Self Luminous Exit Signs - Tritium Power

Glow In The Dark Exit Signs

The magical ingredient that provides self luminous exit signs with light is a naturally glowing hydrogen gas known as tritium. This gas is contained within seal tubes locked into an SL signs inner frame. These units are largely unknown to many businesses, as they can't seem to wrap their heads around the technology.


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Tritium powered exit signs require no AC electricity, which becomes a great cost savings over the course of their insanely long lifespan.

Self powered exit signs are a very unique exit sign, but don't be afraid of what you don't know. These signs are the most versatile exit sign in existence. Here's how this illumination without electricity is accomplished.

Tritium Gas

Tritium, also referred to as 3-H or H3 (hydrogen-3), is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Its nucleus contains one proton and two neutrons. This distinguishes it from the most commonly occurring hydrogen isotope, protium, which has no neutrons.

Tritium occurs rarely in nature when cosmic rays from the sun mix with atmospheric gases. Exit sign tritium is produced as a byproduct of nuclear generators. The gas is injected into tempered glass tubes that sit in a shock absorbent array inside the sign.

Tritium decays at a defined rate, which allows the manufacturer to measure injections to accurately supply luminosity for a 10, 15 or 20 year lifespan.

Phosphor Coated Glass

However, tritium does not glow on its own; it requires interaction with a luminescent substance to create an ultra-bright glow. This is accomplished with the addition of a rare earth compound called phosphor,which is then doped in a copper-activated zinc sulfide activator. This is then used to coat the inside of each tritium tube.

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When phosphor and tritium work together, each compound helps the other to withstand valence caused by moisture, temperature and changes on the atomic level.

Vacuum Sealed Tubes

When sealed in a vacuum tube, tritium will produce no harmful radiation. Tritium gas itself does not produce a harmful amount of radiation, however, when mixed with oxygen, contamination can spread through vapor particles in the air. Tritium is only harmful if swallowed or eaten, making these vapors toxic in a confined space.

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