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Aqua Light

A fountain with dancing, illuminating, water jets
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

One can easily bend a narrow stream of water with a static electricity charged probe. Also, a beam of light aimed at the spout of a non-turbulent water flow will be transported, as in an optic cable, to the surface it meets.

These characteristics can be utilized to construct an animated, light fountain for outside evening or darkened lobby use. The fountain would produce thin cascades that curve down to a hard surface. Between the jets would arch decorative rods, reaching a third of the way down.

At the end of each rod would be a multicolored, covered, light source directed back at a spout. Static electricity would also be produced there to attract or repel streams.

Programmed or steered by visitors, the result would be a delightful light beam boogie with spattering, sparkling water guiding shifting spots of color.

FarmerJohn, Feb 14 2003

Wet Design http://www.wetdesig...elements/index.html
"Water feature development for architecture, landscape and urban design" [phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Waterworks International http://www.waterwor...ins.com/laminar.htm
Information on lighted laminar streams/fountains. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       If I remember rightly, light will only travel in an opitical wave guide if it is of a certain diameter. That would be really tough (but I guess not impossible) to maintain if the water is being jetted about.   

       Buts it not as if the light will 'just not work' - it'll look really nice anyway.
Jinbish, Feb 14 2003

       It worked fine with a test of a flashlight shining into a smooth, 1 cm stream from my watering can.
FarmerJohn, Feb 14 2003

       Well, thats good enough for me (+).
[Also, if light did travel perfectly within the water then you couldn't see it cos it would be trapped inside]
Jinbish, Feb 14 2003

       Ooh, ooh! This reminds me of an idea I had a long time ago, that would be a good halfbakery contribution. I think I'll wait a while to post it, though, to avoid confusion between the two.   

       Re the Aqua Light: I'm not clear whether you anticipate a significant part of the aesthetics to include the water streams between the insertion point of the light and the point at which the jets impact the solid surface. That is, does a large amount of light escape the stream on the way down, producing lighted dots at the solid surface that sport vertical lit columns, or are the aesthetics concentrated just in the moving dots?   

       Also, could you play with the solid surface, e.g., make it silvery in some areas, matte in other areas, sparkly in other areas, and even possibly an open-celled foam in other areas, so that the splatter and reflective qualities of the lighted dots would change as they are moved across the surface?
beauxeault, Feb 14 2003

       From what I've seen, there is some lateral light leakage at the spout and above/because of surface contact. Otherwise the moving, glowing spots are a large part of the effect.
FarmerJohn, Feb 14 2003

       The lighting effects are largely in place already, with some designers putting lights in line with the jet nozzle so the light follows the arc of the water. I believe we touched on that subject before in another idea.   

       I've not heard of anyone using static electicity to bend water on a fountain scale, but I don't think you'd want to. At the source (nozzle), it's easier to just move the nozzle. At any other point in the stream, you'd have to have a pole (rod) sticking up and that would be ugly.   

       In any case, I've linked to Wet Design - the folks who set up the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas and whose web site does them (and fountains) justice. I highly recommend their 'Elements' page.
phoenix, Feb 14 2003

       Could you use it to mark out the shape of... I don't know... a clock, perhaps? ;op
yamahito, Feb 14 2003

       phoenix: It seems lighted, laminar streams are well baked. On the other hand, static electricity would allow active *curvature* of the flow, something not done by the movement of the nozzle or gravity, and sculpted rods that follow the flow need not be ugly.
FarmerJohn, Feb 14 2003


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