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Glow Sticks

Invented in the s, glow sticks have been a popular product for special events and parties since their creation. However, in the past several decades, glow sticks have grown to encompass a variety of other glowing products that add new twists on an old favorite. No matter what the focus of your special occasion or business is, we are proud to provide safe and affordable glow sticks for clients of all sizes. We have a variety of glowing products, from traditional sticks to straws and other twists on an old favorite.  

While variety is one of the benefits of shopping from us, if you’re looking for the classic light sticks you remember as a kid, you’ll find them in our online catalog, too. We have a wide selection of glow sticks in all kinds of colors, so you can coordinate the sticks you buy with your special event’s theme. Simply select from our available colors when you add the glow sticks to your cart, or select assorted to get a variety of colors. From aqua and green to red, blue, yellow, pink, and purple, it’s easy to find a great glow stick for your party. Our glow sticks also come in a range of sizes, making it easy to tailor them to children and adults of all ages. Our one-and-a-half or four inch glow sticks are perfect for a smaller option, but our sizes range up to ten, twelve, or even fifteen inches. Our mini glow sticks also come in a jumbo option, giving you a wider glow stick than traditional diameters. You can also purchase “soft” glow sticks from us, which are glow sticks encased in a soft foam that are getting increasingly popular. Any of these kinds of glow sticks are right at home at raves or other special events where the light will be low. They all last between six and twelve hours, so you’ll be able to enjoy their neon light for plenty of time.  

Of course, sometimes you want something a little extra special to give guests when they come to your party. In these types of situations, purchasing glow jewelry is a great way to go the extra mile while still having the neon look everybody has come to know and love from traditional wands. From glow bracelets to a glow necklace, there are plenty of options for wearing your glow stick to make a fashion statement. A glowing necklace or bracelet may also be a great option to give younger children when they go out on Halloween door to door. Being seen by other pedestrians and traffic makes wearable fashion a fun and safe way for parents to send their trick-or-treaters out with a little more peace of mind.  

In addition to being safe, we only source high-quality products. This means that you won’t have to worry about a connector breaking and losing your glow necklace on the dance floor. When you buy from us, you can head out to your event with the knowledge that you’ll end the night with the same accessories you left with. You also don’t need to worry about any cracks in your accessories.  

When it comes to pricing our glow sticks and accessories, we offer incredibly-competitive pricing. If you’re looking for bulk glow sticks, you’ll be impressed by how affordable our products can be at wholesale prices. Some sizes are available for as little as $ a piece, so you can get your high volume orders filled for your business without spending an arm and a leg. For all your party accessory needs, you’ll be impressed with the quality, cost, and service we provide.


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The Brightest & Longest Lasting Glow Sticks

Leading Manufacturer of High-Quality, Long-Lasting Glow Sticks

Northern Lights, Inc. offers a full line of glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow jewelry, glow necklaces and glow novelties. Our glow products are perfect for any celebration, including graduations, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, weddings, baby showers, etc. They’re also great for fundraising, camping, fishing, fairs and festivals, emergencies, evacuations, disaster preparedness, and more.

All of our glow bracelets and glow necklaces are jumbo size (6mm) and come with the connectors already attached. Our super-sized 4” glow sticks and 6” glow sticks come with a 4 year shelf life, are made in the USA and can be used for both fun and safety.

Glow Sticks & Glow Products Sold in Bulk or Packaged for Retail

We sell glow products in bulk with case-discount pricing. Products are available in increments as small as 25 pieces and as large as 10, pieces. Our bulk glow products come without packaging so they’re great for all occasions, from roadside safety and hurricane preparedness to concerts, fairs and festivals, raves, races and more.

Our retail glow products are UPC coded and attractively packaged for quick sales. Our Funlight® and Northern Lights® brands are recognized in the industry and trusted by consumers. Our unique look and appealing packaged are designed to attract customers and increase your sales.

Why Choose Northern Lights Glow Products

We sell the highest quality glow sticks and products available. We consistently offer everyday low prices, plus discounts on larger orders, and we typically ship within 1 business day. We have a huge range of colors and styles to choose from, and our products are a must-have for your event, holiday, safety application, camping trip or outdoor activity.

We’re celebrating 25+ years in the glow product business!

Glow sticks lights unboxing price

Glow stick

Self-contained, short-term light-source

  1. The plastic casing covers the inner fluid.
  2. The glass capsule covers the solution.
  3. Diphenyl oxalate and fluorescent dye solution
  4. Hydrogen peroxide solution
  5. After the glass capsule is broken and the solutions mix, the glowstick glows.
Different color glow sticks meant for use as bracelets

A glow stick, also known as a light stick, chem light, light wand, light rod, and rave light, is a self-contained, short-term light-source. It consists of a translucent plastic tube containing isolated substances that, when combined, make light through chemiluminescence. The light cannot be turned off and can be used only once. The used tube is then thrown away. Glow sticks are often used for recreation, such as for events, camping, outdoor exploration, and concerts. Glow sticks are also relied upon for light during military, police, fire, and emergency medical services operations. Industrial uses include marine, transportation, and mining.


Bis(2,4,5-trichlorophenylcarbopentoxyphenyl)oxalate, trademarked "Cyalume", was invented in by Michael M. Rauhut[1] and Laszlo J. Bollyky of American Cyanamid, based on work by Edwin A. Chandross of Bell Labs.[2][3]

Other early work on chemiluminescence was carried out at the same time, by researchers under Herbert Richter at China Lake Naval Weapons Center.[4][5]

Several US patents for glow stick-type devices were received by various inventors. Bernard Dubrow and Eugene Daniel Guth patented a packaged chemiluminescent material in June [6] In October , Clarence W. Gilliam, David Iba Sr., and Thomas N. Hall were registered as inventors of the Chemical Lighting Device.[7] In June , a patent for a Chemiluminescent Device was issued with Herbert P. Richter and Ruth E. Tedrick listed as the inventors.[8]

In January , a patent was issued for the Chemiluminescent Signal Device, with Vincent J. Esposito, Steven M. Little, and John H. Lyons listed as the inventors.[9] This patent recommended a single glass ampoule that is suspended in a second substance, that when broken and mixed together, provide the chemiluminescent light. The design also included a stand for the signal device so it could be thrown from a moving vehicle and remain standing in an upright position on the road. The idea was this would replace traditional emergency roadside flares and would be superior, since it was not a fire hazard, would be easier and safer to deploy, and would not be made ineffective if struck by passing vehicles. This design, with its single glass ampoule inside a plastic tube filled with a second substance that when bent breaks the glass and then is shaken to mix the substances, most closely resembles the typical glow stick sold today.[citation needed]

In December , a patent was issued for a Chemical Light Device with Richard Taylor Van Zandt as the inventor.[10] This design alteration features a steel ball which shatters the glass ampoule when the glow stick is exposed to a predetermined level of shock; an example is an arrow flown dark but illuminating its landing location upon sudden deceleration.[citation needed]

In the early s the majority of glow sticks were produced in Novato, California by Omniglow Corp. Omniglow completed a leveraged buyout of American Cyanamid's chemical light division in and became the leading supplier of glow sticks worldwide until going out of business in Most glow sticks seen today are now made in China.[11]

Disassembly of a chemoluminescent glow stick, from left to right: (1) original, intact lightstick; (2) opened glow stick with peroxide mixture poured into a graduated cylinder and glass ampoule of fluorophore removed; (3) all three under UV illumination showing fluorophore fluorescence and plastic container fluorescence; (4) chemoluminescence of mixed substances in the graduated cylinder; (5) the mixture returned to the original plastic container, showing a slightly different (more orange) colour of light emission.


Glow sticks are waterproof, do not use batteries, generate negligible heat, are inexpensive, and are reasonably disposable. They can tolerate high pressures, such as those found under water. They are used as light sources and light markers by military forces, campers, and recreational divers.[12]


Glow sticks providing decor at a party

Glowsticking is the use of glow sticks in dancing.[13] They are frequently used for entertainment at parties (in particular raves), concerts, and dance clubs. They are used by marching band conductors for evening performances; glow sticks are also used in festivals and celebrations around the world. Glow sticks also serve multiple functions as toys, readily visible night-time warnings to motorists, and luminous markings that enable parents to keep track of their children. Another use is for balloon-carried light effects. Glow sticks are also used to create special effects in low light photography and film.[14]

The Guinness Book of Records recorded the world's largest glow stick was cracked at metres (&#;ft 2&#;in) tall. It was created by the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater's Chemistry Department to celebrate the school's sesquicentennial, or th birthday in Whitewater, Wisconsin and cracked on 9 September [15]

Recreation and survival[edit]

Glow sticks are used for outdoor recreation, often used at night for marking. Scuba divers use diving-rated glow sticks to mark themselves during night dives, and then can turn off bright diving lights. This is done to enable visibility of bioluminescent marine organisms, which cannot be seen while a bright dive light is illuminated. Similarly, glow sticks are used on backpacks, tent pegs, and on jackets during overnight camping expeditions. Often, glow sticks are recommended as an addition to survival kits.


There are specific industrial uses of glow sticks, which are often used as a light source in circumstances where electric lighting and LED's are not best suited. For example, in the mining industry, glow sticks are required for emergency evacuation in the case of a gas leak. Use of an electric light source in this case may cause an unintended explosion. Chemiluminescence, the type of light used in glow sticks, is a "cold-light" and does not use electricity, and will not cause a gas leak to ignite.

Glow sticks are also used worldwide in the marine industry, often used as fishing lures in long-line, recreational, and commercial fishing, as well as for personnel safety.


Glow sticks are used by militaries, and occasionally also police tactical units, to mark cleared rooms or objects of note while clearing buildings during close-quarters combat. They are also used to help identify friendly soldiers during nighttime operations.[16]

Emergency services[edit]

Glow sticks are used by emergency services as back-up light sources. For example, glow sticks are part of the UN's emergency relief kits to people experiencing natural and humanitarian disasters. Often, emergency rescue crews will hand out glow sticks in order to keep track of people at night, who may not have access to their own lighting. Glow sticks are sometimes attached to life vests and lifeboats on passenger and commercial vessels, to ensure night time visibility.

Glow stick emergency lighting stations are sometimes available for public transportation, such as subways, for emergency light to get passengers to safety in case of an emergency.


Further information: Chemical kinetics

Glow sticks emit light when two chemicals are mixed. The reaction between the two chemicals is catalyzed by a base, usually sodium salicylate.[17] The sticks consist of a tiny, brittle container within a flexible outer container. Each container holds a different solution. When the outer container is flexed, the inner container breaks, allowing the solutions to combine, causing the necessary chemical reaction. After breaking, the tube is shaken to thoroughly mix the components.

The glow stick contains two chemicals, a base catalyst, and a suitable dye (sensitizer, or fluorophor). This creates an exergonic reaction. The chemicals inside the plastic tube are a mixture of the dye, the base catalyst, and diphenyl oxalate. The chemical in the glass vial is hydrogen peroxide. By mixing the peroxide with the phenyl oxalate ester, a chemical reaction takes place, yielding two moles of phenol and one mole of peroxyacid ester (1,2-dioxetanedione).[18] The peroxyacid decomposes spontaneously to carbon dioxide, releasing energy that excites the dye, which then relaxes by releasing a photon. The wavelength of the photon—the color of the emitted light—depends on the structure of the dye. The reaction releases energy mostly as light, with very little heat.[17] The reason for this is that the reverse [2 + 2] photocycloadditions of 1,2-dioxetanedione is a forbidden transition (it violates Woodward–Hoffmann rules) and cannot proceed through a regular thermal mechanism.

Oxidation of an diphenyl oxalate (top), decomposition of 1,2-dioxetanedione (middle), relaxation of dye (lower)

By adjusting the concentrations of the two chemicals and the base, manufacturers can produce glow sticks that glow either brightly for a short amount of time or more dimly for an extended length of time. This also allows glow sticks to perform satisfactorily in hot or cold climates, by compensating for the temperature dependence of reaction. At maximum concentration (typically found only in laboratory settings), mixing the chemicals results in a furious reaction, producing large amounts of light for only a few seconds. The same effect can be achieved by adding copious amounts of sodium salicylate or other bases. Heating a glow stick also causes the reaction to proceed faster and the glow stick to glow more brightly for a brief period. Cooling a glow stick slows the reaction a small amount and causes it to last longer, but the light is dimmer. This can be demonstrated by refrigerating or freezing an active glow stick; when it warms up again, it will resume glowing. The dyes used in glow sticks usually exhibit fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet radiation—even a spent glow stick may therefore shine under a black light.

The light intensity is high immediately after activation, then exponentially decays. Leveling of this initial high output is possible by refrigerating the glow stick before activation.[19]

Spectral emission of chemiluminescence (green line) of mixed fluorophore and peroxide, which was removed from an orange glow stick, fluorescence of liquid fluorophore in glass ampoule only (before mixing) while under black light (yellow-orange line), fluorescence of plastic outer container of orange glow stick under black light (red line), and spectrum of reassembled chemiluminescent glow stick (glowing liquid poured back into original orange plastic vial) (darker orange line). This plot thus shows that the orange light from an orange glow stick (identical to the one in the above glow stick disassembly image) is created by a greenish-yellow light emitting chemoluminescent liquid partially inducing fluorescence in (and being filtered by) an orange plastic container.

A combination of two fluorophores can be used, with one in the solution and another incorporated to the walls of the container. This is advantageous when the second fluorophore would degrade in solution or be attacked by the chemicals. The emission spectrum of the first fluorophore and the absorption spectrum of the second one have to largely overlap, and the first one has to emit at shorter wavelength than the second one. A downconversion from ultraviolet to visible is possible, as is conversion between visible wavelengths (e.g., green to orange) or visible to near-infrared. The shift can be as much as &#;nm, but usually the range is about 20–&#;nm longer than the absorption spectrum.[20] Glow sticks using this approach tend to have colored containers, due to the dye embedded in the plastic. Infrared glow sticks may appear dark-red to black, as the dyes absorb the visible light produced inside the container and reemit near-infrared.

Light emitted from a white glow stick. Four or five peaks are observed in the spectrum, suggesting the presence of four or five different fluorophores contained in the glow stick.

On the other hand, various colors can also be achieved by simply mixing several fluorophores within the solution to achieve the desired effect.[17][21] These various colors can be achieved due to the principles of additive color. For example, a combination of red, yellow, and green fluorophores is used in orange light sticks,[17] and a combination of several fluorescers is used in white light sticks.[21]

Fluorophores used[edit]

  • 9,Diphenylanthracene (DPA) emits blue light
  • 9-(2-phenylethenyl) anthracene emits teal light
  • 1-chloro-9,diphenylanthracene (1-chloro(DPA)) and 2-chloro-9,diphenylanthracene (2-chloro(DPA)) emit blue-green light more efficiently than nonsubstituted DPA
  • 9,Bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene (BPEA) emits green light with maximum at &#;nm
  • 1-Chloro-9,bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene emits yellow-green light, used in minute high-intensity Cyalume sticks
  • 2-Chloro-9,bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene emits green light, used in hour low-intensity Cyalume sticks
  • 1,8-dichloro-9,bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene emits yellow light, used in Cyalume sticks
  • Rubrene emits orange-yellow at &#;nm
  • 2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl 1,4,5,8-tetracarboxynaphthalene diamide emits deep red light, together with DPA is used to produce white or hot-pink light, depending on their ratio
  • Rhodamine B emits red light. It is rarely used, as it breaks down in contact with CPPO, shortening the shelf life of the mixture.
  • 5,Bis(phenylethynyl)naphthacene emits orange light
  • Violanthrone emits orange light at &#;nm
  • 16,(1,2-ethylenedioxy)violanthrone emits red at &#;nm
  • 16,dihexyloxyviolanthrone emits infrared at &#;nm[22]
  • 16,butyloxyviolanthrone emits infrared[23]
  • N,N'-bis(2,5,-di-tert-butylphenyl)-3,4,9,perylenedicarboximide emits red[23]
  • 1-N,N-dibutylaminoanthracene emits infrared[23]
  • 6-methylacridinium iodide emits infrared[23]

Safety issues[edit]


In glow sticks, phenol is produced as a byproduct. It is advisable to keep the mixture away from skin and to prevent accidental ingestion if the glow stick case splits or breaks. If spilled on skin, the chemicals could cause slight skin irritation, swelling, or, in extreme circumstances, vomiting and nausea. Some of the chemicals used in older glow sticks were thought to be potential carcinogens.[24] The sensitizers used are polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, a class of compounds known for their carcinogenic properties.

Dibutyl phthalate, an ingredient sometimes used in glow sticks, has raised some health concerns. While there is no evidence that dibutyl phthalate poses any major health risk, it was put on California's list of suspected teratogens in [25]

Glow sticks contain ingredients that act as a plasticizer. This means if a glow stick leaks onto anything plastic it can liquefy it.[26]

Diphenyl oxalate can sting and burn eyes, irritate and sting skin and can burn the mouth and throat if ingested.

Additionally, used glow sticks that remain in the environment cause long term pollution. This Nature Paper outlines the many secondary reactions that continue to react within the used glow sticks and chem lights used by the marine industry (and is similar for all glow stick types).[27] "Loss of viability, cell cycle changes and DNA fragmentation were observed in HepG2 cell line and skin fibroblasts. A non-cytotoxic LS (Light Stick) concentration increased the occurrence of the mutagenic lesion 1,N6-εdAdo in HepG2 DNA by three-fold. Additionally, in vitro incubations of spent LS contents with DNA generated dGuo-LS adducts, whose structure elucidation revealed the presence of a reactive chlorinated product. In conclusion, the LS contents were found to be highly cyto- and genotoxic. Our data indicate an urgent need for LS waste management guidelines and for adequate information regarding toxic outcomes that may arise from human exposure."

Single-use plastics[edit]

Glow sticks also contribute to the plastic waste problem, as glow sticks are single-use and made from plastic. Additionally, since the inner vial is often made from glass and the chemicals inside are dangerous if improperly handled, the plastic used for glow sticks is non-recoverable by recycling services, so glow sticks are categorized as non-recyclable waste.

Safety improvements[edit]

As of , there is now work being done to create safer glow sticks and glow stick alternatives. Canadian company Nyoka Design Labs develops glow stick alternatives. The Light Wand is biodegradable and glows with bioluminescence, rather than the chemiluminescence. The LUMI is a reusable and non-toxic alternative that glows with phosphorescence, and is chemically and biologically inert.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Rauhut, Michael M. (). "Chemiluminescence from concerted peroxide decomposition reactions (science)". Accounts of Chemical Research. 3 (3): 80– doi/ara
  2. ^Wilson, Elizabeth (August 22, ). "What's that stuff? Light Sticks". Chemical & Engineering News. 77 (3): doi/cen-vnp Archived from the original(reprint) on May 19,
  3. ^Chandross, Edwin A. (). "A new chemiluminescent system". Tetrahedron Letters. 4 (12): – doi/S(01)
  4. ^Rood, S. A. "Chapter 4 Post-Legislation Cases"(PDF). Government Laboratory Technology Transfer: Process and Impact Assessment (Doctoral Dissertation). Archived from the original on Retrieved
  5. ^Steve Givens (July 27, ). "The great glow stick controversy (Forum Section)". Student Life.
  6. ^(Patent 3,,)
  7. ^(Patent 3,,)
  8. ^(Patent 3,,)
  9. ^(Patent 3,,)
  10. ^ (Patent 4,,)
  11. ^"WHAT'S THAT STUFF? - LIGHT STICKS". Retrieved
  12. ^Davies, D (). "Diver location devices". Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society. 28 (3). Archived from the original on
  13. ^"What Is Glowsticking?". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  14. ^"Jai Glow! PCD vs. Team Ef Em El". YouTube. Retrieved
  15. ^"Largest glowstick". Retrieved
  16. ^Rempfer, Kyle (). "Air Force labs develop and field chemlight replacement". Air Force Times. Retrieved
  17. ^ abcdKuntzleman, Thomas Scott; Rohrer, Kristen; Schultz, Emeric (). "The Chemistry of Lightsticks: Demonstrations To Illustrate Chemical Processes". Journal of Chemical Education. 89 (7): – BibcodeJChEdK. doi/edd. ISSN&#;
  18. ^"Data"(PDF). Retrieved
  19. ^"Info". Retrieved
  20. ^"Chemical lighting device – American Cyanamid Company". Retrieved
  21. ^ abKuntzleman, Thomas S.; Comfort, Anna E.; Baldwin, Bruce W. (). "Glowmatography". Journal of Chemical Education. 86 (1): BibcodeJChEdK. doi/edp
  22. ^Karukstis, Kerry K.; Van Hecke, Gerald R. (). Chemistry Connections: The Chemical Basis of Everyday Phenomena. Academic Press. p.&#; ISBN&#;. Retrieved
  23. ^ abcd"Chemiluminescent Compositions And Methods Of Making And Using Thereof – Patent Application". Retrieved
  24. ^"SCAFO Online Articles".
  25. ^"Debutyl Phthalate". PubChem.
  26. ^"Everything there is to know about glowsticks&#;"
  27. ^de Oliveira, Tiago Franco; da Silva, Amanda Lucila Medeiros; de Moura, Rafaela Alves; Bagattini, Raquel; de Oliveira, Antonio Anax Falcão; de Medeiros, Marisa Helena Gennari; Di Mascio, Paolo; de Arruda Campos, Ivan Pérsio; Barretto, Fabiano Prado; Bechara, Etelvino José Henriques; de Melo Loureiro, Ana Paula (). "Luminescent threat: toxicity of light stick attractors used in pelagic fishery". Scientific Reports. 4 (1): doi/srep ISSN&#; PMC&#;

External links[edit]

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