Kpopalypse is back with another important post which is all about your safety and welfare as a k-pop fan! Read on for the trufax as Kpopalypse assesses k-pop fan lightsticks!
You can be forgiven for missing this very important news, but recently a k-pop lightstick saved a life. A Seventeen fan in China was trapped by flood waters but was able to be spotted and rescued due to the light from her Seventeen fan lightstick. Another fan experiencing the same flooding was able to safely illuminate her surroundings with the same model of lightstick after the charge from her mobile phone went out, while she waited for power to be restored to the neighbourhood. This isn’t even a coincidence – the lightstick was apparently designed to be “brighter than average” so it could double as a safety light for fans going home after concerts. The lightstick in question is the “Caratbong 2”, seen here:
Look at that bright light, very practical, plus the design is very simple and elegant. The lightstick also has some great flashing modes, seen here:
In a time of increasing extreme weather events globally, a good lightstick may be more relevant to your needs than ever. We already know that the Caratbong 2 is the gold standard for lightsticks, having now proven itself in emergency situations… but what about your favourite group and their lightstick? Is it OH&S compliant? Can it be counted on to get you out of trouble in an emergency situation? Or is the company just milking you for money (again) by selling you useless crap? Let’s take a look at some popular k-pop groups’ lightsticks and see if they meet required standards!
We may as well start with “that k-pop group that isn’t” BTS, and their lightstick, the “Army Bong”. How does it fare?
The design of the Army Bong is very similar to the Seventeen lightstick, it’s clearly the same type of idea – but the results are not very bright at all, it’s really a bit pissweak and unimpactful just like the last half a dozen BTS releases. Yes you do get the flashing modes, but it’s more like a candle flickering than a malfunctioning street light, just a little too “smooth like butter” to get your ass noticed by the rescue squad before you drown, due to the frankly lazy design, with the position of the light being cheaply attached to the handle and not taking full advantage of the circumference of the glass. Fortunately as a member of the world’s most annoying music fandom you probably won’t be missed.
Is Blackpink’s lightstick OH&S compliant enough to keep you safe?
The unusual colour of the uncreatively named “Blackpink Official Lightstick ver 2” certainly is an asset, and it also seems to be bright enough to get the job done and attract any rescue squad in your area with some cool flashing modes. However having to adjust the brightness by phone app is a bit of an issue, with the stick in the video defaulting to a pissy 17% brightness, so this is going to be pretty useless if you run out of phone charge unless you’ve remembered to set the stick to maximum brightness beforehand. Also notice how the person had trouble syncing the Bluetooth up when her phone and the brand new lightstick were right fucking next to each other, I’d suggest that despite all the tech here, the reliability isn’t a strong point and that maybe the workmanship of this lightstick isn’t exactly the revolution.
We know that the Monsta X guys are buff, but are their cheering goods as well-built?
Honestly this “Official Monsta X Lightstick” seems a little crap to me, with the light being somewhat better than BTS’s failure of a lightstick but still not really optimal. The fact that the videomaker had to turn all the lights off completely to be able to film the light convincingly tells you a lot. However the flashing mode on this one is as hard-hitting as Monsta X members flashing their abs, and should be enough to attract attention just due to its pattern, it’s just unfortunate that the tinted glass really takes the edge off the brightness.
In this video both the “Candybong Z” and the original “Candybong” are tested.
While definitely one of the prettiest lightsticks on offer here, the Candybong Z gives out a pretty pathetic amount of actual light, and doesn’t even have a flashing mode, opting instead for some smoothly spinning bullshit that will look very pretty when you’re tripping on LSD but isn’t really much of a rescue signal. The original version of the lightstick is superior because even though the light from it is also weak, at least it can flash, but I still don’t think that emergency services are going to be knock-knocking on your door very quickly if these weak ping-pong racket things are all you are relying on.
Let’s go with the “Ateez Official Lightstick”:
The “Ateez Official Lightstick” has a cool antique street light sort of vibe, but that comes at the cost of some brightness, with some fancy designs obstructing the actual light. It all seems a little disappointing until 6:11 where the video maker activates the Ateez Flashing Mode Of +5 Epilepsy. Goddamn, that is definitely going to attract a lot of attention – and a lot of annoyance too, probably, but an emergency situation is not the time to be worried about politeness.
Here’s the “NCT Official Lightstick”:
This weird ugly square thing looks like a glowstone from Minecraft and seems to emit about the same amount of light – which is to say, not enough to keep the zombies from spawning. Even the flashing mode is kind of weak and boring, I would definitely not recommend NCT’s lightstick for safety or even aesthetics, brushing your teeth with some green mint toothpaste and then not washing your mouth out will probably have about the same effect.
Is Red Velvet’s official lightstick appropriately red and velvety?
Actually yes it is. Red Velvet’s lightstick is also so OH&S compliant that it hits you with multiple warnings and safety advice before you even open the box. However the actual light coming from this thing is a bit pissweak, mainly due to it being… well, red, and as a result even the flashing modes have no real impact. I guess they didn’t have much choice really, now that’s one of the dangers or naming your group after a colour. At least when the rescue crew eventually find your decomposing body any necrophiliacs among them will have some nice classy-sexy mood lighting available to them.
Itzy’s stick is called the “Light Ring”, does this unusual design work?
Itzy’s “ring” seems a bit crappy at first, with the standard mode being not all that special, but the two flashing modes here are excellent. Having the actual “light” portion cover a larger part of the stick than most of its competitors means that more light is being emitted overall in a larger radius, plus because it’s a ring you can wear it on your arm if you get sick of holding the damn thing up all the time. Very good, this meets required lightstick standards, even though it’s not really a stick.
Here’s the “Official EXO fanlight ver 3”:
The flashing logo is very pretty indeed and there’s some cool flashing modes here, but EXO’s lightstick is let down by the fact that the big separating bar in the centre means that there’s not a lot of illuminated area to work with. Too bad if the emergency crews are at a 90 degree angle to whichever direction you’re holding the lightstick, your chances of being spotted reliably are slim to none if you just happen to twist this thing to the wrong angle.
Now we have the “Loona Official Lightstick”, they’re not very creative with these names, are they.
Loona’s lightstick is fairly long compared to the average stick, which theoretically would be a bit useful if you have to get attention from something high up, however the amount of light coming from this thing is quite frankly crap, which I guess is partly due to having the fancy design, because what’s the point of having a fancy design if you can’t see it because the stick is too bright. But then, what’s the point of being a Loona fan if you’re fucking dead from flood waters painting the town with your blood and guts because you couldn’t get emergency help when you needed it. I guess it’s dim because the group have got a “moon” theme so they went for a soft moon-like glow, instead of something that would actually be seen, maybe if the manufacturers had stanned Loona this lame lack of illumination wouldn’t have happened.
Did I say that Loona’s lightstick was long? Check out the “Dreamcatcher Official Lightstick”:
If you need your light bauble to reach a high place, this is the lightstick for you. Unfortunately the amount of light on offer here is even less than Loona’s stick, so even though you’re sure to draw attention as the best-dressed wizard at your next LARP meeting, the chances of anyone actually noticing you when you’re rolling the dice for real are pretty slim. At least the very attractive coffin-shaped box is a good omen of the likely outcome if you were actually going to attempt to use this device for emergency signalling.
The “Superm Official Fanlight”:
Definitely a missed opportunity to shape the thing like a tadpole, SuperM have gone for a weird angular logo design which is pretty ugly compared to some of the other lightsticks on offer here. However the flashing mode on this thing is honestly SuperB and impossible to ignore due to the large radius of light it provides. As a bonus I think the sharp angles on this thing would possibly make an adequate can-opener if you were down to that last tin of emergency beans.
Version 1 and 2 of the Got7 lightstick here:
GOT7’s much more tadpole-like sticks have some sexy curves, but not a great deal of brightness. There’s really not much difference between these two lightsticks at all, with both offering a lot of light spread and a decent flash mode but also featuring a reasonably subdued green light that isn’t the best choice for attracting attention. Hopefully now that they’ve left JYP, GOT7 can use this opportunity to redesign and bring out something a bit more easily seen for their third lightstick.
SHINee’s stick is called the “Shating Star”, which might sound like a bowel dysfunction, how how does it perform?
Not very well, unfortunately. The subdued blue colour is nice to look at but it’s not going to get the needed attention that you’ll be craving in an emergency scenario. It does however at least have a reasonably fast flash mode that is probably your best bet to get noticed, but it really can’t compete with a lot of the other lightsticks in this list.
I don’t even know what this one is called.
T-ara’s lightstick definitely reeks of cheap and nasty production, with really very little to it, and is put to shame by most of the other lightsticks in this list. However for such a basic item it does do one thing well, which is give out quite a bit of light. Oh wait, no it doesn’t really do that very well either. At least the flashing mode is okay, but that’s hard to justify from a T-ara lightstick – after all, if fast flashing is what you want, you’d probably be better off just playing the “Sugar Free” video on your phone and holding the screen up.
iKon’s lightstick is called the “Konbat”. Okay, then.
For a stick with a fairly unfortunate colour choice, there’s still a reasonable chance of being seen just due to the dimensions of the portion of the stick that lights up. It could have used some better flash modes, but the “big red throb” mode certainly is eye-catching and I think it might be just enough to get you noticed by emergency services. Potentially also useful for sex workers who need lighting outside their premises to signal that they’re open for business, because you can say to the police when they visit “I’m just a really big iKon fan and I want the neighbours to know”.
Here’s the “Apink Official Lightstick”:
Of course it’s the shape of a “pink panda” which is a nice touch that took me a few minutes to grasp because I’m dumb, but more importantly this lightstick is bright as shit. The flashing modes are super hardcore like the JAVs that r/kpopfap wishes Apink members would do, and even having one entire side of the stick obscured by the panda face doesn’t dull the effect nearly as much as you might think, arguably it adds to the contrast to have that panda face silhouette there staring at you from the darkness, making the cutest lightstick here also the most creepy.
The Stray Kids Official Light Stick is called the “Nachimbong”:
Stray Kids’ lightstick is a little different because it actually has moving parts, although I have no idea why they decided to slap that big-ass wheel in the middle of it. The flash modes are a bit fucking crap (even the fangirl who made the video is a bit underwhelmed by them) and there’s a real lost opportunity here to motorise the wheel, plus the actual amount of light doesn’t seem all that great either. At least with such a simple design you’ll probably get a bit of battery life out of it.
“IZ*ONE Official Lightstick”, I think that’s what it’s called, couldn’t find any information here. Not that I searched.
It’s very pretty and I like the nice touch of having some anal beads trapped inside the light, so when the thing finally runs out of battery you can probably grab someone’s attention just by shaking it around a lot and hoping they hear the rattle. However the amount of light is pretty poor, this stick seems more designed for creating sexy mood lighting so you can get in the mood to fap to IZ*ONE in your bedroom rather than providing something that someone else might be able to see clearly from a distance.
Here’s G-Idle’s stick and I couldn’t work out if the logo was actually the name of the stick or just a pattern of some kind.
Anyway it’s got some very sexy colours just like IZ*ONE, but unlike IZ*ONE it also has a really good flash mode. Those “fricker” modes are very strong and definitely will increase your chances of rescue, but be careful as they could send you into a psychosis so intense that you may actually find yourself enjoying G-Idle’s music.
Astro’s lightstick is called the “Robong” and this is the version 2:
Much like IZ*ONE these colours here are more about mood lighting, and the unboxer gives this away when she talks about how the version 1 of this lightstick had the same kind of mood light stand that the IZ*ONE’s stick has. However the difference here is the flashing modes of the Robong are actually pretty crazy good, especially that really fast one because it flashes in an irregular fucked up pattern which is definitely bound to attract attention from someone, somewhere, even if it’s just your parents or roommates barging in and interrupting you mid-fap, or maybe someone from the local synagogue.
The TXT Official Lightstick:
I love annoying TXT fans by mentioning BTS in anything I write that’s TXT-related ever since a reader pointed out that I have a habit of doing that, and I’m going to do it now once again because I can. Gosh this lightstick is so much better than BTS’s crappy cheap globe, what’s your fucking problem BTS, why do you suck so much, aren’t you supposed to be paving the way or something. Anyway check out the cool flash mode on this TXT lightstick and know that you’re in the better fandom, or at least the one with a higher probability of rescue.
Here’s the “ONF Official Lightstick”
ONF’s lightstick sure is a letdown when it comes to light levels and it’s easy to see why. The globe part is packed with so much crap that it’s a wonder the thing gives off any light at all. At least the flash is pretty bright, but the unboxer does mention that the lightstick is fairly heavy so you may get pretty goddamn sick of holding it while waiting for someone to save you from the rising flood waters.
Now for the WJSN Official Lightstick, version 2:
Another stick that’s very pretty but has a globe packed full of random garbage that reduces the light levels. The WJSN stick contains three moving parts so that’s pretty cool, pity you have to shake the thing like a bitch to get those parts to actually move. The colours are pretty but not very easily seen, but this stick is saved by a really good flash mode that should be enough to get you more attention than WJSN themselves.
Lightsticks aren’t just for groups! Here’s the version 2 of the IU lightstick which is called the “Ike”:
Designed partly as a mood light, the IU stick seems kind of complicated but does the same shit as all the others more or less. The yellow light is bland during the day but should give lots of high contrast in dark environments and the flash mode is very intense like IU’s bitchstare. The only problem is that the stick is kind of ugly to be honest, so while you probably can be seen by the search and rescue party, whether they’ll actually prioritise you over the people with prettier signalling devices is another matter.
Here’s The Boyz:
Not only is this a lightstick, but it’s also a megaphone so you can call for help if the flood waters are rising… or if you’re being bullied in the schoolyard. Except that the light isn’t very bright, the megaphone doesn’t actually work, and the bluetooth connection is unreliable as fuck. Oh well, you probably deserved it. Oh, do you have any lunch money?
Let’s finish off with Mamamoo and the “Moobong”:
A well-known favourite group of feminists everywhere, Mamamoo are all about keeping ladies safe on the streets at night, and the Moobong with its five colours, five flash modes and a very large surface area of the stick taken up with illuminated parts has the right stuff to make sure you’re seen in a natural disaster emergency situation. If your archery is no good, or you left your bow and arrows at home, this stick will also do a good job of lighting up and scaring off any roving gangs of Korean incels.
That’s all for this post! Stay safe and well-illuminated, and Kpopalypse will return!