The “Crackle Tube” effect produces a bright, fast-moving lightning inside a glass tube that is packed with small pieces of fill material- either cut glass tubing or glass beads.
The gas discharge dances through the spaces between this fill material, concentrating the light into thin, bright streamers that take the form of lightning. The path of the lightning changes direction at random, and is touch interactive.
We make two types of crackle tubes, both of which can be made with custom colors:
“Classic” Crackle Tubes:
The “Classic” style of crackle tube is filled with thousands of small shards of clear, cut-glass tubing. This tube can be filled with various colors of gas fill, including Neon (orange-red), Argon (pastel purple), or Krypton (bright white). These tubes are powered by traditional older “core and coil” style neon transformers instead of the newer electronic plasma power supplies. These transformers require two wire connections, so the tube must have two electrodes.
“Variable Speed” Crackle Tubes:
Developed by Strattman Design, this newer type of crackle tube is filled with small glass beads coated with phosphors, to create the same crackling lightning-like effects but in a wider range of colors, without being limited to only the color of the gas. Blue or White will look like realistic lightning, but Green, Red or Purple are also available! These lighting displays run off of a 12 volt DC wall adapter and use very little power, usually less than 12 watts. The speed of crackle is manually adjustable. These tubes only require one wire connection. Additional circuitry can make the tube crackle in sync with music or other sound effects.
Both types of Crackle Tubes are available in lengths up to 6 feet and a variety of diameters.
The same lightning effect as seen in our Crackle Tubes is also available in the form of a globe. Inquire about available sizes.