AGT GLOW STONE BUYERS GUIDE

Glow Stones  - What are they?

Glow stones also known as photoluminescent aggregate were first introduced to the concrete industry in 2008 by Ambient Glow Technology – AGT™ and have since gained global notoriety due to their magical glowing qualities. Unlike shimmering, Mica-laden or fiber optic embedded concrete, glow in the dark stones ‘self-power’. They absorb UV spectrum light and store it until the charging source is no longer present and then begin to give off their energy in the form of ambient light. This maintenance-free, charging and discharging process will continue indefinitely allowing concrete and asphalt surfaces to luminesce for many years to come.

So how do glow stones glow and are there different types?

In general, glow stones are powered by photoluminescent (glow) pigment otherwise know as Strontium Aluminate - a non-radioactive rare earth element. This glow pigment is mixed into either resin or glass to create a glow stone. Different grades of glow stones contain higher or lower loading rates of glow pigment. It’s also important to note that there are different qualities of glow pigment as well - the higher the quality, the brighter and longer the glow. Glow stone grades range from hobby-grade plastic pebbles and glass glow chips with a glow time of approximately 10-60 minutes, to high performance AGT™ Commercial Grade and Ultra Grade non-shrinking resin glow aggregates with glow times of over 10 hours.

What makes one glow stone perform better than another?

The answer lies in the loading rate and material quality of glow pigment used. The lower the glow pigment quality and loading rate - the lower the overall glow also known as luminosity. Glass glow chips tend to exhibit a lower luminosity than for example a non-shrinking, resin–based glow stone. This is due to the fact that molten glass cannot bind with higher levels of glow pigment without affecting the molecular integrity of the glass itself.  As well, the high temperatures at which glow glass chips are produced effect the glow pigment’s ability to glow. On the other hand, AGT™ Commercial Grade and ULTRA Grade glow in the dark stones are made with a specialized non-shrinking resin which can absorb much higher loading rates of our proprietary super-luminosity glow pigment – allowing AGT™ glow stones the ability to out-perform all other forms of glow aggregates, natural glow marble or glow crystals commonly found on the internet.

Difference between Commercial Grade and ULTRA Grade Glow Stones

AGT™ Commercial Grade glow stones were launched back in 2008 and have become the Industry-Standard glow stone for concrete ever since. They feature a 15-20%brighter and longer glowglow than any other natural glow marble, glow stone or glow crystal on the market today.

AGT™ COMMERCIAL GRADE - GLOW STONE COLORS

AGT™ ULTRA Grade glow stones are 25% brighter & longer glowing than our Commercial Grade glow aggregates. ULTRA Grade glow stones were developed in 2015 for architects designing glowing bike paths and pedestrian walkways in city green spaces. Their specification called for the brightest and longest glowing glow stones possible. After some time, AGT™ Glow Labs unveiled the world’s first DIN67510 Part 1 compliant super-luminosity glow aggregate AGT ULTRA™ – which boasts the longest and brightest afterglow in the industry.

AGT™ ULTRA GRADE - GLOW STONE COLORS

AGT™ GLOW STONE SIZES

What is the Best Size of Glow Stone for my Project?

It really comes down to the look you are trying to achieve. The larger the glow stone, the more energy they can store – resulting in a brighter and longer glow effect.  In general, the best size glow stone for large exterior or interior concrete projects is the ½” (12mm) size which may vary in size by (+/-) 1/8” (2mm-4mm). Some exposed aggregate concrete projects use specially ordered (from the concrete supplier)  ¼” – sized pea gravel concrete aggregate. In this case, the ¼” (8mm) AGT™ glow stones would work best.

Glow Performance & Price Comparison

 

Glow Stone Type

Glow Time (min/hrs.)

Price per lb. (USD)

 

AGT™ ULTRA Grade Glow Stones (Resin)

10+ hours

$45

 

AGT™ Commercial Grade Glow Stones (Resin)

6-8 hours

$39

 

Quantum Grade Glow Aggregates (Resin)

10+ hours

$45

 

Commercial Grade 'Natural' Glow Marble (Resin)

4-6 hours

$39

 

Glow Crystals

3-6 hours

$56

 

Glass Glow Stones

20-60mins.

$25-$35

 

Glass Glow Chips

20-60mins.

$25-$35

 

Plastic Glow Pebbles

10-40mins.

$10-$30

 

 

 


Written Performance Guarantee & Product Warranty

Glow Stone Type

Glow Performance Guarantee

Product Warranty

Plastic Glow Pebbles

NONE

NONE

Glass Glow Chips

NONE

NONE

Glass Glow Stones

NONE

NONE

Glow Crystals

NONE

YES

AGT™ Commercial Grade Glow Stones (Resin)

YES

YES

Commercial Grade 'Natural' Glow Marble (Resin)

NONE

NONE

AGT™ ULTRA Grade Glow Stones (Resin)

YES

YES

Quantum Grade Glow Stones (Resin)

NONE

NONE

 

 

 

How are Glow Stones Best Applied in Concrete Substrates?

Similar to the way other decorative aggregates such assea shells and tumbled beach glass are applied, glow stones are hand broadcasted onto the curing concrete surface and then lightly troweled in. The glow stone should be just under the surface covered by a thin film of cement. (Recommended glow stone size for flatwork - ½”) Once the glow stone is seeded and worked in, they need to be exposed either chemically or mechanically.

Application – 1: Use of Chemical Retarders to Expose Glow Stones

Chemical exposure of the glow stone is achieved by lightly spraying a concrete retarding agent over the curing concrete. The concrete retarder slows down the chemical curing process on the surface, allowing it to remain uncured so that a 1/32” – 1/4” of the concrete cream can be pressure washed off. This process will expose the glow stones to the surface allowing them to charge by day and glow by night.

AGT™ Glow Stones are seeded and then floated into the concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete surface Powered By: AGT™ Sky Blue Commercial Grade Glow Stones

How are Glow Stones Best Applied in Concrete Substrates?

Application – 2: Use of Polishing Machines to Expose Glow Stones

The second, more labor-intensive approach is to expose the glow stones mechanically using diamond-laden polishing pads mounted on either hand-held polishers or heavy-duty concrete floor polishing machines. This form of glow in the dark concrete finishing creates a smooth, magical surface - resembling the sky at night…

White polished concrete floor Powered By:½” Aqua Blue Glow Stones.

Application of high performance glow stones on fresh concrete.

  1. Seed glow stone on final finish of fresh concrete by hand or using a hand-fertilizing tool.
  1. Work the glow stone into the slab with a trowel so they are just covered by the cream of the concrete.
  1. Apply a concrete retarder and let concrete cure (follow retarder product directions).
  1. Pressure wash the surface to remove any concrete residue covering the glow stones and if necessary – apply a light acid wash to fully expose AGT™ glow stones to sunlight.
  1. Let dry and seal if required.
  1. DONE!

Application on Loose Gravel

AGT™ glow stones can also be seeded on top of existing gravel surfaces such as driveways or walkways to create a magical – walking on the stars effect. To achieve this effect, simply seed the glows stones all over the gravel surface. If you do not want excited visitors to collect all the loose glow stones – we recommend going with our ¼” size glow in the dark rock… A little harder to pick up J.