Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 11/14/2011 3:33:48 PM EDT
I had some old light sticks, only about 5 or 6 years old, total failure during this outage recently. Some others, much older, worked fine. I suggest testing your stocks occasionally.
Hand warmers fall in the same category. I didn't use them during the outage but went to use some right before it while at the range and got NOTHING. I was not amused. I didn't expect perfect performance, but at least some heat would have been nice. They were basically slightly above ambient temps and that's it.

I will be changing my stocks of these items more regularly and doing some research into longer lasting brands. Ironically, the light sticks that worked were from Walmart. Worked just fine when the storm knocked out power. I keep one by my bed along with a flashlight and since I knew the power wasn't coming back anytime soon I used that first one to break out a few more. You can imagine my words when only the older ones still worked. I didn't try my newest ones, but I'll make a point of using them on the next outage rather than saving them. It will just have to be something that gets rotated every two years I guess.
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 3:38:37 PM EDT
Good post.

I think heat affects them as well. We store some WalMart light sticks in our cars, and have tested them after a year of Indiana's fluctuating weather (15F to 100F). Total failure on some, and functional on others.
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 4:05:50 PM EDT
All of mine were stored inside in their foil wraps. The hand warmers that failed were kept in my car though, which stays outside. I'll be checking some that were kept inside from the same group.
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 5:00:00 PM EDT
I have about 50 of the Calalume' brand types-from 1998! yup, they have dulled a little, but I tried an experiment a few months back
during inventory and culling of the gear- ten sticks lit all at the same time will light up a bed room enough to see and get around by.

I am just keeping them now to see how long they will last! If I have half of what I have on hand lite up in January 2012 I am going to
buy 50 more

12 years even having to be used 10 at a time, is still very good performance
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 5:03:12 PM EDT
I had poor luck with a few purchased at Walmart, stored indoors, and used within a year.
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 5:09:52 PM EDT
We buy a couple of dozen each year, then let the kids use last year's during camping trips. Keeps them rotated...

Link Posted: 11/14/2011 7:06:33 PM EDT
Good to know, I'll have to look into those. I think I'm going to buy a case or two, split the cost with my buddy I prep with.

One of the things we found with this storm was that some of our preps were great and others were lacking. Light was a major item that we lacked when not using the generator. We had a number of good flashlights, but area light was lacking when the generator wasn't running or in areas not covered by it. We need a couple more lanterns. Battery powered with rechargeable batteries would be fine for us, but at least one fuel powered I think, just in case.

A bunch of cyalumes make life easier in the early stages and as disposable markers. Hang them on door knobs, toss one or two in a hallway so you can walk between lit areas without bothering with a flashlight.... Use them to provide light until you dig out another light source... That's always been my primary purpose, but also as markers to leave on things.
Link Posted: 11/14/2011 8:15:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2011 8:16:05 PM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By Remyrw:
I will be changing my stocks of these items more regularly and doing some research into longer lasting brands.


Just store 'em in the fridge next time.

Just about anything that relies on chemical reactions to operate will degrade over time - and the speed of that degradation depends GREATLY on the storage temperature. Cool storage temperature = Much, MUCH longer shelf life.

Drugs, batteries, light sticks - They all belong in the fridge.

Link Posted: 11/14/2011 9:22:26 PM EDT
I bought some old Blackhawk brand lightsticks that were on clearance about a year ago. They worked well. But I have noticed some cheaper kids brands failing.Is there a quality manufacturer that this forum would reccommend?
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 5:57:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Calhoun123:
I had poor luck with a few purchased at Walmart, stored indoors, and used within a year.

I wonder how much better brand name Cyalumes would be, as opposed to inferior China Knock Offs.
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 6:04:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By locke12:
Originally Posted By Calhoun123:
I had poor luck with a few purchased at Walmart, stored indoors, and used within a year.

I wonder how much better brand name Cyalumes would be, as opposed to inferior China Knock Offs.


the Walmart brand (ozark trail) are not so good, but now they are carrying Coleman brand and those seem to last longer and are brighter.

I used a handful for the kids at Halloween this year that I purchased well over a year ago the ozarks failed at 50% and all the Colemans worked great.
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 7:20:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By locke12:
Originally Posted By Calhoun123:
I had poor luck with a few purchased at Walmart, stored indoors, and used within a year.

I wonder how much better brand name Cyalumes would be, as opposed to inferior China Knock Offs.

I have actually tested this...informally anyway-see below

Actual Cyalume brand chemlights are much more likely to work after prolonged storage, and they last longer as well. Every Halloween I hand out chemlights to the kiddos instead if candy. I buy them by the case in the spring to save a few bucks. The Chinese sourced chemlights that I tried one year had a failure rate of around 1 in 5 or 6 if I remember right. The Cyalume lights bought by the case typically had only a couple of duds out of a hundred. Obviously my observation was far from scientific, but it taught me that it was cheaper to spend the few extra bucks for the better ones.

Not sure if this makes a difference, but all of the chemlights I hand out are the standard green ones-no fancy colors or high intensity versions.

The kiddos LOVE those things, by the way!

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 10:07:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
Originally Posted By locke12:
Originally Posted By Calhoun123:
I had poor luck with a few purchased at Walmart, stored indoors, and used within a year.

I wonder how much better brand name Cyalumes would be, as opposed to inferior China Knock Offs.

I have actually tested this...informally anyway-see below

Actual Cyalume brand chemlights are much more likely to work after prolonged storage, and they last longer as well. Every Halloween I hand out chemlights to the kiddos instead if candy. I buy them by the case in the spring to save a few bucks. The Chinese sourced chemlights that I tried one year had a failure rate of around 1 in 5 or 6 if I remember right. The Cyalume lights bought by the case typically had only a couple of duds out of a hundred. Obviously my observation was far from scientific, but it taught me that it was cheaper to spend the few extra bucks for the better ones.

Not sure if this makes a difference, but all of the chemlights I hand out are the standard green ones-no fancy colors or high intensity versions.

The kiddos LOVE those things, by the way!

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


In my experience the blue and the green are the brightest and last the longest. My dad also has the same experience having run a sword-fishing long line boat for many years when I was a kid (they bought cyalume by the truck load.)
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 10:22:39 AM EDT
If you buy them individually like I do (a few here, a few there) open them before you pay for them. Believe it or not but assholes do snap them in the store.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 11:38:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TailHunter:
In my experience the blue and the green are the brightest and last the longest. My dad also has the same experience having run a sword-fishing long line boat for many years when I was a kid (they bought cyalume by the truck load.)

Yeah, I buy mine from a wholesale fishing supply outlet a few towns over. They must sell them for long lining on sword boats. Lot cheaper when you buy them that way

Get my rain and foul weather gear from them as well. Those heavy PVC raincoats and overalls that offshore fishermen wear are great for keeping you dry, and they are rugged as hell too.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 11:51:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sixnine:
If you buy them individually like I do (a few here, a few there) open them before you pay for them. Believe it or not but assholes do snap them in the store.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


if you shake them before you open them you can hear the glass if its broken.
Link Posted: 11/15/2011 3:40:49 PM EDT
I buy Red and green ones a lot. My wife is into Astronomy and I use the Red ones to mark her scope at big events. Also last year my niece had her 7th birthday party at a public park. The lights at the park did not work but the kids wanted to play in the dark. My nice had invited all of her school class, (she and one other girl her best friend are White). All the families that showed brought all of their other kids not just the ones in her class. I do not mean to come off as an 88 but the White girls got Red chem's and everyone else got Green ones. I liked being able to tell where they were with out having to hunt. My parents were shocked at the number of kids that showed up and were not invited, wtf is up with people now days. There were teenagers there for cake and ice cream. I always carry a lot in my car /truck and ghb. I love those things.
Link Posted: 11/16/2011 6:10:10 AM EDT
I agree with the fridge concept, but don't keep enough of them to do that right now. It's more just a few scattered around rather than a bulk supply. For example, one by the bed since the flashlight tends to wander off, the glow stick is always right there since I'm not likely to use it for anything else. A couple in the BoB, a couple in the car's glove box... I will definitely start keeping any excess in the fridge though.

Any thoughts on the freezer? I imagine it might make them a bit fragile but on the other hand if I get cyalume brand they're designed for military use and I can't imagine mil-spec doesn't require them to be ok well under 0 degrees F at least for storage. I ask because my fridge space is limited but we have a chest freezer that's basically just filled and used, if it's got a little less space due to a hundred light sticks, no big deal, the same amount of space used in the fridge would get me strangled in my sleep I think.
Link Posted: 11/16/2011 11:52:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Remyrw:
Any thoughts on the freezer?


That's a good question!

I couldn't find any info on Cyalume's website about minimum safe storage temperature, and a quick Google search didn't turn up anything either.

I just e-mailed Cyalume an inquiry about it - will post as soon as they reply.

Link Posted: 11/16/2011 4:35:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2011 4:36:10 PM EDT by TaylorWSO]
I broke a 8 yo blue cyalum a few weeks ago for a flight that worked just fine. I was carrying it around in my helmet bag since 03. it was tje old school green/white packs vice the new colored ones

like most things, quality matters when you need to count on em
Link Posted: 11/17/2011 11:21:44 AM EDT
Got a reply back from Cyalume:

Our products will tolerate storage in temperatures below freezing.

When they are stored in freezing or below freezing temperatures, the light output is less than normal, but the duration is longer.

When stored at extreme high temperatures, the opposite is true – the light output is higher at kickoff and won’t last as long.


So, looks like freezer storage is OK.
Link Posted: 11/18/2011 1:57:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TailHunter:
the Walmart brand (ozark trail) are not so good, but now they are carrying Coleman brand and those seem to last longer and are brighter.

I used a handful for the kids at Halloween this year that I purchased well over a year ago the ozarks failed at 50% and all the Colemans worked great.


We did the same - I was really surprised with how bright the Coleman's were.



Link Posted: 11/18/2011 4:05:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2011 4:06:27 PM EDT by Busch308]
I've got some old ones from the Army that still work after 10+ years flawlessly. Stored in the garage in TX. I just found this today at Lowe's and it looks even better. The actual light is about 60 lumens and the glow stick part is on par with a chemlight. It also flashes on and off and should work great for signalling. http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Eveready-10208-Stick-Flashlight-FGLO3BUBP/dp/B003YHH41Y
Link Posted: 11/18/2011 4:45:32 PM EDT
The little glowy LED sticks are NOT as bright as that, and fairly poor quality. For the money I guess it's not bad, but I'd rather have a bunch of chem lights.
Link Posted: 11/18/2011 5:13:00 PM EDT
Well, they DO have an expiration date on them. While the dates are usually lowballed, exceeding them by several years usually doesnt work out too well.
Top Top