Best Fireworks: Top 5 Explosive Displays, According To Experts

Are you the type of person that drives across borders – legally, of course – to load their trunk with fireworks and bring them home to paint the sky with an epic display of fiery explosions? If you are, we certainly have a list for you. But first, let’s make it clear that we don’t condone anything illegal. That aside, we searched the web to find the consensus best fireworks, according to experts, and we’ve listed them here for you.

Fireworks are an absolute blast of excitement, quite literally! The dazzling displays of vibrant colors, shimmering sparks, and thunderous booms light up the night sky and ignite a sense of awe and wonder in all who witness them. From the soft glow of twinkling stars to the thunderous crackling that fills the air, fireworks create a sensory symphony that delights both young and old. Each burst of light evokes a chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. Whether it’s a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, the enchantment of fireworks has an undeniable ability to bring people together and create unforgettable memories. So gather your loved ones, look up to the heavens, and let the magic of fireworks whisk you away on a breathtaking journey of pure fun and delight.

If you think your backyard fireworks display will beat any show around, you may be disappointed to hear that, chances are, you’ve got nothing on a macronova. A what? A new type of stellar explosion. Researchers spotted the phenomenon on the surface of three white dwarfs as they fed on hydrogen and other materials from their companion stars. White dwarfs are the remnants of dead stars which have exhausted all of their fuel. And the team happened upon this new finding when they saw a brief, bright, flash of light while analyzing data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Researcher Simone Scaringi said, “We have discovered and identified for the first time what we are calling a macronova.” He also mentions that “The phenomenon challenges our understanding of how thermonuclear explosions in stars occur. We thought we knew this, but this discovery proposes a totally new way to achieve them.”

Okay, so recreating a macronova might be a little far-fetched, but let’s get to our list of the best fireworks you can buy, according to experts. Of course, we want to hear from you. Comment below to let us know which type of firework you think is the ultimate blast!

Fireworks (Photo by Elisha Terada on Unsplash)

The List: Best Fireworks for Home Displays, Per Experts

1. Rockets

Of course, when you think of fireworks, you think of aerial pyrotechnics. Metro says: “Probably the most common firework you’ll see shooting into the sky this bonfire night is the rocket. Rockets can fire up really rather high – even up to 60 meters depending on the type. Naturally once fired, they explode with a huge bang and a shower of sparks.” And, of course, you can find an endless variety for the showering sparks.

What some rocket varieties look like in the sky
What some rocket varieties look like in the sky (Photo by Kristian Løvstad on Unsplash)

Though bottle rockets are one of the most well-known types of fireworks, you may want to up your budget. According to KSR, “Bottle rockets are a staple at any party, but let’s face it: they’re pretty boring. Sure, they’re cheap and easy, but this is a July 4th party, not a Saturday night at Minardi Hall. Shell out a few extra bucks for the mortars.”

Trek Baron writes: “The concept is simple: the bottle rocket is designed to look like a conventional rocket, except it has an elongated stick at the back. You just have to light that stick on fire, and the bottle rocket will take to the skies. It’s going to go up to a certain height before exploding. While some bottle rockets just explode when they reach a specific height, there are various versions that also cause major explosions, which leads to beautiful fireworks display high up in the skies.”

2. Roman Candles

You’ve seen these and probably even lit a fuse or two. Fireworks FX describes what exactly a Roman Candle is: “Single cardboard tubes that eject effects such as colored stars, crackling stars, comets and floral bursts one at a time with heights up to 35m (a 11-story building).”

Though these are pretty much staples at any backyard fireworks display, they can be dangerous, warns Thrillist. “Whomever dreamed up the Roman Candle—those Slim Jim-sized sticks that eject a single whooshing fireball every few seconds—likely intended ‘em to eject from the ground. Nice try. That person presumably never met a gaggle of teens just looking to blow each other’s hands and faces off, as America’s youth recognized these things for what they truly are: Firework Handguns. Lovely, but dangerous. Proceed with caution.”

And to drive home the point, The Art of Manliness: “Roman candles are long tubes that when lighted at one end shoot off colorful balls. Some of the shots crackle, flash, or explode. You can actually hold these in your hand while they fire off (it’s not recommended, but many people do it). Because of this ability, many young nincompoops use Roman Candles to engage in a mini firearms battle. Don’t do this.”

3. Sparklers

No, these aren’t the most exciting type of firework, but they are one of the more popular, as KSR explains: “I can hear you now, ‘Sparklers in the top three?!’, but hear me out. Sparklers are always a hit and give those who aren’t in charge of the big stuff something to play with. Also, it’s almost impossible to resist spelling your name out with one.”

Someone holding a sparkler
Someone holding a sparkler (Photo by Warren on Unsplash)

Fireworks FX writes, “There is no simpler firework than the sparkler but it’s a classic, what memories are made of… Sparklers are a type of hand-held firework that burns slowly while emitting bright, intense colored flames, sparks, and other effects. They are great for birthday cakes or even stuck in the ground for a light show. Available in durations from over 30 sec to almost 3 minutes!”

Think of these as something for the kids. “Sparklers are another great firework for kids to play with. Sparklers are sticks that give off colored sparks when lit. You can wave them around and create a light show. Kids get a hoot out of writing their name with them. There are two types of sparklers. The first are ones made from metal. The second are made of paper and are often called Morning Glories. Morning Glories are a bit safer because they don’t leave a red hot metal stick when done burning,” writes The Art of Manliness.

4. Cakes

These range in number of shots produced (what they project into the air), from just a few to a few hundred. Thrillist lays it all out: “The key here is longevity. These guys pierce the evening sky with loud, screaming missile shots that litter every backyard in your neighborhood and send every dog scurrying to the baseball for at least a few minutes. (That part about the dogs sucks—keep ’em indoors.) But if you’re in an open space away from animals, light this bad boy, sit back, and just enjoy the high-pitched screeches.”

A variation of cake fireworks
A variation of cake fireworks (Photo by Ryan Millsap on Unsplash)

Mash up a bunch of fireworks into one explosive device, and you have a cake, according to Metro. “Yup, that’s the beauty of a cake firework. Light it and it will bang, sparkle and do cool stuff in a kind of customized mini display for quite a while. Most of it unexpected too. Generally, a cake firework (basically the same thing as a barrage) will use an internal fuse system to ignite the fireworks inside automatically either all at the same time or in a set order. That’s often how all the professional displays do it too – with some grand finale cakes having a batch of shells that can weigh more than one hundred pounds.”

Looking for the perfect way to close out your backyard display? Men’s Journal recommends cakes: “Now, say you still want a grand finale. Cakes are the quintessential show-stoppers, and the biggest ones you can buy come packed with 500 grams of gunpowder. That’s what most people want. But that 500-gram behemoth might cost you $90; so, instead, go with a 200- or 300-gram cake. It won’t shoot quite as high, and the explosions won’t be as big. But it’ll probably cost you a mere $15 to $25. Overall, it’s a better value.”

5. Fountains

These are a good option if you’re looking for the visual effect of fireworks without so much of the noise. Fireworks FX writes, “For a quieter display you should consider firework fountains. These firework options are popular as they provide lots of light and color but none of the loud noise of aerial fireworks.”

Fountain fireworks
Fountain fireworks (Photo by ND700 on Shutterstock)

And even if you’re on a budget, you can still have plenty of fun, according to Men’s Journal: “Ballin’ on a budget? That doesn’t mean you can’t have a full night of pyrotechnic fun. You just have to swap out the stratosphere-piercing projectiles for things that allocate their gunpowder more responsibly, with ground-level shows. Nothing exemplifies this better than fountains, the fireworks that spray sparks straight from the top of their cone- and tube-shaped bodies. Fountains are dirt cheap, and they maximize your display time. ‘The average cake’—big boxes that blast multiple shots into the sky—’lasts for 25-30 seconds,’ Rickey says. ‘But the average fountain goes off for a couple minutes.’”

Trek Baron also considers fountains to be budget friendly. “If you are looking for fireworks that are relatively safe to use and don’t cost a lot of money, then the fountain is a good choice. Most of the fountains that are available through local stores are basically cone-shaped devices. They sit on the ground and when fired they start releasing a lot of sparks all around the device. Some fountains even release colorful sparks, which adds a bit of style. Don’t think that the sparks are going to fly as high as the ceiling because they probably won’t. Fountains are designed to be relatively safe and compared to other options in this article, they are obviously not as thrilling.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Joe Vitiello

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