What a glowing idea…

Illuminated house numbers make perfect sense — but only now do householders have access to a reliable, low-maintenance and self-contained system that really works…

We all know the advantages of having highly visible house numbering at all hours of the day. Just ask any ambulance officer how important it is to identify properties, particularly in the dark. Of course, reliable pizza deliveries can be just as critical, depending on the householder’s priorities!

Now an Australian company has come up with an affordable, technologically advanced house numbering device that glows in the dark but does not rely on mains electricity or solar power.

Glowlite® illuminated house numbers are battery-powered units that function for up to a year without battery changes. This is possible because the Glowlite® does not use bulbs, but operates instead using “cold” electroluminescent light panels.

Since the units are fully self-contained, there is no need for extended electrical connections to distant fence posts or letterboxes. Independence from normal electricity supplies also guarantees that house numbers will remain visible even if electricity supplies to an area are cut. Each Glowlite® unit runs off two standard alkaline “D” batteries, and lights up automatically once darkness falls, triggered by a simple photoelectric cell.

Unlike solar-powered systems that can prove unreliable and offer poor luminosity, the Glowlite® produces an attractive blue light that is visible from at least 20 metres away. The core technology was developed by NASA for use in aircraft instrumentation panels, and has been shown to produce a consistent, clear and long-lasting light that can last for more than a decade with only minimal fading.

Installation is a simple task for DIYers. A removable backing plate is first attached to the wall or fence where the unit is to be placed. Once the plate has been secured (screw fasteners included), the unit is affixed to it using two no-fuss hex screws. The purpose of the backing plate is to make the unit easily detachable for annual battery changes. End caps hide the screws for added security.

The unit itself can be customised, of course, to display a range of different numbers and designations to suit each property. A selection of number transparencies is included in the pack, and up to five consecutive numbers can be shown. This is a one-off procedure involving placement of the appropriate numbers (for example, Unit 2A, 73, etc) in the face of the unit. The numbers are legible and white in appearance in normal daylight, and only become blue when backlit at night.

For those people wishing to use the Glowlite® in other applications, there are different lettering systems available for use in parking bays, laneways, commercial premises and public areas. These signs include “Dog on Premises”, “No Smoking”, “No Standing” and “Use Rear Step”.

Units are made from tough, UV-resistant materials that are designed to withstand the harshness of the Australian climate.

Developed by Phil Delich from WA, Glowlites are the result of seven years of electronic circuitry development. “Working from my garage, I devised many ideas to try and come up with a house number that was visible both during the day and even more so at night,” he says. “I wanted to actually illuminate rather than just be reflective.

“It was easy enough to make something that worked on globes and needed electricity to power, but installation made it price prohibitive. Besides, globes seem to fail just when you need them.”

In order to enhance retail appeal, Delich has released heavy cardboard POS displays with dummy Glowlites attached.

The Glowlite® is a responsible, convenient and stylish enhancement to any property, but its greatest value lies in its practical usefulness to emergency response units — and that has to appeal to consumers. For more information visit www.glowlite.com.au.

Story by John Power