Introduction: Illuminated Indoor Fountain

My wife has been wanting a fountain for a while, so I decided to build one during her business trip (she would have never liked to see me messing up the living room to build one :))

Step 1: Bill of Materials

The fountain was rather low cost, given I had a couple of spare parts. If you buy everything, it will probably cost around 200 EUR.

Stuff needed:

1 x glass fibre outdoor pot: 30 EUR

-choose any you like, I went for a rectangular shape which luckily suited perfectly for the glass stone base. I didn't check the price tag and was surprised how cheap these things are!

1x Led Strip with controller: 20 EUR

-mine was 5 meters, I cut it down so it could be glued around the inner edge of the pot. I did this project back in 2016 before I was into arduino. Nowadays I would probably go for ws2812b strips and a brain for it.

3x short pieces of galvanized drain grid: 10 EUR each

I really have no clue what these things are called in English, yet these are intended to be used as drain coverages around pools or parking lots. You see them everyday everywhere. Please leave a comment if you know the name!

3x stone tile mat: 7 EUR each, depending on design

-These are found in the sanitary or tile department and usually used for decorative patterns

1x 12v water pump: 10 EUR

1x 12v PSU: 35 EUR (got mine labeled 12v laptop PSU)

1x mini indoor fountain:20 EUR

(optional, but it makes things easier when it comes to the water outlet. I have spent a while finding a nice looking and functional water outlet until I came across these. Plus the water connector is standard meaning plug and play.)

1x adaptor DC plug (female to screw terminal)

Used to connect pump, LEDs and mini fountain top without screwing up the PSU for later use.

1x construction adhesive or silicone: 8 EUR

1x plant pot stand with wheels: 5 EUR

A couple of nature stones, mine were about 30 EUR online but you can try to find them outside for free.

10 to 20 litres of destilled (purified) water. It's used for ironing or car windshields. About 2 EUR per 10 litres.

Couple of glass stones, the amount depends on your design. No idea what they cost, I got mine for free from a house which was about to be broken down.

Step 2: Mounting LED Strip, Base and Pump

First, glue the LED strip around the inner side of the pot, just underneath the top so that it will deliver a nice indirect lighting.

Try to fix it as good as possible whilst not allowing it to bend except around the corners.

Place the pump with the hose in the water, stick the hose and the wires through a grid part and lay that one grid into the pot. As I mentioned, luckily I didn't have to modify the grid part. If you choose your parts well, you can just let it rest on the inner walls of the pot.

Lay the second and third grid left and right to the first.

The strip will take a couple of hours to dry throughoutly, so take your time. I had 5 days for this project so I just paused and continued the next day after work.

Step 3: Add Tile Mats, Glass Stones and Assemble the Outlet

Put the stone mats on the metal grids. You won't need to fix them, they will stay in place.

Put your glass stones on the mats and arrange them the way you like. Fiddle the hose through in-between the stones and hide them the best way you can.

Disassemble the mini fountain, remove the old pump. Cut the electrical connections and put the mini fountain (without base)on top of the glass stones. Connect it to your hose which comes out from in between the glass stones and lead the wires to where your pump wires end up.

Cover everything in construction adhesive.

Glue the remaining tile mats to the glass stones. Later on, the light will shine through the gaps between the tiles.

Decorate the plastic outlet with real stones, otherwise it might end up looking cheap.

Let it dry, try not to touch it.

Connecting the hose to the outlet whilst glueing everything together will be tricky, try not to cover yourself in glue like I did. It is terrible to get washed off!!

Step 4: Wiring and Decorating

Sorry, I forgot to take photos of this step, yet I'll explain it.

Basically, the pump and the fountain LEDs strip as well as the mini fountain LEDs (yep, luck was with me) run on 12v.

All you have to do is to connect the strip controllers power, the pump and the mini fountains cables to your 12v screw terminal and hide it inside the water basin of the mini fountain. Fix it at the back side of the big pot.

Now, place the stones of your choice wherever you want. Build waterfalls or stairs. It's your fountain, get creative :)

Step 5: Done!

Fill it up with purified water.

Connect the 12v PSU to the adaptor and fire it up.

Make sure the water doesn't spill.

If it does, you can rearrange the stones until you get that nice sound of the water dripping without having to worry about your floor getting flooded over time.

Enjoy your fountain :)

Invention Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017