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Volvo’s new magic spray makes bikes, clothes, and everything else glow

Published Dec 20th, 2016 8:00PM EST
lifepaint volvo
Image: Volvo

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Being visible at night is a pretty big deal for bikers, runners, or anyone else who might find themselves on or near a road or city street, and typically adding a small reflector or wearing a bright color is the best course of action. Volvo — yep, the car company — just released a seemingly magic spray that can turn anything into a massive, bright beacon when it falls into the beam of a headlight. They call it LifePaint, and it looks like it can easily live up to that name.

The crazy spray comes in a little aluminum can and requires no special instructions or method of application; just point and shoot and whatever you spray instantly becomes a bright reflective surface. The spray is clear and is invisible in the daylight, but at night it lights up light a Christmas tree with even an indirect beam from a light source.

The most obvious application here is for bikers who want to remain as visible as possible to motorists, and the spray can be applied to the bike itself or any item of clothing, a backpack, or a helmet. The paint works best on fabrics, and is likely to last longer when applied to something like a backpack rather than sprayed on a glossy bike frame.

Volvo says the spray is special because the reflective particles bond together with an adhesive to create the shine. However, the spray isn’t permanent. It’s a water-based spray, and will eventually degrade after about a week of what Volvo calls “normal usage,” though things like rain or snow will likely affect its overall longevity.

LifePaint has been teased by Volvo since earlier this year, but it’s now available to order online, in the UK for now, for a pretty reasonable £13.00 (about $16).