Lightscribe CD disc labeling now available in five colors

Corvallis (OR) - Hewlett-Packard today announced the availability of color Lightscribe CDs, which join the plain grey etching on a gold background. The labeling is still a monochromatic process, but can now be applied to discs with red, orange, yellow, blue and green backgrounds.

The new color discs use a new coating technology, officially called "Lightscribe Media Version 1.2," which allows users to print "silkscreen quality" black text and graphics onto the label side of Lightscribe CDs. Just like the previous gold-colored version of discs, the new technology is also based on a reactive dye that changes color when it hit with a 780 nm infrared light source.

We wrote about a possible color version of Lightscribe back in July, when we noticed a few hints in the booklets that came with Lightscribe burners: The frequently asked questions section about the booklet provided an unusually long answer to the simple question "Can Lightscribe create a label in color?" Instead of a simple "no," the guide answered: "Currently Lightscribe technology is available only in grayscale, creating an image that resembles a black-and-white photograph. Lightscribe's development strategy does include future announcements about additional capabilities; however business and legal requirements prevent publication of more specific information at this time."

Color Lightscribe discs have been launched in Europe in September and in Asia the following month. While the U.S. is trailing the other two continents, HP delivered on its original promise to make color Lightscribe color background CDs available in 2006.

According to HP, all Lightscribe CD burners are compatible with the new color CDs.