Scientists Discover a New Shade of Blue That Could Lower Your AC Bill

This new pigment is non-toxic, super durable, and energy-efficient.


Image via Oregon State University

Back in 2009, a group of scientists at Oregon State University were testing new materials to be used in tech advancements. What they found instead was a surprising, brand-new shade of blue when they heated manganese oxide and a cocktail of chemicals in a furnace to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aside from its obviously gorgeous, vibrant hue, the color compound contains properties that make it energy-efficient, super safe, and long-lasting. Why should you be excited about this now? Licensing agreements have only just come to terms, meaning the new shade of blue will hit marketplaces soon. 

The pigment, called YInMn blue, is named for its chemical makeup, and its uses are only just being discovered. The compound is completely non-toxic — ideal for marketplace use — and actually absorbs infrared light, keeping surfaces cool. Plus, it’s so chemically stable that the color won’t fade over time, even when exposed to water and oil. Can you say perfect outdoor paint color?

new shade of blue

From Santorini to South Philly. | iStock/Michael Krakowiak.

YInMn blue just may be the eco-friendly (and gorgeous) answer to your outdoor paint choice dilemma. Blue roofs have long been a hallmark of the Greek islands, but a major drop in air conditioning bills, especially in hotter climates, could be the catalyst to YInMn blue roofs popping up everywhere. With its insulating qualities and vibrant hue, we don’t think it’ll take too long. For now, we’ll sit back and wait, and say “I told you so” when we start seeing blue exteriors everywhere.

Not convinced? Here are some vibrant blue homes to change your mind:

new shade of blue roof

Blue roof tiles. | Images via Breeze Giannasio and Creative Market.


Blue accent walls. | Images via SF Girl by Bay and Ecclecchic.

new shade of blue wall

Blue exteriors at the home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. | Images via Estilo and Paperblog.