Is there a way to make a person's eyes glow?
September 28, 2010 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to make my eyes glow?

And I mean, really glow. Bright green. Like, some kind of bioluminescent eyedrop, or a contact lens embedded with some kind of....thing that makes them glow. I really have no idea if this is feasible at all, and there is a feasible way, is it something that A) won't blind me and B) won't bankrupt me? I accept that the answer might well just be "no, dumbass."

I should probably mention that this is for Halloween and, more specifically, for what will be the best Halloween costume ever, but only if I can get my eyes to glow green.

posted by Dormant Gorilla to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
there are tons of glow in the dark contact lenses available on line... search google. I don't know about actively emitting light when it's light out though...
posted by brainmouse at 9:01 AM on September 28, 2010

There are apparently glow-in-the-dark scleral lenses, but given that the GITD material needs to be exposed to light to "activate", and that staring into lights isn't the best thing on earth for your eyeballs, I'm not sure how great of an idea this may be.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:02 AM on September 28, 2010

It seems to me that any system that results in light emitting from your eyes will necessarily mean light in your eyes, which will compromise your vision, especially on a dark Halloween night.
posted by Hargrimm at 9:02 AM on September 28, 2010

Yeah, I've seen stuff online, but wanted some feedback on whether any of those things actually worked and were safe.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:10 AM on September 28, 2010

The appropriateness of this depends on the costume, but you might try rigging sunglasses with a single (external) LED in the middle of each lens. You could run the wiring along the outside of the frame to a battery pack on your chest or somewhere. Your vision would probably be obscured somewhat, but you could peer around the light, and from outside the appearance might be pretty imposing.
posted by Bardolph at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2010

An old colleague came back to work from a complex eye test once, and the stuff they'd put in her eyes in order to see what they wanted to see made them glow green. Her eyes were blue, and the stuff was neon yellow... win! She scared the shuddering crap out of one of my squeamish colleagues when she looked up at him too quickly!

Anyway that stuff was put in there by actual doctors, so it must have been relatively safe. I'm not quite sure how you'd get that outside of developing an eye condition though. See your local black market optometrist!*

*joke - i will not be held responsible for the use of dodgy eye drops procured from a back street "eye doctor"
posted by greenish at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

We did something similar to what Bardolph suggests for an art event. We took simple half masks and covered most of the eyeholes with fabric covered in glow in the dark paint, leaving just a little round hole to see out. It was incredibly difficult for the people wearing the masks to see, but those people were essentially set dressing so it didn't matter too much. They also had to recharge the glow-in-the-dark paint periodically, and the paint didn't glow terribly brightly, but when the lights were out, the effect was great.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:52 AM on September 28, 2010

The traditional solution's a very small, not-so-bright spotlight pointed at your eyes. That's how they did it in old movies -- sometimes it makes the actor look kinda like a negative raccoon. They were doing this as late as in "Star Trek" TOS, and there's a special name for this spot, but I can't find it.
posted by Rash at 9:56 AM on September 28, 2010

What is the costume? Can you wear a mask with glowing eyes?
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:10 AM on September 28, 2010

Some of the glasses I've worn have fluoresced a little under UV light. I don't think they've ever been bright enough for other people to notice, but it's annoying looking through a glowing layer - it makes everything look foggy. Eye drops will have this problem a bit (and also you may cry glowing tears, which is kind of cool but may not be appropriate for your costume).

It looks like those lenses julthumbscrew linked addresses this by only glowing around the outside - great for scary sclerae*, but the pupil will be non-glowing. I'll add a suggestion that instead of charging it ahead of time with regular light, you can excite it with UV light. Shining a blacklight on your face all night will keep them real bright.

Blacklights are all long-wave UVA, at low intensity, and shouldn't give any additional safety risks worse than being outside during the day with your eyes open. If you do something with a focused UV LED or similar, make sure you reduce the power to the minimum needed for glowing.

* Sclera has been my new favorite word all month. Yay!
posted by aubilenon at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2010

Sadly, for the costume glasses or a mask won't work, and I don't know if I can arrange to have a small spotlight pointed at myself all night. It'd have to be contacts or eyedrops or nothing.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:58 AM on September 28, 2010

An old colleague came back to work from a complex eye test once, and the stuff they'd put in her eyes in order to see what they wanted to see made them glow green
posted by greenish at 9:49 AM on September 28 [1 favorite +] [!]


posted by en forme de poire at 12:44 PM on September 28, 2010

The eye exam dye that someone mentioned above is called fluorescein. It is bright greenish yellow colored and glows (fluoresces) under UV light. I don't know if it is good for you to put this in your eye repeatedly, which you would have to do because it is continuously washed out of your eye by your tears. It could work for a short time. It also will not glow unless you are at a Halloween party etc. with a black light. This dye can be used during an eye exam to see if you have abrasions on the surface of your eye.
posted by madscientist01 at 12:44 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

« Older What's the best way to find a good therapist (or...   |   Help us travel to Mexico? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.