What Is a Glow Party?

by Chrystal Doucette
A glow party contrasts a dark room with the light of glowing objects.

A glow party contrasts a dark room with the light of glowing objects.

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With the lights out, you see people around you wearing colorfully glowing adornments. The decor, too, glows. The contrast between blackness and bright neon is what makes a glow party stand out from other parties. Sometimes called "glow-in-the-dark" parties, the events are ideal for evening gatherings where effects can be more easily achieved. Some features of a glow party might include glow-in-the-dark clothing, makeup and paint, glow sticks and black lights.

Glow Sticks and LED Lights

A staple at glow parties, glow sticks come in many different forms. As bracelets, necklaces and attached to string are just some of the ways people wear them. Traditionally used in emergency situations as a tool for seeing in the dark, glow sticks contain two liquids that, when mixed, light up for hours. Bend the stiff glow stick until it makes a cracking sound, and you have blended and activated the chemicals. LED lights are another popular accessory at glow parties. You can find them in anything from jewelry and finger lights to cocktail shakers and martini glasses.

Makeup and Attire

Party guests contribute to the glow theme through makeup and clothing. El-Wire, a bendable, battery-powered light resembling a long, thin glow stick, can be wrapped around a person's arms and clothing to accent an outfit. Guests also may wear glowing and black-light sensitive clothing. Black lights are powerful ultraviolet lights that look black in the light but give an unmistakable blueish hue in a dark room. Just make sure if you attend a party, you don't have a stain on your shirt or you will really stand out. You may see colorful shirts that glow when the lights are down, either in simple designs like headphones or resembling intricate works of art. Some people wear glow-in-the-dark makeup, wigs and nail polish as well.


Some unexpected items are available in glow-in-the-dark versions, and you'll find them at a glow party. You may see glow-in-the-dark balloons, paint, bubbles, banners, stir sticks, ice cubes (artificial) and drinking glasses. The party host might enhance the room with color-changing lamps and table-top decor. The aim is to make the decorations, like the people, fit the party theme.


Glow parties feature dance music found at clubs and raves. The music may be an electronic genre, such as dubstep, hip hop, hard style, trance, industrial and techno. The genres all have a distinct style but are based on electronic synthesizers. For example, dubstep features a down-tempo style with deep bass and distinctive "wobble" sounds warping the bass. Trance is characterized by melodic tunes that evolve during the course of the song. Hard style features a steady, stomp-worthy beat.

About the Author

Chrystal Doucette was health and education reporter for "The Columbia Basin Herald," a staff reporter for the "Snohomish County Tribune" and a contributing writer for the "Everett Business Journal." She owns and operates a retail business full-time since 2010. Baldwin holds a master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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