Not the most common type of fireworks display in the UK but here are your options.
Examples of enquiries for help I’ve had for daytime fireworks include remembrance events (salutes or bangs), fete openings, sports events and more recently, the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Your options are either to use daytime-specific fireworks – they do exist – or to use normal nighttime fireworks anyway.
The principle effects in fireworks intended for daylight use are coloured smokes, streamers and parachutes. Here, shots (usually from a cake or barrage) are launched up and each one then bursts into an effect.
There aren’t a huge number of these fireworks on the market most likely as demand is small and production costs for consumer fireworks have become so high. In the image below are some MLE-branded smoke effect barrages I saw on a recent visit to Chorlton Fireworks. But other than smoke flares they were the only daytime fireworks on sale there and a great number of firework retailers – even all year shops – have even less to choose from!
Ground-based smoke effects
An increasing number of firework retailers are stocking smoke effects. Intended for daytime use, they come in a variety of colours and sizes. Some are lit with a fuse whereas others are started by pulling a ring (such as those shown below).
Nighttime fireworks suitable for daytime use
Technically there is nothing stopping you using any nighttime firework during the day. Be aware though that most of the coloured effects are likely to be lost. Still, for sound effects, any normal nighttime firework can be used. Example sounds that work well include:
Bangs: Salute/airbomb cakes work just as well during the day if you need multiple bangs. Otherwise, with airbombs long since banned in the UK you need to be looking at rockets for single bangs. It’s usually simpler here to approach your local fireworks specialist and enquire what’s available in the salute rocket range. Failing that, look for 1.3G class rockets as these pack a good punch (1.4G rockets often just “pop”).
Crackles: Many cakes and barrages are available that fire crackling comets, these work well in the day.
Whistles: Another effect that’s quite effective in daylight.
Note: Chinese crackers, bangers and airbombs are no longer legal in the UK.
Colours are a bit of a mixed bag during the day. It’s hard to say which colours look best because there are so many variables including whether it’s overcast or not. As a result I wouldn’t normally recommend using nighttime fireworks which are mainly a coloured effect (rather than sound) during the day.
Professional daytime fireworks and SFX
Whilst the range of daylight fireworks in consumer fireworks is very limited, it’s different for professional display companies. There’s a larger amount to choose from including aerial shells with colours, ground maroons and even flame and spark effects. Many of these are also close proximity effects and can be fired indoors. So for those with bigger budgets and particularly anyone staging a corporate event, speak to your local professional display company.
Daytime fireworks FAQ
In Scotland, no, it's illegal to let fireworks off before 6pm unless it's a professional or community event. In England and Wales you can let fireworks off in your garden at any time before 11pm.
Daytime specific fireworks are rare but work well and include coloured smokes, streamers and parachute effects. Nighttime fireworks work less well during daylight so focus on those with interesting sounds like whistles, screeches and crackles.
Although hard to find, some retailers do sell daytime-specific fireworks such as barrages that eject smoke effects, parachutes and streamers. Smoke effects (static or handheld) also work well. Nighttime fireworks work less well and your focus should be in interesting sounds, such as whistles and crackles.
You need to find a rocket with a single, loud bang (and no effect, which would be wasted during the day). Ask your local specialist fireworks shop for advice. Failing that, any good rocket will bang although the accompanying effect may distract depending on your needs.
In England and Wales you can let fireworks off in your garden during the day but not after 11pm. However in Scotland, no, you must wait until at least 6pm (even if it is dark before then) unless your display is professionally fired or a community event.
Pretty much all specialist firework shops now carry a range of smokes in various colours. These range in size from small ring-pull paintball style smokes to larger handheld smokes. Please note that it is illegal to take these into football matches.
No. It is illegal to enter a football ground in the possession of smokes or flares.
It is actually illegal to be in possession of smoke effects (including smoke bombs, handheld smokes, distress smokes and anything similar) at a football match or to try and gain entry to a football match with these.
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.