Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Glow Sticks Lanterns

"Break open a glow stick, dump it in a jar, shake it up and you have an instant glow stick lantern! Perfect for outdoor parties. Could keep a few of these around for when the power goes in the dark"

This is one of those pins that verges on true, but misses the mark. The sheer amount of crazy glow stick pins is overwhelming, so I figured I'd start with the easiest - can you cut open a glow stick, dump it into a jar and get an easy lantern?

Sort of. Before trying this myself I read up a bit on it. The biggest complaint about this was that it didn't last long - something about the chemicals of glow sticks exposed to open air causes them to fad far quicker than if you leave them in the tube. 

So I decided to try it myself -  I wanted to see if it would glow well enough to replace candles and battery powered lanterns if the power went out, and just how long it would last. 

A quick trip to the dollar store and I had a fist full of glow sticks to play with. Now here is where I'd like to also mention that despite the fact glow sticks are labeled NON TOXIC, that doesn't mean breaking them open doesn't come with risks. and it's tricky to break them open - you basically have to cut one end, aim it towards the container, and then cut the other end to break the suction so it will flow freely into the container. There is a great article on the safety of glow sticks on Steve Spangler's blog, which you can read here

Despite knowing I shouldn't get this on my skin, it was a pain to try to get the liquid out and yes, some splattered on my skin and shirt. As fun as it was to look like an old school raver, it really did burn my skin a bit. Not eating away the skin or anything, but for sure you shouldn't be having young children do this project.

And there we have it - my jar. You can't really tell, but that is a tiny jar - about 3" inches total in size. I couldn't help myself and had to place it next to a dental casting I have because creepy is fun. 

But would this work if the power went out? Uh.. no. Not unless you feel like breaking open a LOT of glow sticks. Here's a photo I took midway into the room of the jar:

Yeah.. that's not lighting a whole lot of anything there. But hey, what about just using it for fun party or Halloween decorations? Well, I failed a bit at tracking the time on how long they last, as I figured it was late and I was tired, so I took a quick hour long nap. When I woke, I asked my husband where my jar was. "It's where you left it silly" ... oh. After just an hour the jar had already stopped glowing. So unless you're planning on a rather quick party, these aren't going to last the whole night through. The other glow sticks we had cracked for fun were still going strong though, and lasted about 4 hours before I went to bed.

All in all, though you can break open a glow stick and dump it in a jar, it's not going to last long, and it's sure not going to help when the power is out. You'd have better time just leaving it all IN the stick and playing with those. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous29/10/13

    my co-worker sent me this for my gf's son. Glad i read up on it. Seems like a lot of work with little payoff. thanks for the article.