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LED balloon lights are a hot trend for cool parties, no doubt about it. But there are so many types and brands that it's difficult to know which ones to choose. We've done the research for you. But first...
There are two basic types of LED balloons. On one hand, you have the ready-made bundles, where the LED light is attached to the inside of the balloon. Popular brands for this type of illuminated balloons are Lumi-Loons and iLLooms.
On the other hand, you can purchase light-weight, battery operated LED lights separately, and put them into or around the latex balloons yourself. A trendy example for the latter are the so-called BoBo balloons.
We'll look into pros and cons for each type of balloon lights, how much they cost and where you can get them at a good price.
When you consider getting balloon lights for your party, you want to know the answers to these questions...
Now let's get into our led balloon lights reviews.
These balloons have the LED light attached inside, at the end opposite to the balloon neck. You activate the light by pulling on the paper tab that's protruding from the balloon's mouth.
The LED lights last for up to 15 hours, although some users say they glowed much longer. Just be aware that these lights are small and therefor not very bright. You'll get the best effect if you use them at night or in a darkened room.
You can inflate them either with air, using your mouth or a balloon pump, or with helium. Be careful not to over-inflate them, or they may pop. The packs come with a measuring band to help you blow them up to the correct size.
Because the battery / light bundle is attached to the inside of the balloon, opposite of its neck, the inflated balloon tends to orient with the mouth upwards.
So, when you inflate them with helium, they won't float straight upside, as a regular balloon would do, but sway sideways.
Once the battery is empty, you cannot reuse the LED balloon bundles.
A mixed color party pack of 5 iLLooms sells for about $10 at Amazon. At the time of this review (October 2020, updated August 2021), I couldn't find any larger packs of iLLooms.
Similar no-name LED balloon bundles received good reviews too, and are a lot cheaper. You can get 30 balloons for under $12.
The iLLoom review video below shows how to use the balloon lights and how they look when inflated with air or helium.
Lumi-Loons come as complete units containing a latex balloon, three LED lights and a special valve with a 6-foot string attached to it.
The bulb area of the light is inserted into the latex balloon and the balloon is inflated around the light.
Because of the special valve, which seals the balloon tightly to keep the air or helium from leaking out, you cannot blow up Lumi-Loons with your mouth. You'll either need a helium tank (if you want the balloons to float) or an electrical balloon inflator.
Supposedly you can also use a bicycle or car tire pump to inflate them, but I couldn't find any confirmation that this really works.
You activate the light by pushing a button through the balloon, either before or after inflation. You can choose between three modes: always on, slow blink or fast blink.
If fully inflated, a helium filled Lumi-Loon will float and blink for about 8 hours. Contrary to the iLLooms, the LED unit sits at the mouth of the balloon, so they will float up right, and not sway sideways or upside down.
You can choose between white balloons with different colors of LEDs, colored balloons with white lights, or a variety of patterns for different occasions.
The Lumi-Loons are a bit tricky to find (I assume that they aren't being produced any more).
At the time of this writing (October 2020, updated August 2021), I could still find a few Lumi-Loons offers at Ebay. Price for one unit is about $1.75.
Watch the video below for a demonstration of how they work.
These are small, light-weight, battery operated LED lights that you turn on and then put inside your latex balloon. They come in white, red, green, blue and purple colors, and last for 8+ hours.
They are not only used for balloons, but also in paper lanterns, floral arrangements, and other settings.
Contrary to the LED balloon bundles, these LED lights are reusable. Remove the light from the balloon after your party and replace the battery when you want to use the lights again.
A package of 24 white or colored LED lights costs between $8 and $11.
A variation of these LED lights often used by balloon decorators are the so-called Party Dots. They look like mini tea lights.
You can peel off the seal from their bottom and stick them to the outside of balloons (or any other dry surface). Or you put them inside the balloons, like the regular LED lights.
They look really nice, as you can see in the video below, but are rather expensive. A 5-er pack of Party Dots sells for about $18.
Not sure where the name "bobo" comes from, but these lighted balloons sure look gorgeous!
The transparent balloons are made of PVC, not latex. They blow up to 18 inches.
You can inflate them with helium, an electrical air inflator or a hand pump. Don't try blowing them up with your mouth though!
The LED balloon lights come as 3 m long copper wires which you wrap around the balloon after inflating and tying it. You need two AA batteries for each string of lights (often not included in the package).
You can get 10 units containing the balloons and LED string lights (without the batteries) for about $15 to $20 at Amazon.
The one minute video demonstrates how to inflate the BoBo balloons and wrap the light strings around them.
You now have a good idea about the types of balloon lights, their pros and cons and how much they cost.
There's just one question left to answer...
LED lights don't generate heat, so you don't have to worry that they would melt the balloon or burn your hand.
However, balloon lights do have some safety risks, especially during the inflation phase. Take these precautions to keep yourself, your kids and your guests safe: