How Does the Drone Show Work-Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Posted on 5th Feb 2024

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Ehh……., Look at the sky, what are the things flying in the sky?! So what actually is a drone light show? Drone light shows feature groups of illuminated drones working together in synchronized and choreographed performances, shaping diverse aerial formations.  A computer program can make drones create almost any picture in the sky. The program turns images into flying instructions for the drones to follow.


In this recent year, the drone show market is increasing tremendously. According to the data of Business Research Insights, the size of the worldwide drone light show market was USD 219.2 million in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 1672.7 million by 2031, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.3% throughout the forecast period.

How Does Drone Show Work? 


After knowing what a drone show is, we can go into a deeper topic about how the drone show works? To clarify things initially, the drones used in the shows are not self-aware, and cannot make any real-time decisions as they only follow the specific commands that are sent to them through the algorithm programming. 


For your information, launching a drone show is actually quite straightforward. It has included several steps. First of foremost, the individuals are required to provide several pieces of information for launching drone shows, such as the locations, date and quantity of drones and design/storytelling that they wish to display in the sky.


After providing this information and confirming the order, our team will proceed to the site survey to ensure the adequate space which is clear from tall buildings, airport and safety measures are in place to ensure we are able to obtain the necessary permits and approval from the relevant authorities as the permit might required the exact flight path plan include the venue dimensions of width, length and height as well as the security safety boundaries, distance from building, road, crowded and etc. .Besides, the exact date and time of the flight is compulsory during application. . 

NOL, or "No Objection Letter," , Authorized Letter, Land Clearance Letter are the documents facilitated by the property owner, granting permission for the use of their land for the drone show. Approaching the property owner can be a time-consuming process. Flight permission cannot be issued until this confirmation is obtained. 

After conducting the site survey, our designer will work on the designs to show the desired images and effects for the client to review. After the confirmation design from the client, the programmer will start animation programming.

Testing and rehearsal usually perform 3-5 days before the actual shows. To ensure all the barriers, interference issues are successfully addressed before launching the actual show.  

The shows are flown by certified professional pilots encompassing the local rules and regulations and weather assessment. Prior to every show, they will ensure the check list of the pre-flight is correct such as the drone is fully operational , all the batteries are charged, and the flight area is clear. Once all systems are in order, the certified pilots will initiate the launch sequence, and the drones will embark on their mission!


People often ask, will drones replace fireworks? 

As we know fireworks have been getting criticism for being noisy, polluting, and causing waste. Some people are worried about their impact on wildlife and the environment . In some places, fireworks are even banned because of the risk of starting wildfires. Because of these issues, some individuals are thinking about using drones instead of fireworks. 

Drones have already been used alongside fireworks and have proven to be a great addition. But drones offer more than just a replacement for fireworks. They can create a wider range of effects and do more sophisticated movements in the sky, telling stories with their choreography. Drones can also be used in places where fireworks are not allowed.

But, when you compare the drone with the fireworks you will realize the fireworks have a limited range of tricks such as they often repeat a few effects in a different size, colors and intensities. On the other hand, you will realize that drones can create dynamic, movable 3D pixels and that can make almost any image with RGB color.  Choosing the drone shows should be a greater option compared to firework. The people might realize drones would be a better option compared to the fireworks. 


How Much Do Drone Light Shows Cost?

When drone light shows first emerged, they were quite expensive, similar to the trend seen with other new technologies.Although they remain somewhat pricier than preferred,as the technology advances, drone light shows are expected to become more mainstream. 


The primary factor influencing the cost is the number of drones used in the show. Conducting a 1000-drone show is significantly more expensive than a 100-drone show. Besides the drones themselves, expenses also include labor, freight, and logistics, etc.


Several factors contribute to the overall price, including the quantity of drones, the complexity of the show design, coordination and rehearsal time, airspace authorization and regulatory compliance, as well as shipping, logistics, crew travel, and accommodation.

How Many Drones are Needed for a Show? 

It's not about quantity, but the magic they can show 

You might think about the Guinness World Records 2023 with thousands of drones in a performance, although these performances with thousands of drone shows are impressive, but surprisingly you don't need thousands of drones to create a drone show.

The number of drones needed depends on what you want to do. The complicated logos might need more drones, and the shape's intricacy matters too. The groundspace and viewing distance also play a role to determine how many drones you need. 

Here's the magic with just a handful of drones, you can craft a truly spectacular show. Believe it or not, 50 drones have the power to leave a lasting impression, and incredible feats have been achieved with fleets of this size. 

Are drone shows safe?

When the drone show is executed by experienced professionals, drone shows are remarkably safe, as they will always ensure the adequate space such as clear from tall building, airport, central and the safety measure are in place and to obtain necessary permits and approvals from relevant authorities

i. Flight Location Safety

Maintaining a secure distance between drones and the audience is important. Our minimum distance from the audience is 100m. Our staff will establish a safe distance between the drones and audience such as establishing a guarded boundary delineated by a physical barrier, like tape, to prevent spectators from entering these zones.

ii. High-Quality Drones

Optimal performance and safety are achieved with fully integrated hardware specifically designed for drone shows. Every component of our drones is meticulously crafted to the highest standards.

iii. Flight Path Safety

Our unified software application ensures that flight paths do not intersect, eliminating the risk of drone collisions. The seamless handoff between applications eliminates any chance of introducing software bugs during the show.Moreover, the pilot establishes geofences in advance of the show to ensure that drones do not deviate from the assigned flight area.

Iv. Compliance and Process

Adherence to Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) regulations, the engagement of commercial pilots following checklists, and a deeply ingrained safety culture collectively contribute to the secure and successful execution of the shows.

How long is a drone light show? 

The duration of the drone light show varies depending on the factors such as the complexity of the performance and also the event requirements. The duration of the drone shows last between 10 - 15 minutes.

What amount of ground space is needed for a drone show?

The ground space needed for a drone light show varies based on factors like the number of drones, the intended visual effect, and safety precautions. Ensuring a clear airspace and maintaining a safe distance between the drones and the audience is essential.  If you are unsure about the ground space, feel free to consult MIRS innovate to determine the locations and space requirements.


Can drone shows be customized?

Absolutely Yes, drone shows can be extensively tailored to align with the specific needs of your event. This includes curating the animations, patterns, and colors that resonate with your event theme or brand, as we are using RGB color. Such a high level of customization ensures a truly unforgettable and individualized experience for your audience.


Can drone shows be used for advertising or marketing purposes?

Absolutely yes, drone shows can serve as a creative and impactful tool for advertising and marketing. Through the development of custom animations, logos, and messages, drone shows offer a distinctive and engaging way to convey your brand message, effectively capturing the attention of your target audience. Besides, the demand of the drone light shows is increasing as well due to the drone technology. Besides, curating the drone show for advertising or marketing purposes can increase your visibility of your brand as well and that’s the reason we should embrace drone light shows for the marketing purpose


Can drone shows be combined with other forms of entertainment?

Certainly yes , drone shows can be integrated with various forms of entertainment like live music, dance performances, and multimedia displays. This fusion creates a genuinely immersive and captivating experience, paving the way for innovative event concepts that captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. 


Is drone show legal in Singapore?

Drone shows are legal in Singapore, but regulations can vary depending on the location. It is important to understand the regulatory landscape and be able to obtain necessary permits from the relevant authorities and also approvals for the events.  


What is the Next?

After explaining the comprehensive guideline, we hope this helps you to understand more about drone shows. You may contact MIRS Innovate Pte Ltd or drop an email to mirs@mirs-innov.com  or +65 67182231 to further discuss your event’s specific requirement, desired design or visual effects and also budget. Our team will collaborate with you to tailor the shows according to your requirements while also ensuring compliance to relevant regulations!