Here’s a double dose of practicality for science geeks and glowsticking enthusiasts. Traditional store-bought glow sticks have a short life span of about 12 hours (some a lot less than that). If you use these things a lot, the costs can nickel and dime you over time. They’re pretty useless after a day as well. If you’re interested in making your own glow stick, check out the LED tutorial below and also the “how to” on making your own large glow lantern!
Homemade LED Glow Sticks
Things you’re going to need: A razor blade (box opener), a regular glow stick, LEDs, and electrical tape. The LEDs need to be those little keychain micro-lights. I’ve seen them for as cheap as $4 if you look in the right places. Just make sure you can switch it on without having to keep it pressed down.
To begin, get the original glow stick and cut it off at the base using the razor. No need to activate it, just clean it out real well (don’t get this stuff on your skin). After you’ve got the shell of the stick emptied out and clean, you’re going to need to doctor it up. Use the box cutter or razor to cut two parallel incisions (see right pic).
After that, position the LED between the incisions previously cut. The light should shine into the tube when turned on. As you can see from the video, this is just to give the glow stick some room for the inserted LED. Tape up the loose ends and turn it on!
Making a Glow Lantern
This is such a simple and easy How To, it feels like a shame not to try it. Something like a glow lantern would look great in a room, or a pumpkin for Halloween, or place it behind your monitor for a cool backlit effect.
Materials needed: Matches, bleach, 3% hydrogen peroxide, and a jar.
Cut about 20 matches at the top to get only the match heads. Throw them in the jar and mix in 3 cap-fulls of hydrogen peroxide. One more cap-full of bleach will do the trick. Put the top back on the jar and shake. This setup will stay lit of hours! Watch the simple directions in action below.
But, will it blend?
Bonus points for blending, thanks Tom Dickson!