What’re Glowsticks?

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Glow sticks are plastic tubes filled with chemicals that emit light when bent or broken. They are used for entertainment, safety, and illumination purposes, and come in various colors and configurations. The chemical reaction is caused by hydrogen peroxide and phenyl oxalate ester, and they can last for several hours. Glow sticks are popular at music events, especially raves, and can also be used as safety devices for runners and walkers at night.

Glow sticks or glow sticks are plastic tubes filled with a chemical compound that emit light when bent or broken, breaking a vial of a reactive compound floating inside. They were invented in the 1970s and are used in a variety of applications. While strongly associated with entertainment events such as raves, glow sticks are also used as safety devices and to provide low-light illumination for campers and divers. They come in a range of colors and configurations, including bracelets and necklaces.

Most glow sticks contain three compounds: hydrogen peroxide, phenyl oxalate ester, and a fluorescent dye. Typically, the hydrogen peroxide is stored inside a glass vial inside the glow stick. When the glow stick is bent enough to break the vial, it releases hydrogen peroxide into the phenyl oxalate ester, setting off a chemical reaction that causes a burst of light. Light is colored by dye. Most glow sticks are calculated to work for several hours, although the reaction can be significantly slowed down by placing them in the freezer. Glow sticks can also be made to burn brighter and for a shorter period of time with the application of heat.

As safety devices, glow sticks are widely used. People of all ages can use them when out at night to increase visibility, and many kids especially wear them on Halloween as part of a costume. Glow sticks can also be hung to illuminate darkened theater corridors to provide light that does not stray and is not seen by the audience. Campers and divers find them very useful because they are waterproof, require no batteries, and generate light without heat. Glow plugs are also disposable.

Many music events, especially raves, feature glow sticks. A rave features a range of electronic music and glow sticks help set the mood. Some participants perform with glowsticks, an activity called “glowsticking”. Glowsticks of various colors can be swirled or juggled in the air, and in the low-light conditions of a rave, the performance can be mesmerizing. Some rave attendees also take drugs, which can make glowstick performances even more intriguing.

Having glow sticks handy around the house and in the car for safety is a good idea, especially if you’re running or walking at night. Many glow sticks come with clips, so you can attach them to your clothing rather than having to carry them around. Choose a distinct color that won’t be mistaken for a car’s light, like green. Remind house residents to use glow sticks and other safety devices at night to avoid accidents.

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