Fireworks and Lasers

One of my favorite times of the the year is the 4th of July!  Why, because I like to blow stuff up!  So I was thinking in addition to lighting off fireworks, how can I integrate a laser and some other cool lighting effects into my husbands annual fireworks show?  Well, I dont need fog — all the smoke from the fireworks will take care of that and provide a backdrop for the laser to project on.

The laser I have been playing with is the Micro Gobo in the American DJ Galaxian series — it does some cool patterns like hearts, stars, X’s, dots and flowers in red and green laser beams. With the handy laser remote you can set it so it uses both colors at the same time or one or the other, as well as change the gobo pattern.  It’s a really small laser, so keeping it close to the action is important.  The clouds of firework smoke help to show off the laser beams but you have to be fairly close to the “fog” to get good definition.

I also like to put a small strobe — like the American DJ S81 — near ground zero to help illuminate the fireworks’ smoke.  Also that way I won’t have to keep lighting off the tiny “strobing flashers” firework effect throughout the show.  I usually run the electrical cables under the plywood that we use to stage the fireworks on to protect the cables from sparks.  Of course it is a must — to have a fire extinguisher and bucket of water handy, just in case! (water for the fireworks, extinguisher for the electrical items)

I did a test run on New Year’s Eve, and all went well.  The key is positioning the fixtures to work together with the fireworks, to compliment them!  Not as easy as one might think, but really fun to try!  Safety first.  Happy 4th of July!!!