Though glow sticks rose to public prominence in the ’80s — thanks in large part to how cheaply and easily they enhance any party or holiday atmosphere — they’ve actually been around for quite some time. Though the chemicals and basis for “chemiluminescence” — the emission of light with little to no heat, which is glow jewelry’s defining characteristic — have been around for some time, the first patent for a formula similar to today’s glow sticks was issued in 1965. Since then several other patents have been issued, most of them owned by the U.S. Navy.
In fact, glow sticks are very popular among all armed servicemen. It’s easy to see why. Glow sticks (and bracelets, necklaces and other devices) are cheap, lightweight, provide excellent light anywhere from eight to 24 hours, give off little to no heat and require no external sources of power or heat to keep the light going. They’re an effective and easy way to mark targets, make yourself known at night, and keep vehicles and areas lit up and under a watchful eye.
The uses for the Navy are likewise obvious. One of glow sticks’ many attributes is their durability, and they hold up under deep pressure situations better than almost any other light source, and for a fraction of the cost. So if you yourself are a diver or other kind of night-time or darkness explorer–such as, say, a spelunker–why not grab some glow sticks, glow bracelets (which require no hands to hold) and other accessories to help you get the most out of your experience?