The ‘Light’ (Stick) Between K-pop Idols and Fans

by Larissa Tsui

If you're a K-POP fan, then you probably know about fandom light sticks. Or you may even own one yourself! 🤩 Each K-POP group have their own official light stick design. Often reflecting the group's official fandom colour, the group's logo or including a symbolic fandom reference. Not only are light sticks one of the most significant K-POP merchandise, but it acts as a symbol of fans' unity and strength. Just like how each fandom has its own name - each group's light stick has its own name too! BTS has the 'ARMY BOMB', TWICE has the 'Candy Bong', and BLACKPINK has the ‘BI-ping-bong.’ Bong (봉) in Korean means' stick' hence its frequent appearances in the light stick names!


Getting into the history of how fandom light sticks became a thing - these are tools to show their support to K-POP idols have evolved from balloons to glow sticks, and now to light sticks. It first started with fandom colours being born. K-pop fandoms have a huge sense of solidarity. Fans initially used a particular colour that differentiated them from other group fandoms. The fandom culture started with the first-generation legendary groups such as H.O.T and g.o.d in the 90's. For example, the representative colour of H.O.T was white. So the H.O.T fandom at the time used the predecessor of the light sticks - white balloons to show their unity and support for the group 🤍 Then, it gradually evolved to the use of glow sticks in 2002. Eventually, the management companies as well as artists began to transform those monotonous sticks into something with more personality and symbolism. 


So, how and when did light sticks come in? Did you know that the inventor of the official fandom lightstick is G-Dragon? The first group to have their own official light stick was Big Bang in 2006 👑 Which was designed by the iconic G-Dragon. They started this trend and soon after, other management companies and groups followed. 

We know that each group has their own unique light sticks. While most groups have the usual maraca-looking shape, some have vamped it up and made theirs unique and interesting. Let's see which groups have some of the most unique (or bizarre) light stick designs! Starting off with DAY6's Light Band. A wrist-style fanlight with a mint-green leaf as the 'watch's' centrepiece 🍃 Then ITZY’s Light Ring. As it sounds, ITZY's light stick is a doughnut shape 🍩 The next is the Cherry Gun - Cherry Bullet's official light stick that is a water gun shape 🔫 Golden Child striked with their one, making it shaped as a bowling pin 🎳 And iKON really took a swing with theirs. Their light stick - KONBAT, is literally in a baseball bat shape. And one of the most bizarre ones, MAMAMOO's 'Moo-bong'. A play on their name, their light stick is a literal 'moo' () - a radish! These light sticks are just some of the best examples of their entertainment labels becoming more creative and fun with the designs. 


Official light sticks are essentials for attending your favourite groups' concerts and performances. These days, the official light sticks not only light up in their official fandom colours but also change colours. So what? LED lights up in different colours. But these portable light sticks can also be controlled, so the lighting and colours are in sync with the song playing! Creating a magical “ocean” of light amongst the audience and uniting all the fans and idols together for an unforgettable experience 🌌


Official light sticks are essentials for attending your favourite groups' concerts and performances. Light sticks are significant to K-POP fans because they represent their fandom and support for their favourite groups. Light sticks bring the fans and the idol together. Evolving from then balloons to now light sticks, they just keep getting better. Each group’s light stick has its own unique design and has a purpose of building that connection and love between the fans and idols ❤️

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