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Drones That Light Up: Best Drones That Have External Lights

Drones That Light Up: Best Drones That Have External Lights

You have probably seen drone light shows and wondered which kind of drones people use for these events. These drones have gained popularity, and now people use them for more elaborate performances.

Intel has the best drones for light performances. However, these drones are not available for sale. If you want a high-end show, you can hire them for the event. Other companies offer the same type of shows. And there are other low-cost options for personal consumers.

drone lights up flying in airplanes area

People who have attended these presentations claim these shows are insane. As they should, Intel is a leading technology company, and these shows involve a series of human and material resources. Drone light shows have been present at several events, including:

  1. The 2018 event in Los Angeles, California, promoting the release of "Wonder Woman."
  2. There were more than a thousand drones for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  3. More than 400 drones flew above the Coachella stage in April 2018.
  4. Three hundred drones formed the American flag during the Super Bowl LI halftime show performed by Lady Gaga.

Understanding More About Light Shows And How People Create Flying Images

The drones used for these presentations are usually quadcopters furnished with LED lights that act on-demand and can be synchronized with music.

A single person can create these wild images in the sky. It can happen thanks to the help of artificial intelligence technology. Imagine each drone represents a pixel on your screen. The more drones you have, the more sophisticated the demonstration.

The Advantages Of Light Shows

People often compare drone light shows to fireworks, but the former is superior in many ways. Here's a list of the advantages light shows can offer:

  1. Drones are reusable. Firework waste is often dropped from the sky into unknowable places.
  2. Drones have fewer carbon emissions than fireworks.
  3. Drones offer you a more detailed image.
  4. You can resemble movement if using drones.
  5. Drone shows can take place indoors as well as outdoors.
  6. There are fewer risks of burn injuries when you use drones.
  7. You can take your pet to drone shows. Fireworks make a rumbling sound that scares dogs and cats.
  8. Drones can offer you large-scale displays.

The Cost Of Light Shows

There's a reason why you see most of these presentations at very high-end events. These performances are not cheap. Intel charges you anywhere from 100 up to 300 thousand dollars, depending on the number of drones you wish to have.

However, there's a laborious process to make your performance happen. Intel arranges all the paperwork necessary to operate a UAV in your area. The team responsible for making things happen is composed of:

  • Graphic designers recreate the image or animation you expect.
  • Software engineers are in charge of incorporating artificial intelligence and security measures to make sure the aircraft executes your presentation.
  • Licensed pilots responsible for maneuvering the drones

The Drones Used In Light Shows

Intel lets you choose between two options, their classic and premium drones. The premium drone spec sheet is more superior to its counterpart.

Other Companies That Offer Light Shows

drone shows green lights and hovers inside warehouse

Intel is not alone in this field. Other competitors are making a name for themselves in the light show industry. Some of them are:

  • The Austrian institute ARS electronica, with their project Spaxels (space pixels), has been responsible for numerous presentations. Some of them include:
    • The premiere of "Star Trek Into Darkness" in London (2013)
    • The event "Drone 100" was presented at The Vivid Festival in Sydney (2015). Fifty unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) earned the Guinness record in the "Most UAV airborne simultaneously" category.
  • Several light shows have been performed in China. Some companies have been breaking the Guinness World Record. As of April 2021, a presentation done in Shanghai using more than three thousand drones holds the "Most UAV airborne" record.
  • In Russia, we have the Geoscan Group offering drone light shows. They have been present at many events, including the commemoration of the end of World War II and other festivals.

Conspiracy Theories Around Drone Light Shows

Some people believe that behind these bright presentations, there's a dark intention. These theories claim that the shows we see now are just trials of more specialized military technology.

Many people worry about world powers investing in these technologies. According to them, they make us think there is only entertainment value, while the actual purpose is showing off military advancements.

What some people fear the most is that drones in light shows can act on-demand. Imagine what world-leading countries could do if these drones could shoot bullets or drop bombs instead of light.

For now, these are just conspiracy theories that have not been proven yet.

Drones That Light Up: Consumer Options

As you have seen, most of these light show drones are inaccessible pieces of hardware. But there are some options available for consumers who are just looking for a bright drone to fly at dusk or dawn.

Here's a list of drones under $50:

  • Tomzon Mini Drone
  • Force1 UFO 3000
  • Dwi Dowellin Mini Drone

Pros And Cons of Consumer Drones That Light Up

We researched the drones available on the market and made a list of advantages and disadvantages.


Easy to pilot

  • Most of these drones come with headless technology, which means you don't have to worry about going forward or backward.
  • There are a few buttons on the remote control, and you have dedicated buttons for functions like going up, down, and flipping.

Designed for children

  • These quadcopters have protected blades and propellers, so you don't have to worry about crashing them against a wall or any other object.
  • The user-friendly interface makes it easy to fly for any child. If your kid knows how to use a smartphone, they will certainly be able to operate a drone like this.
  • The protected propellers also serve as a safety measure for children because the blades won't cause any injury if your child grabs the drone while it's on.

It comes with two batteries.

  • Each one of the batteries can give you an average of 15 minutes of flight.


Short battery life

  • The battery life is brief compared to other quadcopters designed for video and photography.
  • Even though most drones come with two batteries, you have to land to switch between batteries.

Not suitable for multimedia creation

  • Most of these drones are not ideal for creating multimedia as they don't have built-in cameras.
  • There are no options to attach cameras to these drones.

The aircraft can lose connection.

  • Once the drone loses connection mid-flight, it won't reconnect to the controller.
  • Some buyers have reported connectivity issues where the drone flies away and doesn't respond to the controller.

Low-quality products

  • Buyers consider these drones are built with low-quality parts, available in popular marketplaces. There are reports of propellers not working after a certain period.

Difficult to repair

  • If you need maintenance parts for these types of aircraft, you won't find them.
  • These drones are almost disposable. Once broken, you need to throw them away.

drone in darkening sky with red and yellow lights


As you can see, drones with lights have been around for a while. But they are available for the masses yet. Big companies are responsible for most of the performances you have heard about or seen.

These specialized drones are not available for individual purchase, but you can rent them for specific events. They have been slowly replacing fireworks because of the advantages they offer. You can have an indoor presentation without worrying about noise, pollution, and smoke.

We must agree the best is yet to come. These drones offer endless possibilities. For now, you can choose one of the options available for consumers. It can be good entertainment for the whole family.