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Cyalume ChemLight Long-Term Storage

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by OFADAN, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    So...what is the most effective method to store ChemLights for long-term storage? I've searched
    on-line extensively and have not been successful finding any credible storage methods.

    Chemist or one of you other brains have any ideas?
     
    mjbskwim likes this.
  2. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Freezer?

    Just like anything else you would think you need to switch out your inventory every once in a while.
     
  3. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Don't freeze, it will burst the plastic tube (don't ask how I know)
    I have kept them in backpacks for years and they worked. Now if you ask if they were as bright as a new glo-stick I have no answer, except to say they put-out about 10 watts of light. I do not recommend you use them for cross country travel as your depth perception is zero with the light they provide, you could actually walk off a cliff!
    Of course in cold weather they may not function at all due to reduced chem-reaction.
    I would rather have a battery powered light, even a candle :cool:
     
    Oathkeeper1775 and Hook686 like this.
  4. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I was going off using them as a kid. After they lost their glow you could freeze them and re-snap them and get a little more light.
     
    erudne likes this.
  5. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    To make old chemlights brighter, crack them, shake them and simmer them in near boiling water for a couple of minutes. They don't last as long, but the brighten up like new.
     
  6. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Shine a flashlight on them after they start to dim.
     
    Liberty97045 likes this.
  7. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Do they go bad in the pack unused?

    I've had some in my hunting pack for a few years now.
     
  8. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Whether they work or not... do NOT get any of the contents in your mouth!

    Uggghhh, I was nauseous for HOURS!! :s0027:


    ... and DON'T be laughing at me!o_O
     
  9. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... Neon...glows...called chem lights.....i'm going to taste it!
     
    Stomper likes this.
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Shut... up... o_O



    LOL!


    I didn't do it on purpose, (back in the day) I was setting up an LZ for a night op and I had one in my teeth so I could free up my hands and it cracked.... OK? :s0108:
     
    clearconscience likes this.
  11. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    They really aren't the best thing to stock-up on...

    A person would have to look at the dates; over time, conduct tests....

    Ten bucks for a pack of AAA "coppertops" that currently-claim to hold a charge till 2025.

    Store them in the fridge.
     
  12. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    OFADAN, you could always message me directly, as I've been away from this site for a long, long, time.
    And BTW, thanks for the great Defensive Handgun class for my wife; if only I could keep her motivated to practice.

    If I'm remembering correctly Cyalumes use a glass vial of hydrogen peroxide solution free-floating in the plastic housing holding a fluorescent solution. There are all kinds of variants now, including IR ones for the military, but they all depend on redox chemistry to activate and energize the dye.

    It's that oxidizer inside the glass vial that's volatile, not the dye. So long as you keep it away from light, it should be stable indefinitely. Keeping it cool helps too of course, but I'd be most concerned about any UV (like fluorescent lights) reaching it. I guess that's why they package them in metal foil.

    On some forum I read about a guy trying out some Cyalumes dated 1996, and he said there was no performance degradation compared to newly bought ones. I don't see why they shouldn't last, in principle anyway. And it's also true that heating them up accelerates the reaction and makes them brighter for a shorter time. Check out YouTube for all the reasons to not microwave them.

    Fluorescence typically has a lifetime measured in nanoseconds, so the energy source has to be continually refreshed, like sunlight hitting Day-Glo paint to make it brighter in one color band. The oxidation reaction is the source of that energy in Cyalumes. But there's an alternative, called phosphorescence.

    Phosphorescence has nothing to do with the element phosphorus; neither do the phosphors in CRT's. It's just an ancient way of saying, "Hey, this stuff keeps glowing and glowing and glowing...." In other words, it's like fluorescence, but with an extremely long decay time, due to the particulars of the molecular shape. Yes, the shape of the fluorescent species determines whether its excited states decay in nanoseconds or in hours. So if you can charge up a phosphorescent material by whatever mechanism, it can keep glowing for hours afterwards.

    It used to be that ZnS was the standard for phosphorescent coatings, and it was used on every wristwatch and bedroom clock dial in the world. It's green, and not very bright. My new watch has an amazingly bright, long-lasting, blue glow to the hands, and it's due to a wholly new material: strontium aluminate. Unlike fluorescein and related fluorescent dyes you find in Cyalumes, it's a simple inorganic mineral that's extremely stable - just like ZnS. So guess what, now you can get a self-recharging light source that can be recycled basically forever:
    https://www.uvpaqlite.com/
    Heat, cold, cycling, extreme solar overexposure - nothing fazes it. But you can't switch it on or off on demand.

    So I think Cyalumes still have a place in prepper-land, but I'd combine them with the UV Paqlite, and with solar-powered LED lights. You can get four self-recharging solar path lights for $10 at Harbor Freight; each one is self-contained, automatically charging, auto-on at dark, with one replaceable AA battery, and best of all an on/off switch.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-brushed-nickel-led-path-lights-2-piece-60755.html
    (I got plastic ones, not brushed nickel.)

    Cheers!
     
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  13. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Yeah what he said.
     
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  14. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Chemist! I knew you'd come through, eventually! Lol. Next time I'll PM you.
     
    Riot likes this.
  15. fyrediver

    fyrediver Seattle Active Member

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    I have some that are about 15 years old. I tested one two weeks ago and it lit up just fine -- didn't expect that at all. They've been stored in cabinet in my garage in original packing with the foil intact.
     
  16. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I buy new in bulk every year for less than $1 each and give the old ones to the kids. Red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, high school colors for night games, orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas.