Fireworks Guide: Selection Boxes & Sparklers
These items would be considered as sitting at the lower end of the fireworks scale in terms of performance. Most fireworks enthusiasts start out with selection boxes and then quickly move on to cakes, candles, rockets and other individual items as their displays grow. However, boxes and sparklers still have their place especially for smaller gardens or young children.
Selection Boxes contain an assortment of various different fireworks. The general idea is to pack as many fireworks in as possible for the money. Whilst this sounds good on paper, in practice most boxes contain smaller items than if you were to pick individually, with the emphasis being on quantity rather than performance.
Smaller boxes tend to focus on fountain effects. As you go up in price, candles and wheels are added, then rockets. The most expensive boxes contain a little bit of everything.
Pound for pound, money spent on a selection box will normally always give you more fireworks than if you bought individual items, but be advised, they could be significantly smaller.
The smaller boxes are particularly good for smaller displays or displays for younger children.
Selection boxes summary:
- Packed with a variety of fireworks, usually very small
- Cheaper boxes mostly contain fountains
- Great for displays for young children, small gardens and informal Guy Fawkes displays
- Not suitable for any serious attempt at a bigger display
- Supermarket boxes tend to focus on quantity of fireworks rather than performance
Another traditional favourite, the sparkler is popular with both children and adults. It’s the only firework you can truly get interactive with. Everything else has to be let off from a distance.
Simple in design, they are just a metal rod covered in a black coloured material that sparks as it burns. A variety of effects are available from the traditional golden sparks through to coloured varieties.
The standard golden sparklers produce the best sparks of all. Coloured versions generally produce more of a coloured flame (red or green normally) than vigorous sparks, but these do make a nice change and children like something different. Crackling sparklers are also worth considering too, for the added sound effect.
Indoor Sparklers are smaller and give off little or no smoke. They’re surprisingly good and suitable for use indoors (never use outdoor sparklers, indoors).
- Hand held sticks that create sparks
- A traditional favourite on Bonfire Night
- Available in gold or colours
- Smaller indoor versions are available for cakes
Because they are hand held, sparklers have the potential to cause injury. They can burn as hot as a welding torch. Always wear gloves and always supervise children. See the letting off sparklers article for more help.
If you are working through the beginner’s “Start here!” guide you can return to it here. Or, pick a new help topic from the menus at the top of the page.
When you are ready to buy fireworks have a look at UKFR’s Buying Fireworks guide for advice and the Buy Fireworks page for a listing of fireworks suppliers. Always give these companies priority with your fireworks cash (find out why).
If you want to ask for help or have any other questions, try the UKFR Fireworks Forum. Beginners are warmly welcomed and the firework community here is standing by to help you.