Hundreds of drones can create dazzling light shows in real-time. While fireworks only have a limited basket of designs, drones can draw a whole new set of effects across an aerial canvas.
This year, cities are swapping out traditional Fourth of July fireworks displays for drone light shows. Here are some reasons why.
1. They’re safer
Fireworks are explosive, dangerous, and emit a lot of smoke. They’re responsible for thousands of injuries each year and are also the leading cause of wildfires, which are becoming increasingly damaging to ecosystems across the country. Drone light shows are a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative and can be performed in places where fireworks aren’t allowed due to fire risk.
Unlike the pyrotechnic explosions that make up most fireworks shows, drones that are used for light displays operate at much lower speeds and emit minimal noise. The drones communicate with each other through a central computer system, and the in-house animators design the drones’ movements so they can create distinct images without colliding or running out of power.
The drones are programmed with LED lights that can be set to various colors and patterns, giving the shows a variety of options for creative expression. The drones are also smaller and easier to store than traditional fireworks and can be stored in a place where fire extinguishers are nearby for quick response in the event of an emergency.
Drones are also more versatile than fireworks in terms of their shapes and patterns. While fireworks often limit themselves to simple designs like stars or hearts, drones can be arranged in infinite ways. Some have even been used to create three-dimensional objects, such as spinning globes or detailed portraits. In fact, one major company commissioned an incredible drone show for New Year’s that involved floating their logo high above the city skyline in perfect harmony.
Drones also create significantly less waste than fireworks and can be reused again and again to create multiple shows. While the drones’ battery power does need to be replenished between shows, they don’t require the flammable liquids and chemicals that make up most fireworks, making them an eco-friendly choice. The drones’ rotors generate only a slight buzzing sound, which is much less invasive than the loud crackles and bangs of fireworks. This makes them a more comfortable option for families with pets or children and people with sensory sensitivities.
2. They’re more environmentally friendly
Fireworks are loud, polluting, and often dangerous. They can be a real nuisance for those with sensitive hearing or respiratory conditions, and they can also be irritating for people with allergies. In addition, fireworks can damage the environment by causing soil and water pollution. Fortunately, drone light shows are becoming an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fireworks. Drones are quieter than fireworks, and they don’t produce any waste. Drones can be reused for multiple events, making them a more sustainable option than fireworks.
In fact, a number of municipalities have recently switched to drone light shows due to the environmental and safety concerns associated with pyrotechnics. For example, in Imperial Beach, California, a fireworks-free Fourth of July celebration included a dazzling display of hundreds of drones, choreographed to music, dancing across the sky, and forming patriotic shapes such as American flags and spelling out U.S.A.
Drones used in light shows are small and compact, meaning they can fly in tight spaces where conventional fireworks cannot. In addition, they are much quieter than fireworks, making them a better choice for urban and suburban areas concerned about noise pollution. Additionally, drones use LED lights, which are an eco-friendly alternative to fireworks. LEDs emit fewer harmful gases and do not cause air or soil pollution.
When selecting a company for your drone light show, make sure to choose one with a good reputation and a portfolio of successful shows. Ask for references and testimonials from satisfied customers. You should also ensure the company you choose has a robust safety plan and can provide proof of insurance. Finally, make sure the company you choose has the necessary licenses to operate in your area.
As drone light shows continue to grow in popularity, it’s likely that they will eventually replace fireworks as the standard way of celebrating special occasions, music concerts, and sporting events. They’re safer, more environmentally friendly, and offer a level of creativity and flexibility that pyrotechnics simply can’t match.
3. They’re more customizable
Fireworks aren’t going anywhere, but drone light shows are a growing trend that’s rapidly taking over Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve celebrations. These mesmerizing aerial performances are safer, more environmentally friendly, and offer a level of customization that can’t be accomplished with traditional pyrotechnic fireworks.
With a few strategically placed LEDs, a drone can create an astounding visual display that’s sure to wow any audience. In addition to basic colors, drones can also be used to display 3D choreographed images in the sky, including planets, stars, space stations, rovers, deer, baseballs, and even logos. This level of creative flexibility means that drone light shows can be tailored to fit any event, from a geeky wedding to an extravagant corporate gathering.
Another major advantage of drone light shows is that they’re nearly silent. The lack of noise makes them more suitable for younger children, animals, and people who can’t tolerate loud explosions. Additionally, drones can print words, phrases, or designs on the sky, adding a whole new dimension to any show.
For example, the Denver Nuggets recently hosted a drone light show above the Assembly Athletics Complex field to celebrate their win in the NBA playoffs. Drones printed a giant eyeball, Pac-Man eating a cherry, and the iconic Hollywood sign in the show. This was just one of many stunning spectacles that were created for the occasion, and it’s a perfect example of the level of creativity available with drone light shows.
Fireworks are notorious for creating a lot of smoke, which is not only bad for the environment but can also be problematic for people with asthma or COPD. Plus, if you’re an animal owner, you know how much the booming sound of fireworks can scare your pets. And if you’re a veteran who served in the military, the exploding sounds can trigger anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Drones don’t produce this kind of smoke or sound, making them a better choice for kids, pets, and people with mental health challenges. Plus, they’re also cheaper and more accessible than fireworks.
4. They’re more accessible
Fireworks have long been a favored tradition for Fourth of July celebrations, but drone light shows are quickly gaining in popularity. While fireworks aren’t going anywhere, these mesmerizing displays offer a more environmentally friendly, customizable, and safer alternative that’s perfect for those with sensitivities to explosive noises or who have strict burn bans in their area.
With the help of specialized drones, light shows can be designed to create almost any image on an aerial canvas. Unlike traditional fireworks that make simple shapes, drones can create intricate formations and dazzling effects. For example, a drone light show can be programmed to replicate running animals, spinning globes, and detailed portraits, or even recreate a company’s logo for a branding campaign.
Aside from being visually stunning, drone light shows also offer an added benefit: They’re more accessible than fireworks. For instance, fireworks emit an explosive sound that can cause anxiety in pets and even trigger PTSD in veterans who experienced loud explosions in war zones. However, drone light shows are completely silent and emit only the hum of their propellers, which makes them more accommodating for people with these sensitivity issues.
While putting on a drone light show requires meticulous preparation, the overall process is a lot easier than arranging and firing off fireworks. Before the event begins, a team of specialists checks all drones and their batteries, ensuring they are functioning properly and have enough battery life to last throughout the duration of the performance. To minimize the chance of a drone malfunctioning or causing a disruption in the show, Sky Elements uses custom-designed drones engineered explicitly for light shows with bright, 1000-lumen LED lights and reliable flight hardware. Additionally, all flight paths are designed to prioritize safety, ensuring drones maintain a safe distance from each other and avoid obstacles.
When choosing a company to design a drone light show, look for one with a portfolio of past events and testimonials from satisfied customers. They should also be able to provide detailed information on the drones and flight equipment they use for their shows, as well as the time it will take for each drone to recharge between flights.