Introduction: LED Glowsticks

Picture of LED Glowsticks

These glowsticks can be used anywhere you want to glow and in any colour you want. I invented them when trying to make my laptop stand more attractive. But you can use them as throwies by attaching a little magnet on it. I explained the instruction before on my Laminate Parque Laptop Stand project but this was before Let It Glow contest :D so i want to enter the contest with my LED Glowstick project. Same photos, but a separate project.

Step 1: Parts & Preparation

Picture of Parts & Preparation

I used a soldering iron, some solder, some soldering paste, some straws, little piece of heatshrink tube to close up the soldered legs of LED's, a razor blade, scissors, some really strong black tape, and invisible scotch tape.

Step 2: Start to Make a GLOWSTICK

Picture of Start to Make a GLOWSTICK

At first I added the straws together and cut a little to make them enough long for my project.
I inserted two LEDs at the ends of the straws and used heatshrink to make it tight.
You can use just one straw to make a LED glowstick throwie. On my project, power wasn't a problem but if u want to make a portable project with 3 volt batteries like CR2032 u must insert the LED just one end of the straw and close the other and with a tape or something. Or u can insert a burned (dead) LED as a mirror for more light effect.

Step 3: Finished Product

Picture of Finished Product

This is LED Glowstick in action on my Laminate Parque Laptop Stand project.


jdelvalle1 (author)2015-08-15

I tried salt in flexible tubing as a variation. It works and no liquid to leak. Also used a thin tube threaded thru a larger one and the thinner tubing filled with salt. I think glow in the dark powder and ultraviolet led's would probably work. The led's would charge the powder and the whole tube would glow.

Pyromaster951 (author)2009-07-23

hey this is not spam post this to any led projects it is a cheap place to order leds you can get 100 pcs for 5.00-10.00 dollars

You can get 100 leds for $2 with free shipping off ebay...just sayin :P

Ebay is the best place to buy electronic components!

Electroinnovation (author)2010-10-27

If you add fluorescent paint mixed with water inside the straws before you seal it it will provide a much smooter lighting throughout the tube. This eliminates the bright spots at the ends and the dimmer light in the middle.

Good point but where can I find the fluorescent paint?

Or you could just use yellow highlighter ink mixed with water, about 2 drops of ink per 8oz water.

Any craft or home improvement store should have it (i.e. Home Depot, AC-Moore, Lowes, Michaels).

dggg (author)2010-10-11

what ki nd a heatshrink

electrophobia (author)dggg2010-10-13

I don't remember sorry. But classic electronics stores sells that. Black heatshrink...

yankeee7 (author)2009-12-04

 ok what did you do after that to make them glow? or do they just magically turn on when the lights go off.

electrophobia (author)yankeee72009-12-04

Ha ha! Too funny yankeee7...
That wasn't a nice comment.. So I am not going to answer your clever question...
How old are you yankee? 7?

blaver (author)electrophobia2009-12-15

I think he was being serious, I have no idea how you got them lit.

ywetgc (author)blaver2010-08-25

didnt he plug them into the computer through the USB port?

edey (author)2010-06-14


yankeee7 (author)2009-12-05

Im old enough haha.  and i just thought it was kinda funny how you totally skipped that part.  But really, what did you do just tape some button cell batteries onto the ends or put a bunch of switches and wires and stuff on it?

electrophobia (author)yankeee72009-12-06

I used them on my laptop stand. So i just wired the leds to a USB cable and used the electricity of my laptop.. That is another instructable of mine if you are interested, you can see that too on my instructables page...

Openyourmind (author)2008-11-30

What about color straws ? Did anyone already try ?

DJNASHA (author)Openyourmind2009-07-25

clear works best openyourmind that should help

No i did not try that but if you are going to try that, you must use bright white LEDs.

no, you dont have to use white. i made a temporary contraption using green bendy straws and green LEDs, it adds illumination. if you combine colors (red LED and green straw) it makes interesting color combinations that you dont need to purchase different color LEDs for!

knibbles (author)2009-06-14

Great job!!!! I Gave you 5 stars and then tried to rate it again. It didn't work

codongolev (author)2008-12-01

what do they look like in the light? great idea, simple and fun. I also like the usb power source. I'm making a christmas tree that runs off usb. (except that I'm using an off- brand crap cable, so the power supply wires are red and blue. I had to find them the old fashioned way - with my tongue.)

Xamith (author)codongolev2009-05-16

lol, did that hurt at all?

codongolev (author)Xamith2009-05-18

not really. you can lick a 9 volt battery to check if it's dead, and a usb power supply only gives off 5 volts. more of a tingle.

Xamith (author)codongolev2009-05-19


kingofrandom92 (author)2009-05-14

that's really ingenious. its great because its inexpensive and made from led's. coolest led light strip i have ever seen. this is so getting put in my car after of course a trip to McDonalds for the straws. hopefully they have the clear ones :)

Ramvan (author)2009-05-05

Exactly which LED did you use? Ultra Bright Blue - 5000mcd?

electrophobia (author)Ramvan2009-05-08

I don't even know that.. I just went to an electronics store and bought blue leds i found :D But i think they are not ultra bright cos i saw brighter LED s before..

Ramvan (author)electrophobia2009-05-10

I used your idea =) I think it came out nicely..
I am going to make about 2 more of them, and place them around my night stand

neurosynthetic (author)2009-04-23

Very simple construction - and it worked out perfect. Proud to see so much innovation from our designers despite scarce components from Karakoy-Sishane!

sciencenerd1616 (author)2009-02-03

cool i never thought of that

TekoMuto (author)2008-11-14

Awesome! before I make these, would they still glow lik that if you bend em?

well, light doesnt bend, so it distorts the light and gets weaker and weaker towards the opposing end of the straw; if there is more than 2 bends the 'center' wont light as well.. one bend and 2 LEDs works fine.

hmmm... okies thnx _

electrophobia (author)TekoMuto2008-11-14

if you bend them, the bended part of the stick gets more glowy. But i don't know what happens if u bend them in three pieces..

Pie_eata (author)2008-11-15

hmm i wonder if you could use fishtank tubing instead of drinking straws and get the same effect. but make it flexible.

electrophobia (author)Pie_eata2008-11-16

Yeah u can do that but i don't think that it would be same glowy on the bended parts of fishtank tubing.. Here is my opinion about fishtank tubing.. I tried to make more glowy sticks with straws by using just milk to make it more glowy (as u know, milk is a suspension which is really concentrated). Here is the result. If u put just one drop of milk into the straw and fill it with water, then just LED and the liquid near the LED glows (other parts arent glowing). I tried to take a little drop of milk just using a needle. I took a needle and make it touch to the surface of the milk. And i did the same thing into the straw filled with water. It tooks too much time to mix the liquid inside the straw but it works. I got too much more bright, glowy sticks. May be u can do that for the fishtank tubing and it might work on that too.. As a hint.. If u are going to try this, at first, mix the water and the milk in a cup and then fill the liquid into the tubing..

what about waterproofing.. electricity has a tendancy to mix with water in a shocking way ;-P

My LED's fits perfectly in the straws and i used silicone to make it waterproof.

Derin (author)2008-06-22

umarim kazanirsiniz tebrikler valla

Yerboogieman (author)Derin2008-09-09

speckin se deutche?

No I can' t speak Deutche. Sorry

CoolKoon (author)electrophobia2008-11-02

Ahem. I't supposed to be spelled like this: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Yerboogieman (author)CoolKoon2008-11-02

i only speak it not write it

CoolKoon (author)Yerboogieman2008-11-03

Of course you do......... Say, why would anyone want to speak German on an English site? :P

electrophobia (author)CoolKoon2008-11-02

My answer is still no :D

electrophobia (author)Derin2008-06-22

Teşekkürler kardeşim.. Rakipler sağlam ama :)

Derin (author)electrophobia2008-06-23

Vallahi oyle...bunlar bayagi iyi yapiyor

e tabi burda o kadar kolay mı

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More by electrophobia:LED GlowsticksLaminate Parque Laptop Stand
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