LED Shoelaces

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LED Shoelaces

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:28 am

These items are becoming a fad with kids in Asia. That means they are manufactured in quantity and are cheap. No reason you couldn't use and reuse them for a variety of purposes!

They aren't structural, they cannot be tight laced. But they would make nice auxiliary laces for corsets. And they are not as bright a the pictures show with long time exposures. But you could argue they produce less one time use waste than glowsticks. (Hey playa recycling, how about dedicated glow stick recycling?)

They are coin cell driven LED's illuminating a length of plastic side-grow fiber. You can find them by searching LED shoelaces.

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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby jkisha » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:36 am

A campmate brought those to the playa this year. He could never get them to work. Maybe he just got a pair of lemons. (Or maybe he actually laced them up too tight and broke them. :shock: )
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:47 am

You would be better off with EL wire for corsets. No offense, but that's some Chinese junk right there..
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:24 am

I can assure you that your EL wire inverter is made in China. The original EL patent is in Israel, but now much of the wire is produced in China. The lifetime of LED's is about 10x EL wire. EL will tight(er) lace. But I think the playa is big enough for both...
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby trilobyte » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:41 am

I can't imagine there's an easy or cost-effective way to manage a glowstick recycling camp. You'd have to pay a dump to take glowstick refuse, where at least aluminum can recycling gets something back to offset the expenses. But if you want to do it, go for it! :wink:

The laces look like fun, but I can see how they could be fairly breakable. I've heard (but not yet seen) that they're achieving new levels of flexibility with fiber, but for decorative/costuming purposes EL-wire may also fit the bill (if you can find a convenient place to tuck a driver and battery pack).
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:16 pm

Two years ago I had a tall coin bank that I painted and marked with "please put dead glow sticks in here" and attached it to a table that I set on the edge of the street infront of my camp. When I returned home I opened it up and had more MOOP style trash in there then dead glow sticks (plastic wrap, tissue, etc.) I thought about making a bunch of them, and attaching them to the street posts up and down my spoke, but don't want to end up with trash cans that would end up creating more of a mess then anything.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby essjay » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:48 pm

trilobyte wrote:I can't imagine there's an easy or cost-effective way to manage a glowstick recycling camp. You'd have to pay a dump to take glowstick refuse, where at least aluminum can recycling gets something back to offset the expenses. But if you want to do it, go for it! :wink:



Nothing is cost-effective on the playa. That is the point - volunteers do things without expectation of monetary gain.

That is one of my pet peeves with one of the so-called recycling camps that I saw on the playa this year that said it would only accept aluminum cans and no other recycling. Great, you will take the one item that you can make money on and not the rest. I don't know how profitable aluminum recycling is on that scale with transportation costs, etc. But it just seemed a little off that they are taking the only recycling material that actually has monetary value. What is a person's motivation to trek their aluminum to that recycling camp, knowing that they will still have to pack out the rest of their recyclables and make a stop at an appropriate recycling place on the way home?

I may be way off and I don't want to accuse these people of trying to make a profit if I'm wrong. It just seemed odd to me that they are only taking the profitable recyclable material and nothing else.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:19 pm

essjay wrote:
trilobyte wrote:I can't imagine there's an easy or cost-effective way to manage a glowstick recycling camp. You'd have to pay a dump to take glowstick refuse, where at least aluminum can recycling gets something back to offset the expenses. But if you want to do it, go for it! :wink:



Nothing is cost-effective on the playa. That is the point - volunteers do things without expectation of monetary gain.

That is one of my pet peeves with one of the so-called recycling camps that I saw on the playa this year that said it would only accept aluminum cans and no other recycling. Great, you will take the one item that you can make money on and not the rest. I don't know how profitable aluminum recycling is on that scale with transportation costs, etc. But it just seemed a little off that they are taking the only recycling material that actually has monetary value. What is a person's motivation to trek their aluminum to that recycling camp, knowing that they will still have to pack out the rest of their recyclables and make a stop at an appropriate recycling place on the way home?

I may be way off and I don't want to accuse these people of trying to make a profit if I'm wrong. It just seemed odd to me that they are only taking the profitable recyclable material and nothing else.


I seem to recall reading somewhere that the money raised from the aluminum is donated to some worthy cause. I may be wrong on this and I'm a bit hazy on where I read it as it was months ago.

Edit: A search turned up that they are donated to Gerlach school

"The one exception to this rule is Recycle Camp, where you can take your aluminum cans only. They collect, crush & bag as many cans as possible in a week and then donate them to the Gerlach School. There the school organizes to recycle them and the school gets to keep the deposit money."
http://www.burningman.com/environment/resources/recycling.html
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby essjay » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:28 pm

Drawingablank wrote:I seem to recall reading somewhere that the money raised from the aluminum is donated to some worthy cause. I may be wrong on this and I'm a bit hazy on where I read it as it was months ago.

Edit: A search turned up that they are donated to Gerlach school

"The one exception to this rule is Recycle Camp, where you can take your aluminum cans only. They collect, crush & bag as many cans as possible in a week and then donate them to the Gerlach School. There the school organizes to recycle them and the school gets to keep the deposit money."
http://www.burningman.com/environment/resources/recycling.html




Well, that is certainly a worthy cause. Thank you for the clarification.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:33 pm

Glow sticks are virgin #2 polyethylene, which is recycled to make portapotties (among other things). It's a very poor single use.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:54 pm

some seeing eye wrote:I can assure you that your EL wire inverter is made in China. The original EL patent is in Israel, but now much of the wire is produced in China. The lifetime of LED's is about 10x EL wire. EL will tight(er) lace. But I think the playa is big enough for both...


The playa is big enough for 1000 Mac semi trucks and more.. so what's your point? I didn't say because it's made in China it's junk.. I said that that right there is some Chinese junk. The basis for my comment is the breakabililty and lack of real light emission.

Sorry if I offended you and your LED shoelaces. You're free to bring whatever blinky stuff you want. You asked for opinion, and an opinion was given. Rage on with your bad self.. :lol: :roll:
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby BBadger » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:38 am

Ah, it seems it is time for me to cut down yet another product in a tactless manner.

We got some of those shoelaces thinking they'd be cool and shit. No. They're lame.

- They're not bright at all (even in that photo in the OP they're dim). BM is actually a very bright place, so they're not going to cut it.

- Being attached to your shoes they get dusty, and so they're even more dim.

- Nobody wants to lace them up on already laced boots. So you end up sort of "tying them" to your shoes where they look stupid and you end up cutting them off with KNIVES.

- They're fragile and break easily. It was bad enough that my boot shoe laces got caught on my bike pedal and I tipped over (after slowing down) because of it. I can't imagine having more flimsy ropes on me a trip me up. Maybe they breaking is a good thing in that respect.

- People just don't look at shoes. It's not like you're wearing Reebok Pumps in the 1980s. You'll want lights at eye level even just for safety reasons.

- Okay, so you want to use it somewhere besides on your shoes. There are much better lights for that.

- EL/glow ropes and wires are just so... dim this days. EL wire used to be cool and shit, but now, it just isn't that bright anymore compared to those bright LED rope lights, point sources, and other things. I still had EL on my bike, but in the end, I didn't actually expect it to be bright enough to be seen except from the side. I'll be spending more time decorating my bike in LEDs this time.

- If you want to light up your shoes, get some of those blinky LED lights that you can tie into the laces you already have. They're far brighter, more secure, and cheaper in general.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby Zhust » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:47 am

some seeing eye wrote:The lifetime of LED's is about 10x EL wire.


LED lifetime: 50,000 hours+ = 5.7 years+ (see http://www.lumex.com/en/going-green).
EL-wire lifetime: 500 hours+ = 21 days+ (see http://www.elwire.com/faq/faq.html).

Corrected: "The lifetime of LED's is about 100x EL wire.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby trilobyte » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:45 pm

@some seeing eye & @essjay - I can appreciate that you guys would like to see camps recycle more or other things, but to criticize a camp that's at least trying and doing something when you aren't is kind of hypocritical. Burning Man is something of a do-ocracy - if you see something that needs to be done or that you could help to make it better... do it. It's a big playa, even if there was some overlap in what was collected by multiple recycle camps, there'd likely be plenty of room for both to thrive and help make a difference.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby essjay » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:31 pm

trilobyte wrote:@some seeing eye & @essjay - I can appreciate that you guys would like to see camps recycle more or other things, but to criticize a camp that's at least trying and doing something when you aren't is kind of hypocritical. Burning Man is something of a do-ocracy - if you see something that needs to be done or that you could help to make it better... do it. It's a big playa, even if there was some overlap in what was collected by multiple recycle camps, there'd likely be plenty of room for both to thrive and help make a difference.


Trilobyte: I withdrew my criticism in a previous post. Running that camp to donate to charity is great. My only initial concern was that they were doing it for profit and I was clearly wrong. Sorry if there was still confusion.

And, please don't suggest that I am not doing anything. I may not be recycling for others, but I volunteered over 40 hours of my time on the playa as staff this year and found it very rewarding.
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:25 pm

Hey thanks everyone for comments, really I'm generally in agreement and most are consistent with my original post. I didn't notice I was criticizing any camps though. The essence of recycling is to achieve a pure material stream into a matched reuse. I believe people should ideally bring things home to established (though imperfect) recycling systems that achieve critical mass. But playa brain works against achieving a pure recycling stream, so I think BM is generally hopeless in that respect. There is more critical mass of glow sticks on the playa than in the city though.

Do-ocracy Kool-Aid is really not a topic I want to get into.

BTW thanks jaycerochester - I was just pulling up 1000/10000 hours from memory, good for actually looking it up!
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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:12 am

trilobyte wrote:I can't imagine there's an easy or cost-effective way to manage a glowstick recycling camp. You'd have to pay a dump to take glowstick refuse



..really? Why is this? Is it because it's rated "hazardous" due to the waste contents leftover inside?


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Re: LED Shoelaces

Postby JesseGrrl2009 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:18 pm

I guess my experience is pretty uncommon then... I have a pair of the "blue" led laces and they're quite bright. They're very flexible and even inside my bright living room they were easy to see the glow. I wish I could tell you where they came from, but they were a gift so I'm not sure :/ I think the laces, like anything else, you just have to shop around. Good ones are out there. And while they may not be perfect for tight corset lacing, you could easily loop them through for looks, or use them as easy removable costume accents. Below are pics of my laces in regular light and lights off.

RegLight.jpg
Regoff.jpg
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