Glow sticks bring a lively vibe to the party, no matter how old you are. But did you know that glow sticks were originally created by the US Navy? Pretty crazy, huh?
Here are three other surprising facts you probably didn’t know about glow sticks.
Glow sticks are available in more than one shape.
That’s right — the glow stick industry is far more advanced than you might think. You can now find products ranging from light-up golf balls to light-up barware. Many barcades and fun bars use LED glowing materials for a fun atmosphere and to stand out from the crowd. These glow products are perfect for nightclubs and can be found at places such as Premier Glow.
Premier Glow was founded 17 years ago by Jeremy and Jessica Thompson when they were college students at the University of Memphis. They made a name for themselves in this e-commerce industry by creating a glowingly successful party accessory company. Their company has more than 600 unique glowing products for any event or space. The company warehouse contains 560,000 cubic feet of storage space for fun party items such as glow sticks, confetti cannons and night golf supplies. Premier Glow is where to go for people throwing a glow-themed party or spice up an event.
A chemical reaction creates their glow.
Usually, playing with glow sticks is more fun than talking about the science behind it, but how they work is interesting. The typical glow stick contains oxalate ester and dye. These are both inside of the plastic stick, and then the hydrogen peroxide is in a small vial within the stick.
When the stick is bent, the vial opens. This releases the hydrogen peroxide and reacts with the oxalate ester to form a peroxyacid ester and phenol. This causes the peroxyacid ester to decompose, which causes it to form more phenol and carbon dioxide. The phenol and carbon dioxide produce energy, causing the molecules to jump around and release the photons that make the glow sticks glow.
Glow sticks are non-toxic and non-flammable.
If you’re planning an event for children, you’re looking for safe party favors. Glow sticks thankfully make the list. Although glow sticks are filled chemicals and bright-colored dye, glow sticks don’t react in a way that is harmful or flammable. Glow sticks last for up to 12 hours and are sure to keep the party going. Glow sticks should not be ingested, which is true for many substances. If they break, do try to make sure no children try to consume the glowing insides, no matter how tempting. Glow sticks can irritate the skin and eyes if broken, also. The chemical dibutyl phthalate is present and can create a burning sensation if consumed or gets near the eyes. Store glow sticks carefully if you have children at home.
Always party with caution. A few years ago, more than 115 people went to a poison control center in Brooklyn, N.Y., after coming in contact with the fluorescent fluid inside these little sticks.