Glow sticks are one of those items that were really cool to enjoy as a kid and may have lost their appeal as an adult. Glow sticks aren’t just for kids, they can be very useful in a survival situation when the need for a nonconventional source of light is needed. They are waterproof, EMP proof, easy to carry, weigh almost nothing, and provide light for 12 hours. I recently bought some Cyalume military grade glow sticks online and wanted to see if they were truly the best glowsticks that money can buy. Cyalume is used by the military and has amazing reviews both on their website and video reviews. Their glow sticks claim to be the brightest and longest lasting ones out there, despite some pretty good competitors. To put this notion to the test, I bought glow sticks from Supreme Glow and UST to compare those against Cyalume. My results were as follows:
- Cyalume was initially the brightest. I did a video review (link at the bottom of the page) and saw that they Cyalume was by far much brighter than Supreme Glow and UST. The camera didn’t really capture the brightness difference between the 3, but in person, Cyalume really took the lead. The Supreme Glow glow stick was in second place, with the UST glowstick not much behind. And although Cyalume was the brightest, the other 2 weren’t bad either.
- Cyalume stayed bright the longest. Out of all of the glow sticks, the Cyalume military grade glow stick was bright, with not much notible difference after 5 hours. After 12, it was still bright enough to read a book, but faded quickly by hour 13 to an unusable glow. The Supreme Glow stick, by hour 8, had died off quite a bit, with it not being able to illuminate items that it was not touching. After hour 8, the UST glow stick wasn’t even able to illuminate anything, making it be in last place.
- The cyalume glowstick was built the toughest out of the 3. By this I mean that the stick itself was able to bend the least and wasnt round, rather it was like an octagon, with square edges all around. The top of the glow stick was built tough also, being able to hold the glowstick on the edge of a counter as I applied a considerable amount of force to it. Being built for military specifications, it has to be able to be tough to be thrown in a backpack, thrown from helicopters, and go throughout all kinds of conditions. I attempted to apply the same force to the Supreme Glow and UST brands, but the top hook wasn’t strong enough for any weight and bent immediately. Those 2 also bent a lot, with the UST glow stick beginning to leak at the end.
- The only downside is the price. The price for the military glow sticks averaged out at 2 dollars per glow stick. They are sold in boxes of 10, and the price can vary from website to website. Based on the price, I wouldn’t buy Cyalume glow sticks for fun, rather I would buy them for an emergency kit, in a car, or when camping in the woods. For parties and such, I would buy the Supreme Glow glow sticks, since for at least 5 hours they are fairly bright and fun to use. Also, Cyalume offers basic and industrial grade glow sticks that are cheaper and would be better to get for basic applications.
My final recommendation: Cyalume Military Grade glow sticks are the winner and are an overall better glow stick than most brands out there. Although more expensive, if you need these glow sticks during a power outage or natural disaster, they could end up saving your life. They could be used to see through a dark house, get out of the woods, or flag down a rescue team during a natural disaster. With the reassurance that these are built tough, I would recommend putting one of these in your emergency kit, bugoutbag, or car right away. Click the links below to be taken to my video review and to another previous article explaining the usefulness of glow sticks.