Silent Fireworks: How Good Are They & What Are They?

Not everyone likes the bangs, whistles and screeches of fireworks.

For some people and most animals, the unexpected loud noises cause a lot of fear and anxiety turning a fun firework display into a nightmare.

That is where quiet fireworks come in. 

Sometimes called silent fireworks, these are the quietest fireworks that offer the same visual effects and colours without the loud bangs.

However, due to their nature, silent and quiet fireworks still make some noise so don’t expect there to be no noise at all. 

What Are Silent Fireworks? 

Silent fireworks are fireworks that have been made to be considerably quieter than regular fireworks while still producing a beautiful light and colour effect.

It is important to understand that silent fireworks (or quiet fireworks as they are more often called) aren’t completely silent (see the video below):

They are quieter and focus more on color and visual effects than sound meaning they are less likely to trigger shock and anxiety. 

For many people (children and elderly people being a prime example) a display without the loud bangs is more enjoyable and more fun to watch.

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Silent fireworks are sometimes chosen for multimedia displays as they can be more easily synchronized to music creating an impressive effect. 

When To Use Them

The unexpected loud bangs of regular fireworks cause issues for a large number of people and animals.

Quiet fireworks help to remove this issue to make the display more enjoyable for the people at the show as well as the people and animals that are geographically close to the display location. 

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Silent or quiet fireworks are the best choice for a number of situations.

If your planned display ticks any of these boxes, silent fireworks are worth considering: 

  • Out of season display
  • The display will be late at night
  • The display is going to be in a built-up area
  • There are going to be children, elderly people, or people that are more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety and shock as a result of the noise (for example people with PTSD, autism etc.). 
  • The display is going to be near animals 

How Do Silent Fireworks Work? 

Fireworks that have been created to be silent or low noise contain much less flash powder (this is the chemical that produces the loud bangs associated with fireworks).

The reduction in flash powder means the bang is more of a pop or thump.

There is still noise but it is at a lower decibel due to the reduction in the amount of chemical used. 

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Not all fireworks are created to explode and create a large bang.

Different types of firework have different noise levels, some are naturally quiet while others are very loud.

A quiet projectile firework produces about half the noise a normal firework makes while a quiet ground effect firework can produce almost no sound at all. 

Types Of Quiet Fireworks: 

  • Fountains - these fireworks don’t bang making them well suited to quiet displays. They do crackle and they also generate smoke so make sure you consider this and don’t use too many fountains in one display.
  • Wheels - a firework wheel whistles rather than bangs making it a great option for quiet firework displays.
  • Quiet Cakes & Candles - Cakes and candles that have been made to be quiet will still make a small noise but this “thud” should not carry far. Choose ones that have been made to be low noise as otherwise, they will bang loudly when used. Comets, crossettes, spinners, fish, falling leaves and colored stars all tend to be quieter options as they spin, drift or split instead of exploding. 

Avoid rockets and mines as these are very loud. 

Where To Get Silent Fireworks From 

Always buy fireworks from a reputable retailer.

When looking for quiet or silent fireworks, watch a product video first so you have a good idea of the fireworks noise level in practice. 

It’s best to go to a dedicated firework seller rather than a seasonal seller such as a supermarket because you will have a much wider range of products to choose from and you can speak to the people about your quiet firework requirements.

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A firework seller will be able to discuss your requirements and will be able to direct you to their lowest noise options.  

Fireworks.com sell silent fireworks in the U.S.A.

Fireworks Direct and Epic Fireworks are two examples of firework sellers in the UK that both have dedicated sections for quiet fireworks. 

If you are planning to get your fireworks display professionally organised you can speak to the organiser and request low noise or silent displays.

Make sure you be specific about your noise requirements so they can create the best display for your needs. 

Why Choose Silent Fireworks Over Regular Fireworks 

There are a number of reasons silent fireworks are considered a better choice than regular fireworks. 

To Reduce Negative Impacts

The primary reason is that they don’t produce loud noises so they are less likely to cause fear and anxiety in children, elderly people, people with noise sensitivity, PTSD etc. as well as in pets and wildlife.  

This BBC article takes a look at how traditional fireworks can have a severe effect on some animals and people, particularly people with autism.

In addition to this, the RSPCA says 62% of dogs, 54% of cats and 55% of horses show signs of distress during fireworks. 

Many pet owners try to find soundproofing solutions, stress-reducing techniques and even medicinal treatments to help prevent their pets from being distressed during a firework display but if the fireworks were quieter this may not be necessary. 

They Offer The Same Fun Effect

Silent fireworks offer a great alternative to traditional noisy fireworks.

They are still colorful and exciting and they offer a step forward in reducing the impacts of the loud and unexpected noise.

Using quiet fireworks may not be a complete solution but it is currently the only available way that people can continue to enjoy fireworks without the negative effects of the loud bang.

They Are Widely Available

It is easy to find and buy quieter fireworks now and there are many situations where using them would be appreciated by those in close proximity to your celebration. 

People Are Taking Notice Of The Effect Of Fireworks

Generally, it seems like we could be moving in the direction of quieter fireworks being more common as all consumer fireworks now have a 120dB noise limit (UKFR).

This is still very loud but the noise limit at least indicates that the sound of fireworks and their potential negative impact is being taken into consideration.

Maybe in the future, we will see an even more innovative firework that is completely silent. 

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda,

I'm Dan, I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out.

This is my place to document what I've learnt on my soundproofing journey.