Lighting off fireworks at home is a cherished tradition in many families, especially when it comes to celebrating major holidays like New Year’s, the Fourth of July, or Christmas. But before you walk into that big fireworks tent, you should know what to look for so you can put on the display of your dreams.
After all, a good fireworks display has plenty of aerial explosions, lots of bright colors and lights, and a healthy share of fountains and smoke bombs, to boot. Think about what kind of display you want, and don’t be afraid to ask fireworks vendors for advice to help you make it happen. Follow these tips to take your display up a notch, and help it last longer on a budget.
Consider the Type of Display You Want
Do you want your display to have a lot of aerial fireworks? Most people do, but aerial fireworks can get expensive, especially cakes and mortars. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of fireworks before you head out shopping. Aerial fireworks feature different kinds of displays, for example.
- Sparking, spherical chrysanthemums, and peonies are amazing.
- Crossettes, in which large stars fly outward before exploding into smaller stars that form a crisscrossing pattern of sparks.
- Falling leaves, in which stars twinkle as they fall gently earthward.
- Palm trees, in which the sparks create a trunk and leaves, and smaller reports create coconuts.
- Fish, in which stars propel themselves away from the shell at the explosion, give the impression of swimming fish.
You may also want to consider how long the displays last aerial fireworks usually only last about 30 seconds, but you can buy ground fireworks, like fountains and smoke bombs, that last three to six minutes.
Ask for Help
Not sure what to get for your home fireworks display? Ask the vendor for help. They know what all of the fireworks do, and they can help you pick out the best products for your home display, whether you want long-lasting aerial explosions, a more budget-friendly ground display, or a mix of both.
Mix in Some Ground Fireworks
Ground fireworks, like fountains and smoke bombs, are typically more budget-friendly than aerial fireworks, so they’re a good option if you’re looking to put on an impressive display but don’t have much money to spend. Fountains emit colorful sparks from the end of a cone or tube. Their displays can be stunning and last one to three minutes, much longer than a typical cake of mortar shells. Some fountains even burn completely down, leaving you with one less spent firework to pick up.
Of course, you may still want some aerial explosions, even if you’re mostly going for ground displays. A package or two of bottle rockets will typically last much longer than a cake, especially if you light them off one at a time.
You can often get the best prices when you buy fireworks online, but you can also get discounts shopping at local fireworks stands or seasonal tents. Vendors are more likely to give you a discount if you spend at least a few hundred dollars, but as holidays draw closer, you can often negotiate discounts of 10 to 15 percent, even on smaller purchases of only $100. Once the holiday has passed, vendors will typically mark down their remaining stock by 30 to 50 percent, so you can stock up for next year or put on an excellent late-season display for less.
Grab the Smaller Fireworks Finale
Fireworks in the United States are legally allowed to contain up to 500 grams of flash powder, but you might be surprised to learn that the biggest fireworks available may not offer the best and brightest displays. The loudness of the boom and the display’s brightness depends more on how tightly the tube is packed than on how much flash powder is contained therein.
And if you pick up a smaller firework with 200 or 300 grams of flash powder, you may find that it feels heavier than one of the larger, 500-gram fireworks. That means that the smaller fireworks are more tightly packed, and they’ll be more likely to emit more impressive showers of sparks as a result.
When it comes to buying fireworks to light off at home, you need to know what you’re looking at in order to get the best display for the best price. Choose the right products, and you’ll be able to put them on a display that will keep the whole neighborhood entertained.