Glow Sticks

Instructions

  • 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
    • Scissors
    • Wire strippers
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 8

    Complete the circuit

    Complete the circuit by attaching the other two exposed wires as in Step 7.

  • 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.
  • 10

    Dance!

  • 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!

  • 12

    Try this next!

    • 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.