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Posted: 7/15/2019 4:06:42 PM EDT
I know little to nothing about them so I thought I would ask here.....I found myself without power the other night due to a storm/ wind event. and it got me thinking about the age of some of my gear...I have chem lights in all my packs, med kits, plate carrier ect... they are all about 8 years old and I am thinking of replacing them soon. I have not bought any in years... my supply always came from friends and family in certain occupations....
so where is the best place to buy in bulk ?
any specific colors to avoid? I have always just used white or green.
thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 4:18:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 4:21:48 PM EDT
I'm just wondering how practical chem lights really are when you consider the size weight bulk of that compared to a flashlight and rechargeable batteries and solar charger. In many years of LE service I cant remember ever needing a chem light, although the military does use some so that makes me think that if you have not needed them in the last 8 years you might be better off carrying an extra roll of toilet paper.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 4:25:14 PM EDT
As working illumination they're pretty rubbish.

As a method of marking something in the dark they're great.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 5:34:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Urimaginaryfrnd:
I'm just wondering how practical chem lights really are when you consider the size weight bulk of that compared to a flashlight and rechargeable batteries and solar charger. In many years of LE service I cant remember ever needing a chem light, although the military does use some so that makes me think that if you have not needed them in the last 8 years you might be better off carrying an extra roll of toilet paper.
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they are light, they provide ambient lighting, they can easliy be hung in a tent for lighting, and for doing certain things I would much rather crack one and hang it on my shirt or something than hold a direct beam flashlight. but I do get where your coming from, I was taught to carry at least one in my IFAK, as hands free lighting in an emergency... I hope I never have to use... we all carry different things in our packs, bags,, whatever... I just think they are a light useful tool if needed.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 6:50:52 PM EDT
I have a couple in all of my various go bags. They are useful camping and great to give kids to play with at night. Makes it easy to track them at night.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 7:00:11 PM EDT
Glad this thread popped up - I need to go buy more.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 7:30:41 PM EDT
When the APC drivers would goose a cold engine it would break the quill shaft that drives the blower. (6-53 Detroit)

Cut a chemlight off about 1 1/2" from the small end and it's just perfect for sliding over the broken shaft and pulling it out.

Tidbits of useless knowledge.
Link Posted: 7/16/2019 1:20:33 PM EDT
My experience is that chemlights are best used as a means of illuminating things enough to find your way to a better illumination source. For example, I keep a chemlight tucked on top of the dooframe in each room of the house. Theyre unobtrusive, practically invisible, but if the power goes out I know exactly where one is and I can then use ti to find my way to a better light source like a flashlight.
Link Posted: 7/16/2019 2:14:32 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Cmdr_Zero:
My experience is that chemlights are best used as a means of illuminating things enough to find your way to a better illumination source. For example, I keep a chemlight tucked on top of the dooframe in each room of the house. Theyre unobtrusive, practically invisible, but if the power goes out I know exactly where one is and I can then use ti to find my way to a better light source like a flashlight.
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I really like this idea. I have flashlights stashed in various locations, but it never fails when the power goes out, a flashlight is missing. My wife or one of the kids had previously decided to use the flashlight and not put back. Sticking a chem light on the door frame will allow for a quick light source that is less likely to walk away. Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/16/2019 3:03:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/16/2019 3:24:52 PM EDT
I keep my batch in the fridge, to extend usefulness.

I have enough flashlights here that it's not a problem.

Chris
Link Posted: 7/16/2019 4:26:33 PM EDT
A number of years ago I tested several brands of light sticks for brightness and burn time. The Ameriglo sticks maintained useful light longer than the others including Cyalume. IIRC Cyalume was the brightest but faded more quickly.
As I recall the Ameriglo were also cheaper.
Link Posted: 7/18/2019 1:16:39 PM EDT
I still keep multiple boxes of various colors in my storm supplies as well as a few in my work bag.
I believe they still have some utility, beyond mere illumination
Link Posted: 7/19/2019 1:16:11 PM EDT
They are best for disposable lighting. Like a trail for a group behind you, or if you need to light something up you plan to destroy. We often used them as a replacement for trip flares. Especially the IR ones. Snap them in thier bag and tie the end to a trip wire so when someone steps on the wire it pulls it out of the bag. No sneaking up on your position.
Link Posted: 7/19/2019 8:47:48 PM EDT
In truth, I have found that the brightest and cheapest chem lights are available in the emergency aisle at WalMart. They cost $1.67 for a two-pack and are very bright (green) in comparison to Cyalume which used to be my favorite brand. If you are looking for chem lights in bulk, nothing beats ebay (even though the cheapest can be several years past their "expiration" dates. On ebay, you will typically see cyalume or other brands. Stick with the 6" ones or even 4" ones to save a little money. I use chem lights a lot (especially for fishing off the local piers) and find that I am still using cyalume green ones with a 2013 expiration date with no problem. Yes, they are a little less bright but to date I have only had roughly 5 of over 150 that have not worked. I stock them religiously however and have them throughout my house and garage.
Link Posted: 7/20/2019 3:05:59 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By NHGUNNER:
I really like this idea. I have flashlights stashed in various locations, but it never fails when the power goes out, a flashlight is missing. My wife or one of the kids had previously decided to use the flashlight and not put back. Sticking a chem light on the door frame will allow for a quick light source that is less likely to walk away. Thanks!
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Originally Posted By NHGUNNER:
Originally Posted By Cmdr_Zero:
My experience is that chemlights are best used as a means of illuminating things enough to find your way to a better illumination source. For example, I keep a chemlight tucked on top of the dooframe in each room of the house. Theyre unobtrusive, practically invisible, but if the power goes out I know exactly where one is and I can then use ti to find my way to a better light source like a flashlight.
I really like this idea. I have flashlights stashed in various locations, but it never fails when the power goes out, a flashlight is missing. My wife or one of the kids had previously decided to use the flashlight and not put back. Sticking a chem light on the door frame will allow for a quick light source that is less likely to walk away. Thanks!
@Cmdr_Zero
@NHGUNNER

Very good idea!

This is a similar idea, i hang these from go bags and doorknobs.... in an earthquake every second counts.

Needs daylight to charge though









https://countycomm.com/products/ugm-universal-glow-marker

These are neat 2

Link Posted: 7/20/2019 11:43:53 AM EDT
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[size=4][b]This is a similar idea, i hang these from go bags and doorknobs.... in an earthquake every second counts.

Needs daylight to charge though
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Go on eBay or similar venues, you can buy tritium "Tracers" that are the exact same thing but made with tritium so they are self illuminating. The US regulates tritium a tad more restrictively than other countries, but in Europe small tritium markers and keychain fobs are readily available and ideal for the task. They turn up on eBay and Amazon with such regularity that getting one should be a simple one-click operation.
Link Posted: 7/21/2019 9:20:02 PM EDT
I have a bunch of the longer ones.

I think they have their utility. Use for lighting a room, give to kids, marking an area, etc.

I have the 12" Cyalume ones. There are no expiration dates I can see but my older ones definitely do not get as bright as the newer ones,
Link Posted: 7/21/2019 10:15:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SideSalad:
Glad this thread popped up - I need to go buy more.
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Link Posted: 7/23/2019 3:40:56 PM EDT
Amazon Is where I have been buying them from.
Link Posted: 7/23/2019 3:43:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ChuckH:
A number of years ago I tested several brands of light sticks for brightness and burn time. The Ameriglo sticks maintained useful light longer than the others including Cyalume. IIRC Cyalume was the brightest but faded more quickly.
As I recall the Ameriglo were also cheaper.
View Quote
I wonder if it's an altitude thing, At least for me Cyalume have been the brightest.
Link Posted: 7/24/2019 7:03:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2019 12:55:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2019 12:56:11 AM EDT by mizzarley]
Slightly off topic but.... I went to a huge camp out/concert on private land in Indiana last year. Me and some .fam with a few kids with about 150 other folks. Great food and great music but after dark keeping track of the kids was a challenge. I went to Walmart and got a huge pack of glow...stuff from the party department. Bunch of little glow sticks, necklaces, sunglasses etc etc.

I decked out the kids so we could keep track of them in the dark and at the end of the night with the kids in bed I had a bunch left over. Us adults we’re pretty toasted on drinks so I carpet bombed our whole site with glow sticks. I just cranked em and tossed em out all around our tents and cars. All the ladies thanked me in the morning because they could see outlines of tents and cars on the way to a nighttime visit to the outhouse.

Even then cheap ones have uses. Just saying.
Link Posted: 7/27/2019 12:31:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2019 12:39:40 AM EDT by spydercomonkey]
Link Posted: 7/27/2019 12:38:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/27/2019 3:02:03 PM EDT
I think some of the AAA LED lights coupled with a lithium battery and an insulating disc (like commonly ships in the light to prevent them from turning on during shipment) is a lot more useful as a source of illumination than a full size chemlight in most cases.

I do keep some cases of the micro-sized ones, they have all sorts of uses and weigh next to nothing.
Link Posted: 7/27/2019 5:04:04 PM EDT
Every July I take all the ones out of my kits and give them to the kids to play with around Independence Day. I have never had one not light off and last like they should. Some of my lights are 8-10 years old at this point. From what I've read they stay good unless unwrapped in the sun for extended periods of time.
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