The 4th of July is by far the most popular holiday for using sparklers. Across the country, nearly everyone holds one in their hands at backyard barbecues. However, not all states allow them to be sold at stores; or perhaps they are only available for a narrow window of time. Additionally, buying from a brick and mortar store is often much more expensive than going directly to the source. Moreover, physical shops will have a limited selection from which to choose. Fortunately, you can buy 4th of July sparklers online from a variety of reputable sellers. But, before I get into finding a source; I’ll discuss the different types that are available and which ones work best for Independence Day.
With so many different types of sparklers available these days, knowing what to buy can be difficult. So, I’ve put together this quick guide on which ones work best and which ones to avoid. Here is a breakdown to help you make the right choice.
Types I Suggest
In general, there are three main types that are a good choice for the 4th of July. With proper supervision, these are the safest options for children and adults alike. Here is a breakdown of the three I recommend.
Gold Versions with Metal Handles
By far the most common and popular option are gold versions made from steel wire. These are a great choice because the handle stays cool to the touch. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about chunks falling off during the performance. They come in a wide variety of length ranging from 8 inches all the way up to 36 inches long! However, I always suggest choosing 20 inch sparklers because they are the perfect combination of price and performance duration.
Similar to the gold ones, there are plenty of great color options from which to choose, too. They also feature a steel wire handle, so those benefits remain the same. However, you get to enjoy the added bonus of colorful sparks! While the traditional version is the most popular, I always suggest choosing neon color sparklers. They are the most vibrant and spectacular of all the options, and nobody will be left disappointed after their use.
My final recommendation is not really a sparkler at all, but rather an LED wand. These reusable items feature LED lights that can flash in a variety of different colors. Furthermore, the offer several different lighting patterns to simulate the real thing. Best of all, you can use them over and over again; so you won’t have to keep buying them every year! Plus, since they’re harmless, you can let the children use them without much supervision. Known affectionately as LED sparklers, they are a modern twist that combines the fun of a sparkler with the safety of LED lights.
Types I Discourage
Conversely, there are a few options on the market that are simply not well-suited for this holiday. While there are plenty of occasions that call for their special design, Independence Day is simply not one of them. Hopefully, this information will be helpful before you buy sparklers for the 4th of July online. Here’s a breakdown of the types that I discourage for your party.
One of the most common misconceptions I hear from people is that wooden handled items are safer than those made from steel. Common sense tells us that wood stays cool and metal gets hot, but that’s not the case here. In fact, steel wire stays up to 30 degrees cooler than those made from wood or bamboo! Additionally, bamboo tends to crumble during the performance creating hot falling embers. Moreover, they also can smolder or reignite after the performance appears to be concluded. Overall, wooden handles are more dangerous, especially if children are using them; and so I also discourage their use for this type of event.
Versions Designed for Bottles
One of the coolest types on the market is designed to be used on bottles, but that drastically limits their versatility at a party. Primarily used at nightclubs for bottle service, bottle sparklers can be a fun addition to certain events. However, their design is the very thing that hinders them: they are a one trick pony. If you are hosting a casual event with adults, they may still be viable. However, if you want to maximize the fun, stick to something more traditional.
Versions Designed for Cakes
Lastly, some companies sell a version designed to replace candles on a birthday cake. While cake sparklers can be a fun addition at a birthday party, they are rather lackluster on the 4th of July. Chances are you’ll be doing other fireworks that everyone can enjoy. So, using sparklers is supposed to be a fun and interactive treat for individuals. By placing them on a cake instead, you’re actually robbing a lot of the joy from your backyard barbecue; especially for the little ones.
Best Type for Children to Use and Safety Tips
A common question I receive is about letting your children use them at the event. While supervision is obviously required, choosing the right type is always important. I suggest either gold or color options that feature a metal handle. If safety is very important to you, then LED wands are an even better choice. To protect your children, use a plastic cup with a small hole poked in the bottom. Then, slide the sparkler through the hole so the cup acts as a shield for their hands. This simple trick will help to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring while your children enjoy the show.
Fun Sparkler Activities for the 4th of July
Now that you’ve selected a type, it’s important to have a plan on how they will be used. Most people just hand them out and let everyone do their own thing. However, having some structured activities can also be fun. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite ideas.
Have a contest to see who can do the coolest performance.
Stick several of them in the ground for a breathtaking performance.
Use them as a natural inspect repellent.
Obviously, there are many more great ideas that I didn’t cover here. Just remember to be safe, but let your imagination come up with all sorts of fun activities!
Is It Legal to Buy 4th of July Sparklers Online?
This is a trickier question, because each state has unique laws regarding fireworks. However, since the federal government classifies them as novelties, it is completely legal to buy 4th of July sparklers online. Shipping them and possessing them is technically legal regardless of where you are at. However, the fine print comes when you decide to use them. Some states specifically prohibit the use of fireworks completely. Additionally, some only allow them to be used during certain hours, on certain days, or in certain locations. So, while it’s completely legal to buy them online, make sure using them won’t get you in trouble by checking with the local authorities.
Where to Buy 4th of July Sparklers Online
Now that you’re educated, it’s time to discuss where to buy 4th of July sparklers online. Luckily, there are plenty of great retailers that will ship products straight to your doorstep. However, you need to make sure you choose a company that is reputable before placing your order. That’s why it’s so important to check external company review websites to verify the company ahead of time. Sadly, there are many companies out there that ship out lackluster or damaged products. Moreover, many of these companies will not stand behind their products or refund you if there is a problem. This leads many people choosing to buy sparklers from their local stores even though it is much more expensive. However, if you take the time to do the research, a good option will readily present itself.
When Should I Place My Order?
Once you’ve decided on a retailer, it’s important to give yourself enough time for shipment and delivery. A common issue some people have is they wait too long to order and their items arrive late. To avoid this, make sure to give at least two weeks of leeway to ensure a timely delivery. Remember: it’s always better to have them arrive early than arrive after your event.
Hopefully, I’ve answered most of your questions on how and where to buy 4th of July sparklers online. Some people will always enjoy the tradition of heading to the fireworks tent on the 3rd to make their purchase; and that can be fun too. However, if you want the best prices and selection, there is no substitute for online shopping. Good luck and have a happy 4th of July!