Media Release: Ten little-known facts about Glowsticks

OFTEN associated with parties and large social events, there’s much more to the humble glowstick than meets the eye!

As festival season approaches, reveal ten facts about this summer’s favourite accessory; the humble glowstick, which can be used for camping, safety purposes, and much much more.

1. Glowsticks are a chemical reaction going off in a tube! The glow released by a glowstick is the result of a chemical reaction taking place. Hydrogen peroxide sits in a glass vial that’s floated in tert butyl alcohol and fluorescent dye. When you crack a glowstick, you break the vial allowing the chemicals to mix causing a chemical reaction, the side effect of this is light without heat which causes the glowstick to glow and the process is known as chemiluminescence.

2. Glowsticks were originally invented to be a military tool. Developed by the US Navy in the early sixties, glowsticks began life as emergency lights, man overboard float lights, target markers, landing zone markers and parachute drop markers before being picked up by further arms of the military and public services and eventually civilian markets.

3. Glowsticks are affected by temperature. The chemical reaction inside a glowstick is sensitive to heat and extreme cold. The speed of the chemical reaction speeds up considerably in high temperatures causing the glowstick to glow brighter but for a shorter period of time. Exposure to extreme cold and freezing conditions dramatically slows down the chemical reaction resulting in a duller glow that lasts much longer than usual, so, to prolong the life of a glowstick, pop it in the freezer.

4. Glowsticks are available in more than just one shape. The standard six inch glowstick is the most recognised shape, but the same concept has been applied to make other shapes, such as glow necklaces, glow bracelets, and even, glow bunny ears.

5. Green or yellow glowsticks are typically the brightest glowing colours followed by orange, so go for these if you’re using glowsticks for visibility or emergency beacons. These colours are the purest and therefore the brightest as they contain less fluorescent dye than other colours.

6. A glowstick cannot be turned off or reused once activated. Once you start the chemical reaction it can only be slowed be placing in extreme cold but will not stop entirely. A glowstick will glow until the chemical reaction is complete.

7. Glowsticks are a safe light source. Glowsticks provide light without heat or sparks which makes them the only light source that’s safe to use in emergencies and natural disasters. Glowsticks use non toxic chemicals that are also non flammable.

8. Glowsticks have a shelf life of as much as two years before they’re activated.

9. Glowsticks have endless uses and are popular for use in all walks of life. From camping, to diving, potholing, emergency beacons, landing markers to party favours and even fishing lures.

10. Glowsticks will typically glow for up to twelve hours, although some colours have been known to go on for twenty-four hours.

Find out more about glowsticks at

About is the glow and flashing novelties arm of The Glow Company Ltd. Traditionally serving the schools, events, fundraising and party markets (key customers have included Warner Brothers for Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, the BBC, ITV, Hatrick Productions, Endemol, Schools, Universities and PTA’s) with glowsticks, UV makeup and party products. A wealth of industry experience has allowed The Glow Company to become actively involved in the design and manufacture of new glowing and flashing novelties.

Vicky Bell
T: 0845 470 3030

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