Everything You Need to Know About Glow Sticks

You have probably come across glow sticks at some stage of your life, however other people refer to them as chemlights or light sticks. After you bend a glow stick, the glass inside shatters and it begins to glow.

After they begin to glow, you can expect them to be visible in the dark from 1 to 12 hours. The time of how long it glows for depends on the quality and the size of the glow stick. 

Remember, that once you have broken the glass inside and the light appears, you can’t turn it off. 

You can find glow sticks in all different types of shapes and sizes. Most are no longer than 10 inches, however some you can connect together to make longer ones. They are also available in lots of different colors, such as red, blue, yellow and orange. However, it seems both the orange and red don’t light up that well. 

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Glow sticks are very popular amongst kids and party goers, but what other purposes can you use glow sticks for?

Survival

If you are planning to go out in the wild, it is vital that you pack reliable lighting. For several years, it has been common for people to use glow sticks in a crisis situation. 

Unlike other sources of lighting, glow sticks don’t need batteries to work. Purchasing a quality glow stick will give you 12 hours of light, without having to worry about the batteries running out. 

Glow sticks are safe, so you don’t have to worry about them starting a fire nor will they electrocute somebody. They are even safe for children to play with.

Because they are small and lightweight, you will easily be able to find space when you are packing. 

Even the best quality glow sticks are cheap. If you are looking for value, purchasing glow sticks in bulk is your best option.

What Survival situations would a Glow Stick prove useful?

There are many reasons why you should pack a glow stick with your survival kit such as:

  • Helps you to read a topographic map in the dark. 
  • You can mark a trail directing others to your camp
  • Keeps large groups together: At night it is very hard to organize a lot of people, so a glow stick will prove to be a very helpful device
  • After a road accident, you can use a glow stick as a marker: Glow sticks are a great way to warn oncoming traffic that there is an accident on the roadside. If there is debris on the road or gas leaks, placing a glow stick nearby will alert others.
  • Avoid falling: If you frequently camp, you have probably tripped at some stage. Small holes, trees, and other obstacles that are not visible during the night can cause injuries. By putting a glow stick nearby will help warn others. You can also place glow sticks to mark a safe path. 
  • If it is raining or you are in the water, don’t worry as glow sticks are water-resistant and are perfect for wet environments. 

Glow sticks are used by militaries all over the globe as a survival tool. If you do decide to buy glow sticks in bulk and you pack a large amount in your survival kit, you can easily write SOS with them if you are stuck in a dangerous location.

How do you Dispose of Glow Sticks and are They Safe?

One of the disadvantages of using glow sticks is that there is no environmentally safe way that you can recycle them. As each one has chemicals inside, the plastic casing cannot be reused nor can it be repurposed. 

The reason why glow sticks produce light is that there are two main ingredients that cause a chemical reaction.

Although the casing is made of strong plastic, be careful of young children or pets chewing on the plastic. Although the chemicals are not that toxic, it is not advised to ingest them. If a child swallows some of the chemicals, make sure to rinse his or her mouth immediately. Speak to your doctor if the child has swallowed a lot. 

Click on the link for more details on how to properly disposing glow sticks.

Summary

Glow sticks have a shelf life of around 4 years, as long as it is kept in its original foil packaging. If it has been removed, you can expect it to last for 1 year. If you decide to buy in bulk, keep this in mind. If you have a large number of glow sticks and think they are out of date, test one before you throw them all away. 

Glow sticks are not just a great source of lighting, but children and families can play lots of games and have a fantastic time with them.