Introduction: Make Your Own Glow Sticks
Step 1: Here's What You Need to Make a Glow Stick!
- 9-volt battery
- Battery snap cap
- A string of ornamental lights (that can be destroyed)
- Duct tape
- Wire strippers
Step 2: Cut Off the Electric Plug That Has the Two Prongs
- NOTE: MAKE SURE THE LIGHTS ARE NOT PLUGGED IN WHEN DOING THIS.
- Cut as close to the plug as you can.
Step 3: Cut Off Four Bulbs
- Cut the wire as close to the fifth bulb as possible so you have about three inches of wire at each end of the string.
Step 4: Separate the Wires
- Hold the first bulb. Find the plastic-coated wire it is connected to.
- Untwist that wire from the others. You’ll end up with one wire with four bulbs attached.
Step 5: Strip the Ends of the Wire
- Strip off the plastic coating so you have about ¾ of an inch of exposed metal wire at each end.
- Be careful not to press the wire strippers so hard that you cut through the metal wire.
Step 6: Pop a Snap Cap Onto the 9-volt Battery
- Both snap cap wires should have about ½ inch of exposed metal wire at the end. Strip them if necessary.
Step 7: Make a Connection
- Twist together one metal wire from the light string and one of the snap cap’s metal wires.
- Use tape to make a solid connection.
Step 8: Complete the Circuit
- Complete the circuit by attaching the other two exposed wires as in Step 7.
Step 9: Test the Circuit
- Does your glow stick light up? If not, press on the connections inside the tape. Also make sure you have a fresh battery.
Step 10: Dance!
Step 11: Did You Know?
- A circuit is a path along which electricity can travel. When you connect the wires from the lights to the wires on the snap cap, you’ve made a circuit. When all parts of the circuit are connected, electricity flows from the battery to the lights and back to the battery, making your glow stick glow!
- Make jewelry. Wearable light? Yes! Use different-length light strings for different pieces.
- Dance in the Dark. For a very dramatic effect, take your glow stick into a dark space.
- Make a longer glow stick. Use two 9-volt batteries in series to power up even more bulbs for a super-long glow stick. To wire in series, connect the red wire of one snap cap to the black wire of a second snap cap. Then connect the light string to the two open wires.