As well as the popping champagne corks, the explosions of fireworks form the soundtrack to ringing in the new year.  However, if you were watching the skies in some parts of the world as we entered 2020, you might have seen drone swarms taking their place in creating spectacular aerial displays.

Take a look at what Shanghai created to welcome in the New Year.

China, having given fireworks to the world, are now leading the way in drone swarms as a replacement – no big surprise as Chinese manufacturer DJI are estimated to have created over two thirds of civilian drones around the world.

Large numbers of LED carrying drones can be programmed to create spectacular displays with Intel currently holding the record for the largest drone swarm – having flown 2066 drones in the sky above California.  The advances in the controlling software and limitless colour and pattern combinations means that this sort of display is likely to become more commonplace, especially when considered against a backdrop of increasing concerns over the environmental cost of fireworks and wildfire risks.

“Think of drone light shows as modern day fireworks that are green, reusable and more precise, providing programmable control for a new generation of aerial artisans and technicians”


Whilst fireworks spark concerns about safety, noise pollution and causing distress to pets and small children, they undeniably capture our imaginations.  So the enduring appeal of watching these beautiful lights in the sky looks to continue but the way that we create those displays might well be changing thanks to drone technology.