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Hi, was wondering about the lifespan of lume?
I've read different types, but how long do they actually last?


I've read about tritium tubes, and those apparently last 20-25+ years. And they supposedly light up like a torch.


So if lume, (lets say Super-Luminova as its most common I guess), if it has substantially less lifespan, would storage or avoidance of daylight/uv sources be a preventative for early fade or death to luminance?
Will less exposure actually ensure a longer lifespan or longevity to luminance? Myth or fact?


How many years of life is expected from the great lume of Seiko's?
And with modders reluming older dials/hands, will those last just as long? I'm guessing it depends on what product was used/applied.


Whats the best? I know, probably subjective, but curious. Tritium, Super-Luminova, or whatever else I may not know of?


Thanks,
Dave.
 

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I think it depends on the type of lume. I've seen 10 yr. old SKX divers that still seem to glow strongly, and my service 7002 dial (probably from 1996) still glows through the night, although with far less initial power than a new SL-lumed watch. I have original "vintage" Seikos (no relume) from '66-'77 that still glow initially, but only for a few minutes to a couple of hours. Same story for Swiss '60's/'70's watches I've owned.
 

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It is also depends on the condition of the watch, whether the lume was exposed to humidity or not, material of the lume etc.
Tritium has life span of about 10-15 years or so. It always glows till it dies. I think that the super-luminova starts extremely bright but settles after little while on a nice glow for the night as opposed to Tritium that has a constant glow all the time. Daylight exposure or any light exposure will not affect the life span of the lume. It really depends on what it is made out of, and as the science behind these materials progresses so is the length of the glow intensity and duration of service are growing with it. If you're looking to relume a watch there is a company called noctilumina, you should really visit their site http://www.noctilumina.com/ and see all the colors that you can mix. They also have lume that is water resistant, it's a cool site and they have some cool photos there too.

I hope this helps
 

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Regarding tritium gas, it has a half life of 12.5 years, so after that time the tubes will glow only half as strong as in the beginning, after another 12.5 years 1/4, etc.
They don't really glow that strongly compared to the initial brightness of new Seiko lume, but they obviously don't get weaker through the night, and you never have to charge them up.
 

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I have asked myself the same question many years ago. I then asked other people.
Apparently, if a watch is less exposed to light (i.e. in a drawer), the lume can last even longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
8)


Thanks for the great info guys. I wondered if I should keep my watches in a drawer, or leave them out an exposed.
Just worried about the older watches, don't wanna relume if I don't have to. So if its possible to prolong the lume life, that would be good.


Cheers, Dave.
 

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From what I have read, moisture is the enemy to lume material. I wouldn't recommend leaving them in full sun on the back porch for 5 years, but I don't think regular ambient inside lighting will have any measurable effect on the life of the lume. If it does, I don't know if it would justify hiding them away in a drawer. Just enjoy them today because who knows what tomorrow brings.
 

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UV radiation degrades lume faster (whatever type it is), so if kept in total darkness it will last longer. Eventually, however, it will fade.
 

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from everything I've read, provided the physical condition of the lume is not compromised, modern luminous materials such as Lumibrite and its variants, unlike older radiation based lumes, does not have a theoretical expiration date. Provided the material has not degraded )as a result of exposure, or some other form of mishandling, it should continue to perform as good as the day it was installed for decades to come. Granted, these types of luminous paints have only been in use since the early 90's, and were not used in serious volume until around 1996. That plus the paints themselves have undergone refinements since then. That said, I have a few mid-90's seikos that use early lumibrite and the stuff still glows intensely and for hours at a time, even thought the watches themselves have not fared as well.
 
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