Sparklers have added the sizzle factor to weddings, birthdays and other celebrations for years – all of which evolved from a similar mixture to that which became the original firework – as discovered by Litian hundreds of years ago.
They are the only kind of pyrotechnic device made today which is made to be handled when lit. The sparkler usually burns for around 45 seconds + but is largely dependent on length.
The construction of them is relatively simple:
- They take wires around 40+ cm in length and pop them in bundles into the slots of a sorting machine
- The machine vibrates and the wires fall one at a time into the openings
- The operator moves a spring loaded rack into position that opens and closes like an accordion which drops the wires one row at a time into place until he has the rack filled (usually 300 to a batch). All of the sections are then tightened up holding the sparklers in place
- The ‘sparkler slurry’ mixture is created by combining boric acid and barium nitrate in a mixing tank. The Barium is the oxidizer and will help the sparkler to burn and the Boric Acid is the neutralizer. They then add water and cornstarch to bind the ingredients – this is mixed together before adding iron filings which give the sparklers their gold colour. The last bit to be added is the Aluminium powder which is highly dangerous so the operator is shut off in a room whilst this is added. Once added, it is no longer a danger and the slurry is ready to go.
- The racked wires are dipped and then allowed to set a little before they are dipped for a second time (our sparklers are double dipped to ensure a good quality ‘spark’ is achieved) and they are then left to dry
- The sparklers are left for a week to ‘cure’ and they are then ready to use
Here at Epic Fireworks, we stock 3 sizes:
1. Coloured – Short and the colours are added into the slurry – less iron filings are added as a result of the chemicals added so they are not as ‘sparkly’ as our other two products.
2. Monster – 14” long with beautiful gold sparks – our most popular product by far.
3. Mammoth – 18” long with beautiful gold sparks – these are a little more expensive but they have a long burn time making them ideal for weddings and they look great on photographs, particularly when used as a guard of honour for the happy couple but they are a great addition to any event.
Like any other ‘pyrotechnic’ item, sparklers are still classed as fireworks for the purposes of transportation.
Here at the home of beautiful fireworks, we know that not everyone will love loud bangs, screeches and whistles so we have a small selection of low noise fireworks which concentrate on effect and colour as opposed to noise.
Selection boxes are usually a good starting point for any decent garden display and we have chosen some for just such an occasion.
The Dynamic Selection Box is a cracking little box, packed with some of the loveliest fireworks around. At just under £7 it contains 15 high quality and high performance fireworks with 10 fountains, 4 roman candles and even a Catherine Wheel for good measure.
Of course, this is the basis of a great night so what should you add into the equation. Much of that decision is based on the budget that you have available to you. The box doesn’t contain any rockets or barrages and could do with one or two small barrages and sparklers as well as one of our selection of low noise rockets.
Good additions would be the fantastic Astroplane Rockets, some Sky Blast Roman Candles and a couple of Magic Stars and Trailing Tails for a lovely evening – not forgetting sparklers, just bear in mind that sparklers should not be used by the under fives.
What we need to know before you buy is how large is your garden/firing space? Can you safely use rockets or fanned items? And what is your budget?
If you are holding a sizeable event for the school or local nursery, why not give us a call and have a chat with a technician about your firework display – at the end of the day, all we sell are fireworks of every size shape and noise rating or sound effect so our specialist knowledge is unparalleled. We are open 7-days a week and can answer most questions either by telephone or email so drop us a line at [email protected]
As the above image shows, provided you have the right camera setting, a great backdrop and of course some decent sparklers, you are ready.
The exciting thing about sparkler art is that the only thing holding you back is your own imagination.
To capture the image, professionals recommend that you should use the slowest speed to offer the longest light exposure available on the camera as this will enable you to take brilliant shots.
Set up on a tripod to avoid ‘wobble’ and setting F8 and 25-30 second exposure to start with and see how you go on.
Art is all about experimentation and this proves that a little patience and some skill can certainly give you perfect results if you keep trying.
The good thing about using this medium is that provided you have a good few sparklers, all the family (please ensure that all users are over 5-years of age) and they have some imagination, you are going to have a fabulous time and sometimes it’s the more obscure things that are the most effective.
The long exposure time is your ‘drawing’ time and the camera will capture anything which is done in the interim period and burn it onto the image you will end up with. I would recommend that you have a couple of practice runs beforehand to get the angles etc right but if you do produce some, we would really appreciate it if you could let us see them.