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Old 01-17-2013, 22:32   #1
CharlieDelta127
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Cyalume Light Sticks

Whats the word on these? I'm not all to familiar with them other then you bend them and you have light.

What are some of the better colors? I'm thinking red and green for the most part.

Also is Cyalume the way to go or are there better options out there?
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Old 01-17-2013, 23:17   #2
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i have white for brightness and red for signalling/marking. There is a difference in brands and their light outputs. For years I sang the praises of them on this forum.

However, the last time I had a power outage, I cracked a couple I had in my emergency house kit and they were VERY dim. I had heard that they loosed brightness over time (chemicals loosed their kick?) but I'd not seen it myself until then.

I still think that they have a lot of advantages (cheap, safe, waterproof) but keep age in mind..
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Old 01-18-2013, 00:10   #3
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Another advantage is no open flame or fire hazard and no battery life issue.

Disadvantage? One use for the whole duration. Not reusable after your need is done. Can't shut off and turn on like a flashlight or blow out and relight like a candle.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:22   #4
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One of the best brands, if not the best.

Part of the solution, not the solution for emergency lighting. I have flashlights - akaline, lthium primaryies, and NiMH rechargables for them. Crank lights, Candles. All have their purpose.

No batteries to corrode in your flashlight.
No fire hazard.
No toxic chemicals.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:27   #5
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I bought a box of them last year. I think most of the benefits and negatives got covered above.

What I got mine for was:
1. If there is a gas leak, I now have light to go find it.
2. When I go scuba diving at night, I a light that will not go out.
3. If I want to give a light to a kid at night I don't worry about it not coming back. Flashlights just disappear when you give them to kids.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:02   #6
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Flashlights just disappear when you give them to kids.
+ 1000000

I don't know how many times I have gone looking for one of my good lights and can't find a single one. But ask my kids and they will give you one of my surefires.

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Old 01-18-2013, 17:49   #7
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Where do you guys buy yours at? I've looked on Amazon, but I almost don't want to trust the sellers...
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Old 01-18-2013, 17:58   #8
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:55   #9
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Amazon is great. Some individual sellers problematic, but those are pretty few and far between. As for the light sticks themselves they're of extremely limited utility in an emergency. They're great for tying to your mask or tank for night diving, or tying to your kid for visibility at night, but as far as actually providing useable light to do something, not so much.
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Old 01-20-2013, 18:07   #10
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To me, lightsticks are markers and thats it. I would not carry them or store them for a light source, there are just too many better options for cheap lighting.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:40   #11
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My intentions were to get a handful and keep them in my various packs. Something to use in an emergency when I have to dig through a medical pack, or backpack and I'm caught without my flashlight.

Two is one, and one is none. I'd rather have a cheap source of light in a pack than no light.

+1 on the gas leak lighting.
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Old 01-21-2013, 14:23   #12
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Get a headlamp. You can invent any scenario you want to justify a choice, but in the end you're still better off with another real light.
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Old 01-21-2013, 16:20   #13
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The quick burning ultrabright lightsticks are sometimes handy. When you want to light up a small area very brightly for 30 minutes (or 5 minutes for the really bright ones), they work great. Not a replacement for everything, but bright enough to sort out your mess and disposable when they are done - so you aren't chasing down your good flashlight when you are done. The 8-12 hour lightsticks are mostly good for marking, or maybe reading if you don't need to see colors (like on a map). Single color lightS, or blue tinted light like in the early white LEDs, aren't good for depth perception.

I sometimes buy a dozen 30 minute and 5 minute ultrabright light sticks. Pull a few of each out to test once a year (let the kids from my church play with them at an annual pool glowstick party). So far, every one has lit up, even 5 years after purchase. I store them in a stable temperature environment, though.

I don't think I have more than maybe 1 or 2 regular strength glowsticks. Name-brand Cyaluke are the best (only) to buy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:52   #14
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I keep some in a few bags for the just in case event. Comes in handy for a quick light with no flame or heat, in a car if something happened to cause a break down on the side of the road. just put one around your neck and hope someone would see you. Also helps with keeping your hands free when wearing them. Green and white seem to be the best. Kids love them too.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:30   #15
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Quote:
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Get a headlamp. You can invent any scenario you want to justify a choice, but in the end you're still better off with another real light.
Already have a headlamp. I like to have multiple options.... Especially by leaving one or two right in the pack. My intentions include having a couple in my various IFAK's I have. Especially the one I have in my vehicle.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:25   #16
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I love em for night fishing. The green ones are the best IMO. Just enough light to tie a knot or get your hook rebaited, but not enough to disturb your acquired night vision.

Also great for signaling at night. Tie one to a 5ft piece of rope and swing it in a circle over your head. You could see that a long way away.

I keep a few around just for small tasks where I dont wanna ruin my night vision. I have also hung one from the ceiling in the bathroom during a power outage.
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Old 01-29-2013, 19:16   #17
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We used them a lot when I was in the Army.
Two things I learned:
1. Don't take them out of the foil until you are ready to use them.
2. The colder it is the less they work. Since they depend on chemical action, this diminishes when it is cold. So if you can, store them where it is cool and if you have activated one, but no longer need it, throw it in the freezer. It will still be usefull several days later, once you warm it up.
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Old 01-29-2013, 22:54   #18
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I plan to throw some in the loops inside my med pouches, and possibly on the MOLLE. I figure they'd have infinite uses in just about any situation (from bustin' open the med pouch in the dark, to using it at an accident scene at night).
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:56   #19
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I plan to throw some in the loops inside my med pouches, and possibly on the MOLLE. I figure they'd have infinite uses in just about any situation (from bustin' open the med pouch in the dark, to using it at an accident scene at night).
You might want to protect them somehow. I found that cheap travel toothbrush holders can fit a lightstick still in the foil and prevent accidental breakage.

Remember, you can't test them and turn them off.

The dollar store knockoffs aren't as good (dimmer, more fragile - and the taste really, really bad when you hold them in your mouth and they break), so get the brand name lightsticks.

I am a big fan of the high intensity versions.
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Old 02-02-2013, 18:39   #20
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Let's not forget that they are just simply hella cool! I suppose they could be used as a distraction device at night in a post apocalyptic world. Toss a few somewhere when it's still light out and wait for someone to come investigate at night. Lure them into a trap instead of to you.

Or if you want to play nice, you could also use them as a signal device.
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