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JAB

Cheap source for glow sticks

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First, let me say that I am a light source junkie.  This isn't really because of any deep-seated fear of the dark, I just like light sources and find the absence of them, when needed, to be quite annoying.  Living in a rural area where a storm, etc. may knock out the electricity for an extended time, I can say that one of the worst parts of such outages, for me, is getting bored as there is not much that is more boring than being stuck inside (due to the storm) in the dark when it is hours before bedtime.

 

Partly due to that reason and partly just because I just plain like various light sources, I have flashlights galore, candles, rechargeable LED lanterns and so on.  I have those little, fairly low output 'push' lights in a couple of rooms.  I even some higher output, stick-up, battery operated LED light bars over my chair in the living room which allow me to sit and comfortable read if the power is out.

 

Wanting to round things out a little with another backup light source, with Halloween recently come and gone, I started thinking about chemical glow sticks.  Sure, they are one time use things but they don't require batteries and don't represent a potential fire hazard.  They are also very compact and should work even when wet so I could see situations in which they would be useful.

 

Thinking along those lines, I decided to check one or two Halloween sale/clearance sections as I know that glow sticks are a popular Halloween accessory.  I made a bit of a score at the Big Lots! in Rockwood.  They had packs of 12 glow sticks - originally $4.00 a pack - on sale for 50% off.  I figured that for $2 a dozen they were worth trying out so I bought three bags.  IIRC (don't have them in front of me at the moment) these are only 4 inches long and I think they probably don't produce as much light as glow sticks intended for emergency lighting - maybe not nearly as much.  Still, they were cheap and I thought they would be interesting to play around with.

 

The ones I bought are a variety pack of colors (as in they produce different colors of light - the color didn't really matter a whole lot, to me, but it could be interesting to find out if one color yields more usable light than the others and so on) and were intended to be worn as necklaces.  This meant that they came with thin, rubber 'threads' to tie onto the glow sticks and wear around the neck.  I figure those would also be useful for hanging the glow sticks up and so on.

 

I took one of them (an orange one, fwiw) out of one pack and broke/shook it to test it out the other night.  I took it into various rooms with the lights turned off.  One stick certainly does not produce as much light as even a single candle - not even close - but when held close to an object it did make enough light to easily see the object.  I also found that, if tied onto one of the 'necklaces' and then held by the top of the loop so that the stick, itself, was hanging close to my feet I believe it would produce enough light to walk through a dark, unfamiliar area without tripping, stepping in a hole, etc. as long as I don't get in a big hurry.  I am also thinking that if I used one of the 'necklace' lines or maybe a piece of tape, etc. to lash four or five of the glow sticks together then the bundle may produce a decent amount of light.  I didn't really notice how long the one I tried out lasted so I'll want to do that in the future.

 

Anyhow, just thought I might throw that out there in case anyone else thought it would be a good idea to pick up some similar glow sticks while you might still find them pretty cheap in the Halloween clearance stuff here and there.

Edited by JAB

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I have numerous forms of emergency lighting but in all honesty I have never thought about glow sticks. I have numerous large battery powered lights and also have Coleman Propane mantle lanterns with a good stock of 1 lb bottles because my Coleman cook stove also uses them. I also have the touch lights hanging on walls in every room but as you said they don't produce a bunch of light but better a little light than no light. I have a Big Lots about a mile from my house so will go there today and see if they have any glow sticks. I know Academy Sports does have them in several sizes and will also check them out. Nice thing about the Coleman lanterns is they also do produce a certain amount of heat which can help in cooler weather as a heat source in small area but area also needs to be vented a little.............jmho

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I wonder what the shelf life is on them?  My kids love all sorts of light sources.  They'll turn the lights off and run around the house waving their flashlights and screaming.    It's pretty cute for the first hour or so, after that....   :bored:     They like it when the power goes out because I can't fuss at them for turning the lights off.

Edited by peejman

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They will produce light for a very extended period of time - probably even days - if kept in the freezer. That's what my kids do with them.

Of course you do get diminishing returns, but still visible light.

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You're as bad as my little brother. He buys light sticks by the gross. He gets them dirt cheap from either eBay or Amazon, not sure which. If you are interested I'll find out who he gets them from for you.

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I keep a few in my caving bag. I picked them up in the toy section at the dollar tree. As you said, not super bright but will work. And of course the longer one is in the dark, the more a small light will light up area (because your eyes get adjusted)

Sent barefoot from the hills of Tennessee

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JAB-- don't look now, but the boogeyman is hiding in your bedroom closet... time to break out the glow sticks!

closet-monster-meme-generator-the-closet


Huh...heck with the glow sticks in that situation. That is what the light mounted on the end of my HD shotgun is for! :)
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Do shotguns work on the boogeyman........................ :stir: :stir: :stir: :stir:

 

Only if you don't leave one of them in the closet.

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The green followed by yellow put off the brightest light. I keep about a half dozen 4 inch green's in the truck at all times. Plenty of light to change a tire at night by and unlike a  flashlight no dead battery's. I also buy them in bulk for my parents. Since they live in an area where the power goes out alot. They can put them anywhere and not have to worry about a fire hazzard by leaving a light in the bathroom and such.

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mmm, not as cheap as you may want, but amazon has some good chemlights for about $1/each. They are 6'' and last about 12 hours. I used one to test and they sem to put off a decent amount of light.

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[quote name="UncleJak" post="1059864" timestamp="1383780949"]I keep a few in my caving bag. I picked them up in the toy section at the dollar tree. As you said, not super bright but will work. And of course the longer one is in the dark, the more a small light will light up area (because your eyes get adjusted) Sent barefoot from the hills of Tennessee[/quote] I buy mine at the dollar tree as well. They had a clearence sale much earlier this year so I stocked up on a few packs Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

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Target usually has the necklaces and wristband style on the entry dollar racks --- just be away that many of the cheaper ones may have been activated in transit -- we usually buy several packages for camping trips with the expectation that some packs are bad out of the package...

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