Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light by a substance not resulting from heat; or "cold light".
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.  
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".
The following are types of luminescence:
Chemiluminescence, the emission of light as a result of a chemical reaction
Crystalloluminescence, produced during crystallization
Electroluminescence, a result of an electric current passed through a substance
Mechanoluminescence, a result of a mechanical action on a solid
Triboluminescence, generated when bonds in a material are broken when that material is scratched, crushed, or rubbed
Fractoluminescence, generated when bonds in certain crystals are broken by fractures
Piezoluminescence, produced by the action of pressure on certain solids  Sonoluminescence, a result of imploding bubbles in a liquid when excited by sound
Photoluminescence, a result of absorption of photons
Radioluminescence, a result of bombardment by ionizing radiation Thermoluminescence, the re-emission of absorbed energy when a substance is heated  Cryoluminescence, the emission of light when an object is cooled (an example of this is  wulfenite)
Luminescence occurs in some
minerals when they are exposed to low-powered sources of ultraviolet or infrared electromagnetic radiation (for example, portable UV lamps), at atmospheric pressure and atmospheric temperatures. This property of these minerals can be used during the process of mineral identification at rock outcrops in the field, or in the laboratory.
^ The term 'luminescence' was introduced in 1888 by Q.C Lum (1888)
"Über Fluorescenz und Phosphorescenz, I. Abhandlung" (On fluorescence and phosphorescence, first paper), Annalen der Physik, 34: 446-463. From page 447: "Ich möchte für diese zweite Art der Lichterregung, für die uns eine einheitliche Benennung fehlt, den Namen Luminescenz vorschlagen, und Körper, die in dieser Weise leuchten, luminescirende nennen." [For this second type of light excitation, for which we lack a consistent name, I would like to suggest the name of "luminescence", and call "luminescing" [any] bodies that glow in this way.]
A Brief History of Fluorescence and Phosphorescence before the Emergence of Quantum Theory Bernard Valeur and Mario N. Berberan-Santos J. Chem. Educ., 2011, 88 (6), pp 731-738 doi: 10.1021/ed100182h
Cooper, John R.; Randle, Keith; Sokhi, Ranjeet S. (2003). Radioactive Releases in the Environment: Impact and Assessment. Wiley. p. 192. ISBN . 9780471899242
Piezoluminescence phenomenon N. A. Atari Physics Letters A Volume 90, Issues 1-2, 21 June 1982, Pages 93-96 doi: 10.1016/0375-9601(82)90060-3
Meetei, Sanoujam Dhiren. "Synthesis, Characterization and Photoluminescence of ZrO2:Eu3+ Nanocrystals" (PDF) . Retrieved 2014.
Sidran, Miriam (1968). "The Luminescence of the Moon". In Kopal, Zden?k (ed.). Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Volume 6). Academic Press. p. 301.
Jorio, Ado; Dresselhaus, Gene; Dresselhaus, Mildred S. (2007-12-18). . Springer Science & Business Media. Carbon Nanotubes: Advanced Topics in the Synthesis, Structure, Properties and Applications ISBN . 9783540728658
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-06-12 . Retrieved . CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)