Well, maybe you can have it both ways. Here you have a scotchlite case that is both white and black:
So I might say that, when the torpedo ignites, it is a super scotchilte raytheon type model effect.
Or maybe a better example would be the nuclear lightbulb.
Maybe this sucker is just an antimatter lightbulb., with TOS being quanta of photons in a globule that has a strange type of magnetism to let it seek a ground like ball lightning.
Then too, there is the Q-ball:
"Loosely speaking, the Q-ball is a finite-sized "blob" containing a large number of particles."