Typical sparklers are made from a length of mild steel wire or a bamboo stick. The most common available lengths for sparklers are 8″, 10″, 14″, 20″ and 30″ long. For steel wire sparklers, such as the ones we sell here at Wedding Day Sparklers, the wire is coated in a pyrotechnic composition that coats the wire for approximately 2/3 of its length. High quality steel wire sparklers will have an even distribution of this pyrotechnic compound, free of irregularities, cracks and bumps. Both the wire and the pyrotechnic composition should be completely free of rust and corrosion, as this is a sign that the sparklers have been wet or improperly stored in damp conditions. Rusty or corroded sparklers will likely burn unevenly, if at all, and should be discarded to prevent injury.
In recent years, many of the Chinese fireworks and sparkler manufacturers have tried to introduce sparklers made with a bamboo splint or stick. Rather than metal wire as the core, a small piece of bamboo has been used instead, often dyed a bright color such as yellow, red, or blue. Bamboo stick sparklers should be used with caution and are best avoided because the smolder and smoke, especially if a steel stick variety is available. One problem with bamboo stick sparklers is that as they burn, the bamboo stick and fibers become charred and shed small ambers and ash pieces as the lit sparkler is waved about in the air. Bamboo stick sparklers should only be used with care, and are not the best choice when choosing wedding sparklers.
Most commonly, people are familiar with standard gold sparklers. Typically, this is the only color available, especially in the longer varieties of wedding sparklers. However, shorter sparklers that have less than 5 grams of pyrotechnic compound can be found in several colors including red, blue, silver, yellow, and green. Many of these shorter sparklers, typically ten inches in length or less, will also include additional visual and audible effects such as crackling, whistling, and multiple color-changing effects.
These various-colored sparklers do not burn with the typical and familiar “branching halo” of sparks that is often seen with standard gold sparklers. Instead they feature a much more centralized and smaller orb of colored flames, surrounded by a choppier and much more sporadic show of silvery-gold sparks. Also, the colors are rarely very vivid, often appearing washed-out (especially blue sparklers).
The latest effects included in sparklers are gaining much interest. Whistling sparklers are a popular variation that the Chinese have released in the past few years, consisting of a standard gold sparkler that emits a powerful whistling sound as it burns. Yet another optional effect is the crackling sparkler that produces a series of loud popping, snapping, and crackling sounds in addition to the normal display of sparks. Crackling sparklers are also typically standard gold colored sparklers.
For weddings, many people inquire about the availability of silver sparklers, since they fit into wedding décor much easier than gold. Unfortunately, silver wedding sparklers are no longer manufactured, as they require chemicals that are no longer allowed under the current federal regulations for sparklers and novelty fireworks.
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