Burning Man is coming up next week so it’s time to get my playthings in order. I’m partial to those foot-long noodles that glow in various shades of color, also popular at raves. They are plastic tubes with a glass insert that start to luminesce when snapped. Like road safety sticks but thinner, longer, more flexible and cheaper. These floppy light wands say: be creative! The tubes come with a plastic coupler that can connect them in a chain or in a circle. Since they are flexible and light and cheap they can be woven into bike spokes, sewn on clothes, spun, pinned, or swung. They’ll last 7 or 8 hours and if by chance you are near a freezer you can freeze “ignited” ones; just thaw them out and they start glowing again. You don’t have to go to raves or Burning Man to enjoy them. We break them out for Halloween, Fourth of July, birthday parties, and dark nights while camping. Called glow sticks, they are available from a number of online sources (check for rave suppliers). The come in all sizes from mini-sticks to swords.
One or two tubes are okay; the key to the fun is to get them in bulk, by the hundreds. One hundred 8″ sections should be about 10 cents a piece, or $10. One hundred is not too many. It’s barely enough to cover a jacket with them, or decorate 3 bicycles, or make a huge glowing hula hoop, or enough bangles for all the arms at a party. The supplier below has the lowest prices I’ve come across and I’ve used them with no problems.
8″ Glow Bracelets
$16 for 100
22″ Glow Necklaces
$25 for 50
For related flexible neon see my review of El Wire