Like any good prepper I prep light sticks. They are compact, non-flammable, waterproof, shock-proof and an extremely safe form of emergency lighting. There are many types and colors – they are basically awesome.
Light sticks are now printed with an expiration date. I noticed the new order I just received had what appeared to be more ‘distant’ expiration date. Therefore these units are either freshly manufactured OR the likely scenario… manufacturers have developed chemicals that have a longer shelf life… GOOD JOB!
Preppers are often told that they should use the expiration date on food as more of a guideline. There is even the conspiracy theory that food manufacturers indicate dates that are premature so that people consume more and throw away good food in order to replace it. I digress…
Expiration dates are critical to preppers because we store so much. We are often forced to discard stale, spoiled or otherwise unreliable items. spoilage is a major cost to preppers. Imagine if perishable items never expired! You could have a VERY nice food setup and never have to rotate it… It’d be like everything was a Twinkie!
I wanted to test out some of the light sticks that I took out of my old BOB (Bug out bag) when I was cleaning them out. [See my last few posts]. I had two light sticks; one that expired in 2007 and one that expired in 2009. Now, both are expired by 3+ plus years. But I wanted to see how the two compared against each other. I hypothesize that the older one will be dimmer and not last as long… oh, and I was right!
LIGHT STICK #1 – Expiration 06/2007.
Here you can see a very dimly lit stick reflecting almost unusable light against the wall in a 100% dark room.
LIGHT STICK #2 – Expiration 10/2009.
As you can see here, the almost 2.5 year newer stick glows much brighter and the light is usable.
LIGHT STICK #3 – Expiration 03/2017.
Here is a fresh light stick and the light is almost as bright as that of the 2009 one!
Finally, here is a side by side of the fresh one and 2009 one.
It may be hard to tell which is which but the one on the right is from 2009. Pretty close huh?
Ok, so what does this mean. Well, not a lot because who knows what ACTUAL chemicals the manufacturer was using, if there are different manufacturers, if the chemist was drunk and just botched the mix… who knows. BUT - if it were me, I’d take this to mean:
GLOW STICKS DO HAVE A FINITE BUT THE SHELF LIFE APPEARS TO BE SOMETHING BEYOND THE MANUFACTURER’S DATE. DON’T THROW OUT GLOW STICKS UNTIL THEY ARE 3-4 YEARS PAST THEIR DATE.
Of course, I will advocate having the freshest lights in your BOBs, autos and other essential areas because a STHF scenario is no time to realize I AM WRONG!
BTW – Support our site and buy some GLOW STICKS HERE…Buy 100s! You can never have too many! And once they get old, give them to your kids to play with!
PREP HARD - PREP NOW