Drone Light Shows Offer a Sustainable Alternative to Fireworks

Family watches drone light show display on Fourth of July celebration

Fireworks are a tradition nearly as old as American independence, with cities and high-end business events across the U.S spending tens of thousands of dollars on their fireworks display for Fourth of July events and other celebrations. 

However, in recent years, large fireworks displays have become a topic of contention. Amid recent concerns over air quality, noise pollution and injury; many people may be wondering if fireworks displays are truly the best way to pay homage to their country.   

The Problems with Fireworks 

While fireworks can be a fun display of fiery patriotism, they can also bring a slew of problems along with their flare. With recent concerns over air quality amid Canadian wildfires to concerns over emotional turmoil being inflicted on pets, veterans and other people suffering from PTSD, fireworks bring with them many issues that are causing some cities and venues to reconsider if they are worth the hassle.  

This has led multiple states to restrict or even outright ban the sale of consumer fireworks. While most states allow some form of consumer fireworks to be sold, many have restrictions and limits as to what type of fireworks can be sold. In Massachusetts, all consumer fireworks are illegal, but many residents can still catch one of the many professional displays happening around the state.  

[Related: How Drones May Propel Your Event]

Drone Light Shows—A Sustainable Solution to Fireworks? 

Enter drone light shows. Drone light shows represent a sustainable and some would say more engaging experience compared to fireworks and may be perfect for your next celebration, meeting or event. Hundreds or even thousands of drones can be programmed to create dazzling light displays and customizable images, all without the noise or air pollution standard fireworks bring. 

Check out this drone light show from the drone company Sky Elements Drone Shows that recently broke the Guinness World Record for the largest drone light show display.


Rick Boss is the President of Sky Elements Drone Shows and says that drone light shows offer a multitude of benefits to traditional pyrotechnic firework displays. These benefits include a significant reduction in noise as well as a reduced environmental impact and risk of a large-scale fire breaking out.  

“Certainly in communities where fire danger is high, drone shows are a great solution,” Boss said. “You can still have an amazing celebration, everybody has a ton of fun and you don’t have to worry about anything catching on fire.”   

But while drone light shows are better for the environment, they can carry a price tag comparable or more expensive than large fireworks shows. Boss says as of right now, the cost of drone light shows is equal to or sometimes greater than traditional firework displays, making drone light shows a city-level expense or reserved for larger meetings or events. But that doesn’t mean that meeting and event planners can’t get in on the fun.  

Sky Elements World Record for Largest Drone Light Show 1000 Drones
Rick Boss and the Sky Elements crew with their Guinness World Record Plaque. Credit: Sky Elements Drone Shows

“Five years ago, to do a drone light show it would literally be hundreds of thousands of dollars to do one. Now, we're under $100,000.,” Boss said. “For drone shows, we're talking tens of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands.”  

But for professional meetings and events planners, the possibility of doing a drone light show might be more attainable than many realize. Given the dramatic decrease in cost in the past five years, Boss says that the price point of drone light shows has come down so much that it could be in the budget for virtually any size meeting or event.   

[Related: The Fireworks Show in a Box Adds Sizzle to Events]

So why aren’t more cities and event planners adopting drone light shows? It might have to do with the overall lack of awareness from the public at large. While most people have seen a fireworks display at some point in their life, Boss says that 99% of the people attending their shows had never seen a drone light show previously.  

Sky Elements Drone Light Show Picture
Sky Elements prepares for one of their upcoming drone light shows. Credit: Sky Elements Drone Shows

Sky Elements puts a lot of emphasis on producing video content highlighting their shows, and promoting the industry as a whole. As of this article’s publication, Sky Elements’ video showcasing their world record is closing in on 1 million views, and even huge internet personalities such as Mr. Beast have showcased drone light shows in their videos.  

And while most people think of fireworks as the perfect way to cap their event, Boss says there’s so much more that drone shows can offer.  

“[Drone light shows] add a really cool element of communication with the client, communication with the audience, being able to tell a story that's meaningful and impactful to the audience beyond what I could do with traditional fireworks.”  

To learn more about Sky Elements and drone light shows, visit skyelementsdrones.com

Read this next: Meetings Tech Educator Jim Spellos on (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Generative AI

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email logan.pratt@meetingstoday.com.