Lumilor Car paint

Car Paint That Changes Colour — Is It Real?

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There was a time where if you had told me there was a type of car paint that could change its colour on the fly without me touching anything, I’d be absolutely gobsmacked.

I mean the closest thing that I had encountered in terms of something changing colour was those mysterious mood rings, which apparently changed colour based on your mood.

But if we put all the magic and hoo-hah to one side, what actually caused it to change colour? (the temperature of course).

Well some time ago, possibly the late 2000s — the time of mood rings — there was a car paint around that could supposedly do exactly that, change colour on its own. It was called “paramagnetic paint”. 

If you Google “paramagnetic paint” these days you’ll see that it was all a hoax. Someone had made a video using adobe software. I mean seriously, paint that changes colour on its own? But back then it was all the hype. People were sitting in front of their computers in awe wondering how the hell does this work?

Is Ashton Kutcher standing around the corner with his entire film crew waiting to Punk you? Is this some sort of car transformation story with MTV’s reality tv series Pimp My Ride? Unfortunately, it’s neither so you can forget about having your celebrity moment. However, the question still remains, does said technology actually exist?

Well, it’s 2020 now and it’s safe to say that, yes, it does exist, however, it’s not known as “paramagnetic paint”.

Introducing Electroluminescent Paint

Electroluminescent paint is a light-emitting coating which can turn any surface, such as the body of a vehicle, into a light. What does this actually mean? Essentially, the paint system changes colour when an electrical current passes through it, causing it to emit light. 

What makes up electrolum..it sure is tiring repeating this name, let’s just call it “Electro L”. Electro L is a highly conductive, low resistant material which allows the current to travel throughout an entire surface.

A dielectric material, which acts as insulation, makes sure that the surface does not burn or short circuits. It also provides equal distribution of the current to the surface area.

Electro L pigments within the paint is what helps give light to its colour. A very low layer of resistance coating is applied on top, and finally, is finished with a clear coat of conductive coating.

Two major Electroluminescent Paint brands 

LumiLor

Lumilor Car paint
Credit: Lumilor

LumiLor is a multi-layer, sprayable electroluminescent coating system consisting of a backplane, dielectric, LumiColour, busbar and Conductive Top Coat. It is available in a wide range of colours, including green, aqua, blue, white, orange, yellow and pink, which are the colours you see when LumiLor is lit up.

Without a current flowing through it appears as a gray colour, similar to the likes of an automotive primer.

It can be applied to any non-porous material including but not limited to metal, wood, fibreglass, carbon fibre, plastic and vinyl, and can last anywhere from 10,000 hours and up to 50,000 hours. If you’d like more information on LumiLor you can check out their support page here.

Check out the video below to see how it works: 

And this video to see the many applications this technology proves useful. for.

LitCoat

One company keeping the “paramagnetic” term alive is LitCoat. Combining whatever last drop of reality remained in paramagnetic paint and combining with the elements of Electroluminescent paint, LitCoat produces colour changing paints that change based on temperature as well as electric currents. 

  • A Power remittance layer is applied, allowing a spot open for a connection point to inteverter
  • An isolator layer
  • LitCoat Pigment layer
  • Power remittance layer (with or without bus-bar)
  • Finally, a sealing clear coat to top it off

Here’s LitCoat in action:

Find out more information about LitCoat here.

Alternatives

Thermochromic car paint

This particular type of car paint changes colour based on temperature. Heat sensitive colour temperature changing paint — just like the mood ring — changes at around 86 degrees, however custom temperatures can be specially made and ordered.

As the temperature rises, the paint will ‘disappear’, revealing the colour that is underneath the paint. Check out the video below as it reveals top 5 colour changing heat sensitive paint on cars — 

ChromaFlair

Using a specialised formula, ChromaFlair pigment is a unique material made of an ultra-thin , multi-layer interference film which forms micron size flakes. Unlike ordinary pigments, ChromaFlair pigment is opaque, thin, flat and highly mirror-like.

The colour is the result of the thin-film interference phenomenon, whereby the colour of ChromaFlair pigment is generated through layered construction, causing the interference of light waves.

With a high flake-diameter-to-thickness ratio, ChromaFlair pigments have excelling leaf properties and that’s how you are able to achieve a high level of specular colour.

Find out more information on ChromaFlair here

View how ChromaFlair can be used on cars here:


Are thinking of ways to give a second life to an old car? what about reading our complete guide on car restorations? or reading about technological upgrades for your classic car?

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