MAl2O4:Eu2+0.01, Dy3+0.02 (M=Ca, Sr and Ba) materials were synthesized by combustion method. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) patterns indicate that all the samples are of high purity and crystallinity. The grain sizes of MAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ are similar. The luminescent properties of phosphors were studied systematically. The main peaks of emission spectra of the luminescent phosphors changes from blue-purple to yellow-green and then to blue-green due to the different distortion existed in different host lattices. The decay time of phosphors varies a lot, and SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ shows the best persistence characteristic. Thermoluminescence analysis indicates that the trap levels in MAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+ (M=Ca, Sr and Ba) are different, and the trap level in SrAl2O4 host is the most moderate to exhibit long afterglow at room temperature.