LightScribeDVD and CD-R use a special recordable Light Scribe printable disc, special recording drive and special software designed for LightScribe label printing. In a method very similar to recording a disc, the laser etches the label side. A special disc label laser's light causes a dye to react on the printing side of the LightScribe DVD causing a permanent change in the opacity of the dye. This creates a monochromatic black print against the color of the disc. LightScribe DVDs can come in different color backgrounds (gold, silver, red, blue, green) with the printed gray-scale on top. Additional printing "burns" can create a darker image. As LightScribe DVDs write from the inside out so images with the largest concentric size will take longer to print. HP's LightScribe web site describes the surface needing protection from discoloration and fading by holding by the edges of the disc and not using PVC based sleeves to store the discs. Tyvek and polypropylene based products are recommended.
Printing times can very as much as 3 minutes for a simple text label to a full 30 minutes with a full disc print. Compared with other printing technologies this is very slow.