Light Sticks For Signaling

By now, just about everyone has seen a luminescent chemical stick in some form. At night-time events you may see sticks of different sizes, bracelets, necklaces and more. They are called many different things, often by brand names such as Cyalume, Snaplight, GlowSticks, etc., but the standard 6″ industrial grade stick is what we’re interested in for signaling. They come in different colors and increments of light duration time, typically 12 & 8 hours (general use), and 30 & 5 minutes (emergency signal). The shorter the duration, the brighter the light. The 30 and 5 minute light sticks can be plainly visible from a distance of 1 mile. They are a single-use light that is totally encapsulated, making it completely waterproof and totally safe in explosive gas environments. They need no batteries or power, and have no flames or heat. They come packaged in air-tight foil packages which gives them a potential shelf-life of 4 years. Once the package is opened, it has a lifespan of only a few days. The flexible plastic tube stick contains 2 chemicals inside, one being separated from the other by a glass vial. When you bend the stick, the glass vial safely breaks inside, thus exposing the 2 chemicals together, whereupon shaking the stick activates the chemical reaction which releases light. Most sticks have a built-in hanger at one end and come with an attachable lanyard. Essentially, when holding the stick, making large motions are the most effective, and by attaching the lanyard and swinging the light stick in a large circle, you will produce the most visible display for attracting attention. I carry light sticks in my vehicles and in my BOB (Bug-Out-Bag). Other locations for storage might include your circuit-breaker box, emergency preparedness box, or with your camping gear.

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