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Be the envy (and the fear) of all your friends with DIY glow sticks!
August 25, 2010 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Make your own glow sticks! No, not like that! With complete chemical recipes for different colors, information on how fluorescent dyes work, and bonus fun camera light balance behavior. [via]
posted by phunniemee (11 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
The perfect compliment.
posted by gman at 4:30 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


If anyone tries this, be aware that the 30% hydrogen peroxide called for is nasty stuff and can give you a bad chemical burn if it gets on your skin. By way of comparison, the stuff you get in drugstores is 3%

This does remind me of synthesizing luciferin or some similar compound in organic chemistry, though.
posted by TedW at 5:08 PM on August 25, 2010


I was told once that the chemicals inside glow sticks are non-toxic, and that if you cracked one open and drank the contents, your pee would subsequently glow. After watching these videos, I now know that this is a bunch of malarkey. I mean, your pee would probably glow, but there ain't no way in hell I'm ingesting the stuff that goes into one of those.
posted by starvingartist at 5:23 PM on August 25, 2010


This is one of those I know juuuust enough about chemistry to never ever try doing this Things. no matter how much I want shoes with a glowing liquid suspension.
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on August 25, 2010


I kept waiting for him to knock over a bottle. Not sure how he didn't.
posted by itchylick at 6:52 PM on August 25, 2010


The hydrogen peroxide gets broken down during the reaction. I'd be more worried about the phenol.

Damn. There goes my idea of dressing up as a radioactive zombie.
posted by porpoise at 9:01 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm more concerned that the narrator in this instructable sounds like buffalo bill -- "it places the glow stick in the basket, or else it gets the hose again!"
posted by malphigian at 9:40 PM on August 25, 2010


The smell is pretty awful. That's the reason why all the reagents are safely wrapped up in plastic before they are delivered to the consumer.

I'm more concerned that the narrator in this instructable sounds like buffalo bill

Every chemist sounds just like that. Really. They are weird people.
posted by peeedro at 10:37 PM on August 25, 2010


malphigian: "I'm more concerned that the narrator in this instructable sounds like buffalo bill"

His voice has been pitched down.
posted by rhizome at 1:02 AM on August 26, 2010


I've heard that voice before.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:28 AM on August 26, 2010


Once when I was on acid and taking a late night Greyhound from a Dead show at Shoreline to Sacramento, I bit into a glow stick. I immediately spat its glowing contents onto the seat in front of me. Seeking some assistance from the only available authority, I approached the driver, asking him to pull over so I could drink some water somewhere. He refused, but offered me his half-drunk can of Pepsi. My mom thought I was spending the night at my friend's house that night.
posted by serazin at 11:02 AM on August 26, 2010


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