store, and have your pool illuminated!
  3. Another way would be to cut open the stick and pour the liquid in the water. This gives a brighter glow, and wouldn’t require many sticks.

Using LEDs

LEDs are a better option to use, instead of black lights. All you need are highlighters and LEDs of course! Generally, highlighters are fluorescent in color. You get them in different shades like fluorescent yellow, green, pink, orange, and blue.

glowing water led lights


  • Open the highlighter’s interior plastic cotton tube. It contains the fluorescent liquid, which is to be washed in a jar of water.
  • When the cotton tube has left all of its color, the water is ready for the next step.
  • Place an LED strip, or an LED ring under that jar, and turn the lights off to see your jar of water glowing!

Glowing water can be used for pool parties, home décor, having a fun time with kids, and even to paint the snow outside in winters. Give a new definition to your night parties, or get-together with friends and families, with your glow-in-the-dark experiments!

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