Colour-themed Firework Displays
Advice on choosing fireworks with a particular colour in mind.
Some firework events and celebrations call for specific colours to be used, examples include:
- Gender reveals. Note that I have a dedicated article on this: Gender reveal firework displays.
- Anniversaries (gold, silver, ruby, sapphire and so on).
- Football clubs or other sports-themed events.
- Being romantic with pink. Who said romance is dead? Not me!
The bulk of fireworks on sale include multiple colours and effects since, for the most part, variety is what people want from a firework. This is especially true with the larger cakes and barrages. However, fireworks concentrating on specific colours, whilst somewhat of a niche item, do exist.
The colours available include reds, greens, blues, gold and silver. You will need to focus your search on the ranges carried by specialist firework shops however since seasonal sellers such as supermarkets rarely carry this type of firework. I’ll run through what you should be looking for.
Coloured ground flares and bengals
Starting with the smallest items, ground flares (sometimes called bengals) are available in many colours including red, green, blue, yellow, purple, gold and silver. These emit a coloured flame and some smoke. They are a ground effect and do not fire into the air. These are excellent for low-noise displays where colour is required, or as a start to any display where you want to open with specific colours.
Also a ground effect but for daytime only, coloured smokes emit a cloud of smoke in a particular colour, such as red, green, blue, purple, yellow and even black. There isn’t usually much of a flame with these and they are unsuitable for nighttime use.
Small bore roman candle bundles
One of the prettiest ways to display a colour in the air. Here, multiple small bore coloured stars are launched into the air in a rapid fire sequence. Shot counts range typically from 56 upwards (sometimes to several hundred) and many are also low noise, making them suitable for use in pretty much any situation. They can also be set up in a V formation to spread out the effects of two or more candles. Colours tend to focus on golds, reds, greens, pinks and blues but some firework ranges contain other colours so shop around.
The video below shows firstly a green and then a red candle in action:
Colour-specific cakes and barrages
Each firework brand in the UK carries different cake effects so availability and colours do vary a lot between retailers. Specialist firework shops will know their own stock very well and can advise you if you’re seeking a particular colour (or of course you can browse their video clips online).
Single coloured effects I have seen include gold, silver, red, green, pink and blue. Because these are a niche product they are sometimes labelled as a “professional effect”. This is not because the effects are more powerful but because it’s typically only professionals who use this type of firework to build up a display sequence; the general public mostly prefer the variety of multiple colours in each firework.
Pink and blue cakes are often marketed as gender reveal fireworks but you can of course use them for any other occasion needing those colours!
Most rockets on sale contain glitter and a variety of colours. Packet rockets often contain specific colours in some of the rockets but are sold in mixed packs rather than all in one colour. Your best options here are to look at single big rockets (usually Category F3 rockets) and to pick out specific colours.
Big rockets are supplied to retailers in cases of mixed effects (usually four different effects). So a case of 12 rockets would contain 4 effects repeated 3 times. This is important because if you are buying mail order it is often only possible to ship larger rockets pre-packed in pyromeshed boxes and it will not be possible to specify that you wanted four red effects as an example. Also be advised that if you buy direct from a fireworks shop in person there may be a limit on the number of specific large rocket effects a retailer will sell you as, again, they are picking them from mixed sets and don’t want to be left with lots of incomplete sets.
There aren’t a huge number of colour specific fountains out there with the focus being on gold and silver with the larger conic fountains. The larger cones look stunning if it’s gold or silver you are after, often reaching 20ft+.
Some specialists do stock professional-style fountains in other colours such a red, but you’ll have to hunt around for these as they’re not that common.
Finally, a quick mention about sparklers. These are best if you’re looking for gold effects. Coloured sparklers are available but are mostly mixed packs of red and green (and also very smoky).
The other Choosing Fireworks sections might also be of help in case your display also falls within the scope of those too.
If you’re a complete beginner and some of the terms used in this page are unclear then head over to the Beginners Start Here! page for a run-through of both fireworks and the extensive guides on my website.
The next step after narrowing down your choice of fireworks is buying them, arguably the most fun part! The Buying Fireworks sections will help you.
Finally, if you have any questions or want to chat about fireworks with like-minded people, head over to my Fireworks Forum, the UK’s best online community for fireworks chat. I’d love to hear from you and answer any queries you might have.