How-to: SF Streetlights

30 minutes
As many streetlights as you have torches.

Side Cutters
Fine Sandpaper or Wet-n-Dry Paper

Glow Stick Flashlight
Large washers in several sizes
40mm taper and rounded-edge round bases
Spray Primer


Many thanks to Richard from the games club who found the glow sticks in the first place and got hold of some for me!

These instructions are specific to these specific lights, you'll need to tweak things to whatever lights you manage to get hold of. The basic idea should be similar though - we want to add a wide heavy base on the bottom to keep it upright during gaming and some kind of canopy on top to make it look more like a street light. What's extra handy with these ones is that one end has a white LED and the other has either a red, green or blue LED.

First take the glow stick apart by unscrewing the translucent tube and then carefully pulling the innards out. You might need to push gently on the glass over the torch end.

The rubber switch cover can probably be left in place. I removed it for spraying but ended up losing the inner t-shaped piece which wasn't so good as that's what presses on the microswitch to turn it on and off.

Use the side cutter to cut off the lanyard hook, then use the knife and sandpaper to remove the mould lines from the body of the glow stick.

Roughen the 'front' edge of the torch and one of the bigger washers. Make sure any grease on the washer has been thoroughly cleaned off. Glue the torch centrally onto the washer. This washer will form the base for the light and should be as big and heavy as you can easily get hold of to make the light stable.

Clean up the tapered-edge and rounded-edge 40mm circular bases and glue the tapered one on top of the round-edge one.

Spray the bases and washer-torch body assembly black. Make sure this undercoat is nice and solid so that light can't shine through it or do what Richard did and paint it with a couple of layers of liquid greenstuff. Now lightly overspray with grey and/or white spray paint to get a bit of variation in tone and texture.

Once this has dried, add some weathering using Devlan Mud or similar and then varnish.

Reassemble the glow stick by placing the innards back inside and screwing the translucent cylinder back in. Note that the rear LED was the one that was coloured and the torch end had the white LED so you might want to turn it around. Fortunately with these torches the inner part is symetrical and works either way around.

For the moment I've just used blu-tack to hold the canopy on, but here's the finished article. In this one you can see that the black undercoat wasn't quite thick enough as you can see some light shining through the blue plastic.


Alternative Construction

Instead of gluing the torch body to the big washer, glue it to a smaller washer or to the underside of a double-base. Then after painting fit the tapered end of the translucent cylinder into the hole in the larger washer. With the washers I was using, this required trimming down the end of the cylinder.

Now fit the cylinder solidly into the hole and glue in place. As the light is pointing downwards rather than upwards it won't look as bright as the first version but the light falls downwards on the surrounding table and is more realistic.


Finally, here's some of the lights on a table, before the extra parts were added and showing some of the different colours of the LEDs. The three in the foreground are Richard's ones with LGS painted onto the body parts making for a very opaque covering.