Illoom Balloons

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I remember seeing videos of sky lanterns released during the Taiwan Lantern Festival and thinking how beautiful, how amazing, how dangerous! The sky lanterns are made of paper, illuminated by candles, and released into the air to float as long as they will. This is something I'd like to try myself, if it weren't for the danger of setting the entire community on fire. That was my first thought when I ran across Illoom Balloons.
Illoom Balloons are lit internally by LEDs! Just one tiny LED per balloon makes it glow for up to 15 hours. You take each balloon, pull a tab to activate the tiny battery and light, then blow it up as usual by mouth, pump, or helium tank. They are safe enough for children (over three years old due to small parts) to blow up themselves. Used with plain air, these would make a nighttime party special as both decorations and activities. And not just kids parties, either -I can see them used at a wedding reception, concert, party boat, or picnic. After the party, keep them as a glowing reminder (meaning a night light) for as loilloom2ng as they last. With helium, they still make great decorations tied down or a memorable special effect when released, like the soaring illuminations of the Lantern Festival. This is one of the few gadgets I've written about that I might actually buy for myself.
Illoom Balloons are available in stores in the UK and will be soon in the US. You can order all blue, pink-purple-and-white, or mixed color balloons. £4.99 ($8) for a 5-pack or £8.99 ($14) for a pack of 15.

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January 11, 2010 - 3:04am
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