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Surprising Science

‘Invisible’ Spray to Protect Cyclists on the Road

LifePaint is motivated by a grim statistic — every year in the UK over 19,000 cyclists are involved in accidents.

A leading carmaker, a Swedish startup, and a London ad agency have teamed up to create not just another advertising campaign, but also a product that will help increase road safety in the UK.

LifePaint, a unique reflective spray, is a collaboration between Volvo, Grey London, and Albedo100. Its purpose is to increase cyclists’ visibility on the road at night. The product is motivated by a grim statistic — every year in the UK over 19,000 cyclists are involved in accidents.

After applying LifePaint to a surface, the reflective particles of the spray stick together with a special adhesive that makes them invisible by day, but visible at night via the glare of headlights. The paint lasts for approximately one week after application, or it can be washed off without affecting the material it has been applied to. There are two types of spray — water-based, made for textiles, and oil-based, made for metals.

“Our job isn’t just to advertise our clients. It’s to help them make a positive impact on culture. With the creation of LifePaint, we’ve turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?” said Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of Grey London. 

As the video below reveals (no post-production enhancements have been used with regards to the effects of the spray), the spray will definitely increase cyclists’ visibility on the road. But road safety is about everyone who shares the road. The paint can have many other applications — in addition to being applied to clothes, shoes, and helmets, it can also be used on kids’ backpacks, or even dog leashes and collars. 

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As of March 27th, 2,000 cans of LifePaint have been given away to six London- and Kent-based bike shops. If successful, the project will expand nationally and perhaps internationally.

Photos: Volvo


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