2 years and less if stored in a hot place. After the Exp, they will glow but not very bright or very long. If the foil pouch even gets a pin prick in it, it will kill the shelf life. The Longer the burn time rating (IE: 8 hours vs. 5 minute variety) varies what your end result is as far as shelf life, etc. Some colors and ratings will last longer than others. Some brands other than Calume are worse or better. Just depends. Light sticks has issues in the cold, but then again so do lights without Lithium batteries. There are many electronic LED versions of Lightsticks now that have longer shelf life (batteries)and are reusable. Garrity even makes a cheap one (around $2 at my local Wally World) that burns 24 hours with a white LED. It's disposable but I can't see there being a problem replacing batteries. With a will, there is a way. Krill lights are expensive and don't seem to *me* that you are getting what you pay for. YMMV............
I've had mixed results. CostCo sells lightsticks every Halloween so I stock up once a year. This year I pulled some 'sticks from last years stash of them and they worked fine. They had been stored in their foil pouches in a cool basement all year. So, to me, one year is not too long. However, every Halloween I swap out my stock of them and the older ones are relegated to non-critical tasks and experiments. By the by, they were $12.49 for 15 at CostCo.
My kids(3 and 5 yo) like to play with lightsticks, but, after 30 minutes they are done. I got a couple of these, one in red and one in green, and now they have their own flashlights. They can play with them all they want, but they have to turn them off when done and they have to be within reach beside their beds, or they lose the priviledge of having them. I like lightsticks for camping, but the stylus seems to strike a happy medium between lightsticks and krill lights and are more versatile, in my opinion
quote:There are many electronic LED versions of Lightsticks now that have longer shelf life (batteries)and are reusable.
I think this defeats the purpose of chemlights. IMO, chemlights aren't for general illumination. They're for disposable lighting situations, where you don't want to waste a flashlight or batteries. Such as on tent lines, throwing in a cave or cavern, on a person as an identification, on a dog, above an equipment storage bin, on the bottom of a rope, etc. Not for lighting ones path through the woods, or finding something lost. Krills are $30 roughly, chemlights are less than a buck. You won't throw a $30 light into a cavern, but you have no problem doing so with a chemlight
"Garrity even makes a cheap one (around $2 at my local Wally World) that burns 24 hours with a white LED. It's disposable but I can't see there being a problem replacing batteries. With a will, there is a way. Krill lights are expensive and don't seem to *me* that you are getting what you pay for. YMMV............
Haven't seen them yet Glaston? I will try and get a scan up for you. Same weight as standard light stick. Burns a continuous 24 hrs. Cheap enough to loose yet convienent enought to turn on and off all week. For every handful of light sticks you can carry one or two Garity led lights and gets the same utility for less weight and money. Even comes with a break away cord if you want to wear it around you neck. I am waiting for my kid to wear hers out so I can take it apart and check out what batteries are in it. They are marked as disposable but seems like a waste of a perfectly good LED device. Only time light sticks appeal to me now is for caravan travel and underwater. Despire Garity's claim of waterproof, I'll stick with Calume's perfectly sealed tube for underwater marking.
"Brand new for Summer 2003, the Fun-Tastick Glo Lite is not only fun but it's safe too. Because the Fun-tastiks operate on batteries there are no harsh chemicals like those found in other glow sticks. Best of all - the Fun-Tasticks last from 24 to 36 continuous hours....or turn them off when you're done and they'll last for years. Use them for walking at night, as party favors, or for every day fun! Kids love em!
FEATURES & BENEFITS Reusable... Last 24-36 Continuous Hours Break Away Lanyard Included Easy Turn On/Off Switch Battery Operated"
What harsh chemical? the Canadian Navy when doing refuelings at night will cut open a bunch of chem lights and soak shot line with the chemicals. Looks pretty neat at night when the shot lines are sent across. I have cut many of them open to illuminate objects at night. they dont last as long when you do this, but they do make items glow. I have never heard of any problem with this practice of cutting them open.
killdeer, i have cut open some cheaper glowsticks and they burned, same with throwing them on the fire, they boiled in the tube, got very very bright and then the plastic melted and the liquid that melted into the fire flamed up seriously. i would have to venture a guess that most chemicals that burn are not that good to get on your skin or ingest. with the exception of fat of course, while not exactly healthy it does not pose an immediate health risk.
i have had many calyume sticks over the years and the duration of shelflife seems rather random at best, i have had some that were years after expiry and not wanting to chance it i crack them open to see how theyare, they worked great, stayed lit all night and into the next morning. i have also had other sticks that were far from expiry, and they were duds.
the thing to remember with calyume sticks is they should not be used as your sole and primary source of illumination. they should be kept in packs of three to four just in case, along with a conventional light or two.
i love the garrity brand sticks, they are pretty well an LED with a tube that lights up. they are the same size and weight as a regular glowstick as sharp squirrel said. they are testabe before heading out.
in an ideal situation i would have three to four calyume, two garrity sticks, and a keychain led, and a nice headlamp with leds and a conventions bulb. that way you can light up and see almostanything and have lots of back up.