The Best Light Up Drum Stick! How to Make the Right Pick?
Posted in Gear | Last Updated on May 1, 2020
Everyone knows that we drummers love to be noticed!
Just cause we’re generally in the back of the stage doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get the attention of the audience. Whether it's playing extra loud or super fast, we know ho to get people to look at us. But despite all of that, there is still one “sure-thing” that will always get people’s attention… lighting! No matter what stage of human evolution we reach, nothing will ever stop us humans from noticing and getting excited over objects that light up. Regardless of how sophisticated we might be, it is always fun to see things like neon signs, fireworks, light shows and, of course, light up drumsticks.
Typically, as a drummer, you try to avoid playing anything that isn’t made of wood, and drumsticks are no exception. However, if you’re looking to add more showmanship to a performance, (or just show off a little) then light up drumsticks might be the right move for you. This list is comprised of some of the standard options when it comes to LED drumsticks along with a basic review of some of their pro’s and con’s.
#1. Rocksticks 2 HD LED Drumsticks
Features: Battery powered LED drumsticks, bright LED, frosted tip to reflect color, durable nylon material
The Rocksticks 2 HD are the symbol of standard LED glowing drumsticks. These are the first result when searching online for LED drumsticks; proving that they have been tried and tested for years now. The good and bad qualities of these sticks are often the same of other LED drumsticks regardless of the brand making this a perfect starting point for an assessment of light-up drumsticks.
These sticks are insanely durable, lighting aside. The actual material the drumstick is made from is solid nylon; this stick might chip here or there but it would take the power of Thor to snap one of these babies straight in half. The reason I left the lighting out of that sentence is because it seems the exact opposite is true when it comes to the electrical LED light circuit on the inside of the stick! Some people have even said that the stick went out in a matter of hours with the average lifespan being about a month.
If you ask me the point of a lighted drumstick is to “light-up”! So, after hearing that this happened to multiple different people in such a short amount of time, I would be cautious when considering this stick. To be fair, this stick has sold a lot of pairs, so it’s entirely possible that the negative reviews are coming from outlying instances and are not the norm, but that is for you to decide.
#2. Light Sticks Color Changing LED Drumsticks
Features: lights upon contact, cycles through 7 different colors, made from extremely durable poly-carbonate, uses LED’s.
Without a doubt, the coolest part about the Light Sticks Color Changing LED Drumsticks is the light-on-contact feature. Not only will these sticks light as you play, but they will give an added strobe-ing effect making these ones of the coolest glowing stick options. However, this feature will not activate if the sticks are hit too softly and to be honest. They need to be hit fairly hard to get it to work. Good thing these things are durable.
Speaking of durability these sticks made by “Light Sticks” take physical durability to a new level. Instead of the usual clear nylon material that most light-up drumsticks are made from the Light Sticks Color Changing LED Drumsticks are made from a much more durable plastic-derived substance called polycarbonate. Essentially nylon sticks are toothpicks compared to this substance. However, there is a trade-off about this added durability that needs to be considered. Often times, playing with sticks that are extra heavy/unbreakable means that you open up a higher possibility of damaging the rest of your drum set, especially the cymbals. Be wary when playing with any stick that is harder or heavier than usual or you might end up with costly replacements of your favorite pieces.
#3. Rocksticks 2 Pro HD
Features: Battery powered LED drumstick, can cycle through 13 different colors, made from durable nylon.
This is a slightly more expensive, but also a higher-end version of the original Rocksticks 2, with some more advanced features. For example, these sticks come with more colour-changing options than the regular Rocksticks 2 HD. They have a color-changing mode; which can cycle through 13 different colors while playing. As usual the nylon body of the stick makes it so that it is incredibly durable, however the same cannot be said about the lighting circuit within the stick. It seems that the average lifespan for one of these stick pairs is about a month. This may seem pretty short but keep in mind most hard-hitting drummers go through regular wooden sticks in about a month if not sooner.
[Since you are on your research journey it might be a good idea to check our best drum sticks for electronic drums guide.]
It seems that the feel of these sticks hasn’t changed from the original Rocksticks 2 HD. They still are very loose feeling or “spongy” as if you can feel them bend extremely while hitting them on the drum. This makes playing on them more tiring and certain drumming techniques such as rolls can become close to impossible.
On top of that just like any nylon drumstick it becomes incredibly slippery when wet so if you do sweat while playing the drums (as do countless drummers), then you are sure to have one fly far out of your grip.
However even with all that this still seems to be one of the very best options for light-up drumsticks on the market. It is known that Rocksticks make high quality LED drumsticks (when compared to the competition) and have served their purpose well in the past.
#4. Trophy Firesticks - FX12BL
Features: battery-powered LED lit Drumsticks, made from nylon. 5 color options.
This particular LED drumstick differs from the rest of the options on this list; in fact, it’s quite different from most of the options on the market. For instance, it is one of the only light-up stick options that allow you to replace the batteries. This is a HUGE plus considering that with the other options, the stick will be useless once the batteries go out. However, there is a tradeoff. These batteries aren’t too simple to replace because they often get stuck after the stick is played with and the screw that holds the battery cap in-place is incredibly small. Still, with a little effort, you can continue using your electro-glowing sticks instead of having to buy a whole new pair!
Next is the durability of this stick. Now I’m not just talking about the nylon/acrylic shell itself but mainly the lighting circuit. As far as the conversation goes around LED drumsticks, the Trophy Firesticks seem to be the ones with the best wiring circuit. Ensuring that they keep their ability to glow longer then most (if not all) other options.
The feel of the Firesticks aren’t too bad when it comes to solid nylon sticks; however they are fairly dead when it comes to rebound, causing them to feel heavier than they actually are. It's known that drummers do the most physical work in the band, but you should know that with these sticks it will be even more work. Of course, it’s always worth the attention.
The only major problem with these sticks is that there is no on or off switch, and the only way to have the lights turn off you’ll have to take out the battery. If you don’t remove the batteries, the batteries will run out before you get a chance to use the sticks again.
As far as glowing drumsticks go the Firesticks seem to be a little undiscovered, but from the few that have heard about them, it seems to me like a better all-around option comparatively.
Truth be told, there is only one important function that all of these sticks bring to the table, and that is the fact that they can light up. The rest is just a judgment call on what normal stick factors are you willing to live without when it comes to playing with glowing drumsticks. Maybe playability is not too crucial for your situation, for example, a show where the drum parts are simple. Whatever the case, there is always a need for more light.