Let’s face it; there are a lot of different sparklers out there. In fact, the number of options to sift through is easily in the hundreds. However, color sparklers are among the most popular options, and there are surprisingly few variations on the market. Whether you want them for your wedding or you just want to use them in your backyard, most people end up buying the exact same thing. Sadly, this can be a huge mistake since certain varieties are better for certain purposes. To help, I’ve put together this ultimate guide to color sparklers so you can make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know.
An Overview of Color Sparklers
Before looking at the different varieties more closely, there is some basic information that you should learn first. By understanding the nature of color sparklers, learning about the different types is a lot easier to wrap your head around. Here is some important general information about them to get you started.
What Gives Them Color?
The biggest difference between color varieties and standard gold sparklers is the color pigments. Without those pigments, the sparks would be plain and boring. To create color in a burning object, typically a metallic powder is used. For instance, aluminum powder will create a silverfish-white color during the performance. By adding more iron, you can expect reddish tints to come through. So, to create the color aspect, they simply add a specific blend of metal powder to the regular slurry found on all variations.
How Long Do They Last?
When comparing color versions to traditional versions, the length of time that they perform is essentially identical. Adding color pigments does not add or subtract from how long they last. Instead, the length of the item is a better indicator for how long it will burn. Shorter 10 inch versions will last for around 30-45 seconds, while extremely long 36 inch sparklers will last nearly 4 minutes. If you want to determine duration, length is far more important than the hue of the sparks.
How Are They Packaged?
Typically, color versions will come packaged in a box that reflects the color of the performance. For instance, red color sparklers will almost always arrive in a red colored box. Sadly, this can be problematic if you are using them for an elegant event such as a wedding. However, you need to balance appearance and performance based on your tastes. Simply put; you need to figure out if the packaging or the performance is more important to your needs.
What Do They Look Like?
Once they’re out of the package, color sparklers look pretty much identical to any other type available. They will be grayish-silver in color with a metal wire handle. In fact, they are pretty much identical unless you know what to look for. However, there is typically a small dot on the tip of each stick to indicate what it is. This dot is actually caused by the manufacturing process and is not intentional. Additionally, it is very subtle and usually overlooked by the average user. If you want the appearance to be different, you’ll need to resort to something like spray paint.
How Do I Light Them?
No ultimate guide to color sparklers would be complete without discussing how to light them. Fortunately, there are no special considerations just because they have color pigments inside. In fact, I’ve been told by many customers that they are even easier to light than gold versions. The easiest way to do it is to use a sparkler torch because it has a hot and concentrated flame. Just hold it to the tips and they should ignite immediately. You can easily light five or six at a time, but trying to do more can be dangerous. Just take your time and use the proper equipment for the easiest process.
Different Types of Color Sparklers
Now that you know the basics, we can tackle the different types of color sparklers and what makes each special. Sadly, most people only consider the color and ignore the other aspects. Fortunately, I’ve covered all the details as part of my ultimate guide to color sparklers. Here’s a quick breakdown.
Classic Color Sparklers
This is the type that most people will end up purchasing in the end. They are essentially identical to traditional versions with the added benefit of color pigments. However, these won’t create vibrant colors; instead they add slight tints to the sparks. Sadly, many people end up disappointed when they choose color sparklers for weddings or other events because they are underwhelming. Moreover, the pigments add extra smoke which can be an unexpected aspect. If you have a practical reason for wanting a specific hue, these are a fine option. However, if you want something that will surprise your guests, I’d choose something more exotic.
Neon Color Sparklers
Most people are not familiar with neon colored sparklers because they are much less common to find. However, in my opinion, they are the flagship in this arena! Most notably, this version will actually appear to be the color they perform right out of the package. Once unboxed, you’ll see a plethora of vibrantly colored sticks that resemble what you’d expect in a bag of Skittles. However, once you light them, the real fun begins! You will simply never see a more colorful performance anywhere else. Sadly, the downside is that they create a tremendous amount of smoke. Additionally, the neon colors come through much better at night than during the day. So, if you are planning to use them at a wedding, these limitations may make them a poor choice.
LED Sparkler Options
Lastly, there is the most unorthodox version available: LED sparklers for weddings. Instead of lighting them, you just flip a switch and choose the lighting pattern you want. The benefit here is that you can customize the performance, plus they can be used over and over. There are several versions available, including ones that have multi-colored LEDs. However, they are not exactly the same thing as the real deal. So, you’ll be sacrificing a bit of the “wow” factor and lowers process for something that can be used over and over again.
Best Uses for Color Sparklers
Now that you understand the different versions, it’s time to discuss the best ways to use them. Though sparklers can be used on a wide variety of occasions, there are a few where they are best suited. Here is a shortlist of my favorite choices.
Weddings are one of the most popular times to use sparklers! However, typically choose versions that are specifically made to be sparklers for weddings instead of a color option. Nevertheless, they still have a place if the conditions are right. First, you need to make sure that they will be used outside. Since they have pigments, they create too much smoke for indoor use. Second, you want to make sure having the color tints is worth the hassle and price. They are much more expensive than gold versions, so most of the time it’s best to stick with the classics.
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Fortunately, these items are a much better fit for birthday parties. Usually, you hand them out to children so they can enjoy them in the backyard. However, they are less ideal for anniversaries. Typically, people put them on a cake or a bottle of champagne. Though there are versions made specifically for these purposes, I can’t include that as part of my ultimate guide to color sparklers. Sadly, they just don’t work well in either of those scenarios.
Gender Reveal Parties
Gender reveals are one of the most popular up and coming trends! And, to do it right, you absolutely need to use a color version. As you might guess, the idea is to reveal the gender of your baby via the color of the sparks. Affectionately known as gender reveal sparklers, they appear the same regardless of their performance. So, you can hand them out and everyone will be surprised by what you reveal! It’s a fun twist to a classic event, and it is constantly becoming more popular.
Ordering, Shipping, and Storage
Once you’ve determined a type and how to use them, you need to figure out how to buy them. Though you can find color sparklers locally, it’s far simpler to order them online. However, there are many things to consider including price, shipping, and where to store them. Here are the details you need to know.
Best Place to Buy Them
Ordering online is always the best, but finding a retailer you trust can be difficult. Fortunately, our reputation speaks for itself! We carry the highest quality brands that will never leave you disappointed. Additionally, boast the largest selection of sparklers on the planet! Please take a look at our competitors, and then skim through the reviews on all the major websites. I assure you, you’ll know that you are making the right choice by ordering from us.
How Many Should I Order?
The number of items you need depends on how many people will be participating. Additionally, the activity you’ll be performing plays a role as well. Typically, most scenarios call for a single sparkler for each person. However, using them in photos or for a sendoff line may require more. The best course of action is to consider the length of time that they’ll be used and order accordingly. If you need any help, you can always reach out to us!
When Will They Be Delivered?
Since sparkler shipments are heavily regulated, they can only be sent via ground shipping methods. Fortunately, we still have options that can get them there in as little as two days! However, if you plan ahead, you can get your items shipped for little or no money at all. If you choose our economy shipping option, it can take anywhere between two and ten days to arrive. However, it is by far the most cost-effective solution. Either way, it’s important to leave plenty of time for shipping before the date of your event.
How to Store the Leftovers
Lastly, we get to the age old question: what should I do with the ones I have left after my event? Like most things, you’ll probably end up over-buying for your party. However, unlike paper plates or napkins, there are fewer uses for our products than most. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do with leftover sparklers throughout the course of the year! Whether you want to have an impromptu party or use them on your favorite holiday, rest assured they won’t go to waste. However, you should still try to buy the right amount so you aren’t inventing uses for the next ten years.
Getting Good Photos
One of the most fun and entertaining things to do with our products is use them as props in your photos. This is very common at weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. However, while there are plenty of guides to help with photographing sparklers, doing this with color versions can be much more challenging. Here are a few key pointers to help you on your quest.
- The colorful tints show up best in the dark, so make sure you are photographing at night.
- Since the pigments create a lot of smoke, it’s best if there is a slight breeze during the photo shoot. Otherwise, the pictures might seem hazy or blurry.
- Only photograph color sparklers outdoors.
If you follow these three easy tips, you can get great pictures. However, it isn’t as easy as capturing gold ones on film. So, make sure you do a few trial runs before you hand them out to your guests. Also, make sure you use an extremely high quality camera. That way, you’ll know what kind of results to expect.
Ultimate Guide to Color Sparklers Safety and Legality
In this final section, I will cover safety and legality issues specific to color sparklers. Though most places have the same laws regardless of the type, some colors may have different restrictions. Additionally, safety is always a primary concern! So, I’ll tackle the safety related questions that are specific to this type of device.
Can I Give Them to Children?
Like all sparklers, color versions should only be used by children with close adult supervision. Remember, sparklers are incredibly hot! And, they are the only thing that is hot enough to burn you that you hand to a kid. If your children are too young to understand and respect the dangers, you should just wait. However, if they can follow instructions, they can be a wonderful way to build memories with your children.
Are They Safe to Use Indoors?
Sadly, since they contain pigments, color sparklers should never be used indoors. Even if there is ample ventilation, they simply create too much smoke to be safe. Instead, you should always choose a sparkler that is smokeless. Only use colored versions if you are outdoors and have plenty of open space for ventilation.
Are All Color Sparklers Considered Legal?
Luckily, 99.9% of color sparklers are regulated in the same way as all other versions. However, there is one hue that is completely unattainable in the US; and those are silver sparklers. Silver requires compounds that can be used in nefarious ways, so they are outlawed for use. Fortunately, there are versions like white or titanium that simulates it very closely, but silver ones are out of the question. If you see a brand advertising as silver, it’s either a complete lie or totally illegal.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ultimate guide to color sparklers! I tried to cover what they are, the various types, and everything else in-between. However, I know I don’t always remember to include everything. If you have questions or have something to add, please contact us. Otherwise, thanks for reading and I hope I helped you gain a few brain wrinkles.