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Cooling Off With Paint

Paint has many applications in our modern society. It decorates our homes. It protects equipment from the elements. It makes our cars stylish and it allows us to express ourselves through art. With all these practical and cultural uses for this coating it may not be surprising that yet another use for paint is been tested on the streets of LA.


Summers are getting hotter in many places including southern California and in an attempt to cool off, Los Angeles city officials have come up with idea of painting streets in a brilliant white.

Uncoated asphalt street surfaces can rise to an incredible 50-90 degrees above air temperature in the summer. This causes an effect called heat islands by climate scientists. Heat islands can contribute to an overall rise in temperature around the area.

The white coating on the streets helps to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere rather than storing it in the asphalt. Testing has shown that the white paint can reduce the ambient temperature of the road surface by at least 10 degrees.

Not only does this new technique help to mitigate the effects of a warmer climate but it also gives the roads of LA a unique look. As an added benefit residents can look forward to no longer burning their bare feet on hot roadways.  

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