What is a Smoke Bomb? What is a Smoke Grenade?

What is a Smoke Bomb? What is a Smoke Grenade?

By now, we all know that smoke bombs in photography is one of the hottest trends for 2023 photography. But what even is a smoke bomb? What is a smoke grenade? It sounds intense. I love my photography, but do I really want to bring a bomb or a grenade into it?!

First of all, deep breaths- we can assure you that smoke bombs and smoke grenades aren’t actual bombs or grenades. They’re colorful smoke sticks designed to add a pop of color to your photoshoot, no matter the occasion. Read on to learn more about smoke bombs, smoke grenades, and more!

What is a smoke bomb?

A smoke bomb is a type of firework that, when activated, emits a large cloud of colored smoke. They’re considered “Safe and Sane” fireworks which, according to Jakes Fireworks, is “a term for fireworks that do not have aerial effects or explode ''. Despite being considered safe and sane, they are still considered fireworks, and should be handled with the utmost safety and care. There is always a chance of potential sparks or small flames when activated, so make sure to be cautious and alert when activating and using smoke bombs. 

What is the difference between smoke bombs and smoke grenades?

Typically, there is no difference between smoke bombs and smoke grenades. They just have different titles depending on what company you buy them from. For example, here at Smoke Effect, we call our products smoke bombs and smoke sticks. However, other smoke bomb companies may call them smoke grenades, or another version of that name.

How do you use a smoke bomb?

Again, this depends on what type of smoke bomb you buy. There are two main types of smoke bombs- the first being ring pull activated. Ring pull activated smoke bombs work by grasping the ring and pulling until the ring detaches from the smoke bomb. Make sure to pull the ring at a 90 degree angle away from yourself, as pulling the ring upward will cause the activation mechanism to fail. Linked below is a demonstrational video:

The second type of smoke bomb is a wick activated smoke bomb. For the wick activated ones, simply undo the clear tape securing the wick to the side of the smoke bomb. Stick the wick straight up, then light it with any normal lighter. Wait a few seconds for activation, then be prepared to watch the magic happen!

How do you use a smoke grenade safely?

We’ll give a brief overview on how to safely use smoke bombs, but for more detailed instructions, head over to our Safety Tips blog!

When handling smoke bombs, please hold them at your own discretion. Holding your smoke bomb can result in potential injury if not handled properly. If you decide to hold your smoke bomb, please hold it at the base of the smoke stick, as far from the opening as possible. We also recommend wearing gloves for extra protection.

Additionally, always have a bucket of water handy when handling smoke bombs. After they have completely finished emitting smoke, place the smoke bomb in the bucket of water. Leave them in there for at least 15 minutes, and then safely dispose of them in a trash bag.

What occasions are smoke bombs used for?

Smoke bombs are used for several different types of occasions! Most typically, we see them used for creative portrait photography. However, smoke bombs have been used for several different events to add a beautiful pop of color. We’ve seen them used for engagement photos, senior pictures, holiday photoshoots, gender reveals, and so much more! Looking for inspiration? Head over to our Instagram and Pinterest for more!


If you’re interested in using your new smoke bomb knowledge to create some beautiful photos, look no further than Smoke Effect! We sell premium smoke bombs at an affordable price. We offer both ring pull and wick activated smoke sticks that come in 12 colors- perfect for any occasion! And for the best deals, make sure to sign up for our newsletter, where we do an email exclusive Deal of the Week that you won’t want to miss out on. So, what are you waiting for? Shop Smoke Effect today!