There are few things more striking than a beautiful fireworks display. Unfortunately, due to their very nature, fireworks are too dangerous for most situations. For that reason, Showven Technologies developed the Sparkula — a revolutionary special effect that looks just like a classic pyrotechnic display, without the dangers associated with common fireworks.

Cold fireworks sounds like an oxymoron so, you might be wondering, how do they work? Cold pyrotechnics are still very new, having only been introduced just a couple of years ago, so it may have flown under your radar. With that in mind, we’re going to dive into the fascinating science that goes into making this cold firework machine shoot its icy flames. Don’t be surprised if this article sparks your imagination. If you start wanting to add a Sparkular display to your next event, call us at Rythm EFX to learn more!

The Science

Traditional pyrotechnics and fireworks require combustion and extreme levels of heat to operate. This makes them incredibly dangerous in lieu of how beautiful they are. They create fire hazards and expel carcinogenic particles into the air, which severely limits where they can be used. As a result, they have been relegated to outdoor venues and large arenas to preserve the safety of the audience.

In contrast, Sparkulars do not use flammable elements to create a sparkling, firework-esque display. Instead, it heats up small grains made up of a mixture of zirconium and titanium. Those grains are then loaded into the machine using small pouches with a safety interlock system. That safety must be activated to unlock the machine for operation, which prevents unauthorized or otherwise unapproved materials from being fired.

Sparkular devices themselves are small rectangular boxes that can be connected to each other through a daisy-chain of cables. They also have a power switch and a reader to check the safety interlock, as well as 3-pin DMX ins and pass-throughs. Once connected, they can be controlled with either a DMX controller or a dedicated Sparkular controller.

To operate the Sparkular, the composite grains are loaded into the machine. Each 200-gram package contains enough granules for around 10 minutes of firing time, in 90-second increments, with a period for cooldown. There is no need to reload the device after a single shot, unlike with traditional pyrotechnic displays.

The composite creates cold sparks that have a temperature lower than body temperature, and therefore far lower than those of fireworks. How much lower? Handheld sparklers, which many people consider to be a low-key firework, burn at a temperature of over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparkulars, on the other hand, run at a temperature of around 62 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes them safe enough to hold directly to your bare skin or to a piece of paper without the possibility of any burning. Additionally, Sparkulars produce about 80 percent less smoke than traditional pyro and leave virtually no odor behind. The lower temperature of the sparks, lack of smoke, and lack of odor make these cold fireworks an ideal effect for indoor events.

The Operation

An operator has the ability to control both the height of the sparks (up to 16 feet in the air) and the volume of the sparks by adjusting values on the controller. This makes incredible displays easy to create, unlike traditional fireworks which require every effect to be a single-shot pyrotechnic device. You can program a number of tricks like chases, bumps, and other cool effects to launch right when you would like it to. The only downside is the noise the machines create, though it is to be expected and is no louder than the machines for similar special effects. They certainly are quieter than traditional fireworks!

As one of the safest and most dazzling special effects in the industry, Sparkular can take a drab event and breathe new life into it. Whether you’re having an indoor concert or an outdoor performance, you can blow your audience away with this unbelievable cold spark fountain display. If you would like to learn more about Sparkular, call Rythm EFX today. We are the event production gurus of Northern Colorado. Take your next concert, festival, or celebration to the next level with our amazing line of awesome stage effects. Give us a call, we hope to hear from you soon!