What Are Glow In The Dark Balloons And How Do They Work?

Posted in glow in the dark balloons, glow sticks balloons on January 30, 2013

So what are glow in the dark balloons? In a nutshell, glow in the dark balloons are regular latex balloons with LED lights built in so that with the lights turned on, the balloons will glow in the dark. Let’s see how they are made. First, these are the regular latex balloons you can get at Party City, Wal-Mart, Dollar Store, etc. Then they took the LED lights and built the lights in at the base of the balloons. Of course, the LED lights come with batteries and there is a button you can turn them on/off. So with the lights turned on, the balloon will turn on. Some may argue with the LED lights at the base of the balloons and the fact LED lights are generally very small, will the whole balloon light up or only the bottom portion of the balloon light up? The argument is correct in the sense that if you really examine the light, you will see the lower portion of the balloon will appear to be brighter as that’s where the lights are located. Even though LED lights are small, they are pretty bright so the whole balloon will light up just fine.

There are two types of glow in the dark balloons that are the most popular: the Assorted color and Multi-Color. In the Assorted Color option, each balloon is a single color balloon, meaning the balloons do not change color. And the colors are Red, Green, Blue & White. And they are packed 10 balloons in a box. So in the Assorted Color balloon box, you will have 2-3 of each of the four colors to make up the 10 balloons. And it’s important to note it’s the COLOR of LED light that determines the color of the balloon. Because all the latex balloons used to make light up balloons are clear color. For example, if Red LED lights are installed, then it will flash Red, thus a Red light up balloon. Although there are colored latex balloons with clear LED lights, they do not look as fun as clear balloons with colored LED lights balloons.

Now let’s talk about Multi-Color glow in the dark balloons.

In the Multi-Color option, each balloon can change from one color to another color plus an automatically color rotating option. This is done by using again clear latex balloons, same as the Assorted color option, but with Multi-Color LED lights built in them. To set the balloon to different color, one just needs to press the same button that can turn it on/off. So with first press, the balloon will turn on and typically to color Red, press it again, it will change to blue, then press it again, green, then yellow, then orange, then pink, then purple and then in the last option, the color will automatically flashing from one color to another color. And do they really have 7 different color LED lights hidden at the base of the balloon? No. They only have 3 basic colors: Red, Green & Blue, by combining the different colors together; all 7 colors can be generated.

Now how do you blow them up? Just like regular balloons, one can take them to places like Party City where they have helium machines. Just fill them with helium and they will float. You can also blow them up with a bicycle inflator but keep in mind the balloons will blow up but they won’t float. Another interesting design with the glow in the dark balloons is that they are designed to try to prevent air from leaking out and by doing that it has a tight seal such that the balloons cannot be blown up by mouth. Lastly, a ribbon is attached at the base of the balloon for ease of playing.

What about if you would like to make some glow in the dark balloons yourself? It’s doable. First get some regular balloons and some glow sticks, probably 6” or 4” glow stick. Then activate the glow sticks. Then inset the glow stick, probably just 1, into the balloon. Then blow it up with helium. 6” glow stick will be much brighter than 4” so the balloon filled with a 6” stick will be much brighter than filled with a 4”. But keep in mind, 6” will add more weight than 4” stick to the balloon, depending on the size of the balloon, balloons filled with a 6” glow stick might not flow even with helium because of the extra weight from the stick. Another size glow stick that can be used is the 12” glow stick. If the balloons are 14” or bigger, the 12” will fit in and the advantage is the light will be more uniform from top to the bottom of the balloon than balloons filed with 6”/4” stick because the stick will stay at the base of the balloon.


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