In my experience if you have something to "charge" the tape you can make the glow last longer. You can buy super cheap uv lights and/or black light pocket flash lights on ebay. I have glow tape on my led hoop that has uv lights, after just a couple of minutes of hooping and the glow tape chargers again but it does not last super long and it's not as bright as if you had left it in the sun all day. Also if re-charged properly glow tape can be surprising bright however it does not last long compared to a led hoop and it will never be as bright as an led hoop. As soon as the sun starts to set the tape glows so you don't have lots of glow time once it's completely dark.The lighter/clear the tubing is your using the more the overall hoop will "glow".
You can also put glow stick into a push button collapsible hoop, granted it's not as bright as glow tape or led hoop but it last longer than glow tape. It will have a slight rattle sound to the hoop but if you tape all the glow stick in a long string with clear tape it kind of helps with that.
If what you really want is an LED, just save your money and buy one later. No glow in the dark hoop is ever going to come close to being an LED, and you'd probably have to spend a pretty good chunk of money for a glow hoop anyway.
That said, there is glow in the dark tape available from many hoop tape sellers. And I believe there is also glow in the dark polypro!
I haven't found much on whether the hoop is sturdy at all? Do you have any knowledge on whether the LED is likely to break and in what circumstances could it break?
In general, LED hoops are made to withstand normal drops and throws and probably won't break unless you really abuse them.
I've had a Moodhoop Glitch (their cheapest model at $69, I believe) for over a year now. It's been thrown on pretty much every surface with varying degrees of force, it's traveled in suitcases and been hooked to backpacks and shoved under plane seats, and basically been beaten up in every possible way. It's still perfectly fine :D
Peoples' experiences with LED hoops do vary, and there are a lot of hoop sellers out there so it can be confusing to comparison shop. But if you do your research and figure out what's the best hoop for you and what gets the best reviews, they're usually sturdy, and if they're not, the sellers will often fix or replace them for you :D
A note, though: this partly depends on the material used for tubing, too. Moodhoops warns that if you upgrade to Polypro the hoops are more likely to crack, because it's a more brittle material, especially in cold weather; however, some people (like me) enjoy polypro enough not to care. Weigh all your options!
if you have a see through polypro... you can put glowsticks in it... it won't glow too bright or long... (compared to LED) but it's not bad.
Also as others have mentioned you can get glow in the dark tape that has to be charged via day light.....
another idea is that you can get super bright tape, some tapes glow quiet nicely under black light. (doesn't have to be any special tape, as long as it's bright neon looking) :)
Another simple idea, is that you can get flow lights from flow toys and attach them to your hoop. (side note, they are very brittle and break easily if you smack them hard enough)
Hope that helped.
You can buy some clear polypro tubing, then stick some cheap glow sticks in it. These hoops definitely don't look as cool as LED ones, but you can still see them pretty well in the dark, which is what you want. There are some hoops like this on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61009381/collapsible-polypro-practice-hoop You could of course, just buy some tubing and make your own too, which will be even cheaper.
I've also seen some interesting homemade LED hoops, which are much cheaper than buying from a vendor. You can make an EL wire hoop (http://www.hooping.org/2010/08/how-to-make-an-el-wire-hula-hoop/) which is like a glow in the dark hoop on crack. I also met a girl once who made her hoop out of three pieces of irrigation tubing taped together. Then she dropped some car lights in it (she said that she works at a car shop so she got them for free). It looked really strange when she used it, because the LEDs were not spread out evenly, but it was also very unique.
Hey! If you're interested look at my glow hoop tutorial.
It really only works on clear polypro that you can open up (push pin collaspible) but you can find the tutorial here: http://thepetiteabeille.tumblr.com/post/30915810744/take-a-second-t...
It's really cheap and easy!