Are you a K-pop fan? Do you have merchandise from your faves? Is one of these unique items a light stick? Although similar to other K-pop merchandise, it is not necessary to have one to be a fan. However, light stick culture is huge in K-pop and here are some cool aspects of it!
One of the main points for having a light stick is to be part of the light stick experience during a concert. It's used to cheer on your faves as you wave it in the air and become one with the thousands of fans who, just like you, want to support their idols through their performances. Some light sticks have a Bluetooth connection that allows them to be controlled during the show, creating unique and synchronized changes of colors that we often see and wonder how the fans managed to pull them off. In general, light sticks enhance your already-special, once-in-a-lifetime concert experience, and make it all the more personal, not only for us as fans, but for the artists themselves when they see the support shining in waves of bright light.
Whether you're multi-fandom or just collect all types of merch, a light stick is a great addition to your collection. There are many light sticks, different for every fandom, and at times, there are also many different editions of light sticks for a single fandom. You can collect them all! Your light stick can be used in multiple ways, such as waving one, two, or all of them at a concert or your own private mini concert at home!
Light sticks are special as they are a part of the fandom, an extended family, an emblem of support, and a beacon of light that shows you are proud of your idols by illuminating the venue in green, aqua, white, pink or any other color. As seen in pictures, every light stick is different from one another, and they hold meanings that are special to each individual fandom.
For example, the light stick for BLACKPINK's fandom, Blinks, is inspired from a memory of the group on Weekly Idol. Back when Doni and Coni we’re still the MCs of the show, they played an activity with BLACKPINK using a rubber hammer that carried over into their pink light stick.
Another example is how BTS' fandom, ARMY, literally has a bomb-shaped light stick. Overall, every light stick, no matter how it looks, has a special meaning to the fandom.
Lastly, something else to notice about light stick culture in K-pop is it is simply a pretty and aesthetic part of it. You can take many beyond aesthetic pictures and videos of a light stick at a concert or at home. Also, there are sometimes even visual challenges with a light stick that you can take part of.
For example, there was a social media tag where fans would decorate their Carat Bong, the light stick for Carats—the fandom of SEVENTEEN. The trend was to decorate the inside of your carat bong, using materials such as small flowers, flower petals, or charms.
Which light stick do you want? How many do you own?
Which light sticks light up your world? Let us know in a comment below!
Written by Catherine Tai