Luminescence is emission of light by a substance not resulting from heat; it is thus a form of cold-body radiation. It can be caused by chemical reactions, electrical energy, subatomic motions, or stress on a crystal. This distinguishes luminescence from incandescence, which is light emitted by a substance as a result of heating. Historically, radioactivity was thought of as a form of "radio-luminescence", although it is today considered to be separate since it involves more than electromagnetic radiation. The term 'luminescence' was introduced in 1888 by Eilhard Wiedemann.
UV-photoluminescence in the microbiological diagnostics
The dials, hands, scales, and signs of aviation and navigational instruments and markings are often coated with luminescent materials in a process known as "luminising".