Sometimes you just want your art to shine—literally. To achieve effects that are visible in the dark, pick up a luminous marker, which is generally as easy to use as a standard marker, and add glowing effects to drawings or messages without any extra mess. It’s important that you read the descriptions of each product, as some markers’ lines can simply be charged under sunlight to glow, while others are activated by UV light (also called a black light). Markers also come in a range of sizes and colors. To ease your search, we’ve gathered our top picks below.
1. DirectGlow Tulip Electric Neon Markers
Tulip’s markers offer color, brightness, and convenience. You get five medium-tip markers to draw or write with; marks are visible in the daytime but brilliant in the dark when exposed to UV light. Although designed for fabric applications, the markers can also be used on paper and even acrylic paints. The markers have good flow and vibrancy, and the set even comes with a mini UV keychain light to illuminate your work.
2. Sakura Solid Marker, Glow-in-the-Dark
For a marker that can cover large surface areas, we like the one from Sakura, which is a chunky, solidly built implement. The paint is in a solidified rather than liquid form, with a waxy, lipstick-like consistency; simply twist the marker to expose more material. It goes on smoothly on virtually any surface, dry or wet, and the results are water-resistant. And the glow is phenomenal, brightly luminous after just a short charge of light. While the marker is quite thick, you can easily trim it to make finer markings.
3. Crafty Croc Liquid Chalk Markers
Craft Croc’s markers are a dazzling alternative to classic chalk. Each marker contains acrylic-based pigment that can be used on common surfaces, from chalkboards to poster board, and glows bright under a black light. In this variety pack you get 10 markers in five neon colors—blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange—that are luminous not only under UV light but in the daytime as well. Presenting excellent flow and easy erasure, they are a winning choice for classrooms or kids’ craft stations.
4. Uchida Glow in the Dark Phosphorescent Marker
This marker is a top option if you want a straightforward, glow-in-the-dark marker that shows up in the dark without a black light. It features a fine tip and works best on fabrics, particularly dark ones. The ink stays permanent even after many cycles in the washing machine, but to achieve the best results, you should heat-set your embellished fabric with an iron, so be sure to factor this time into your projects. You also need to apply a lot of ink to get a strong glow, making this marker ideal for light work or small-scale projects.
5. Krink K-55 Acrylic Paint Marker
Krink’s markers are favored by graffiti artists, who like their feel, inkiness, and visibility. Even if you aren’t in the business of tagging, these are an excellent choice to make unmissable works—like, say, an outdoor mural. The paint has a satisfyingly smooth and consistent flow—to the point that it can be a little drippy—as well as wonderful vibrancy and opacity. Colors are easy to spot in the daytime but radiate under a black light.