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Glowy Umbrella Answered

I had an idea today I thought would be interesting after reading about this - http://www.richardbox.com/ - how about integrating a fluorescent tube into the handle of an umbrella. If the tube was supported inside an acrylic clear (or coloured) tube and had some kind of connection to the handle and to the tip of the umbrella, then when walking under pylons, in a storm (eek?!), or in any situation where there would be a big potential difference between something above the user and earth. This could be interesting near tram/train lines.

What do people think?

Discussions

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lemonie

10 years ago

High voltage lines will illuminate fluorescent tubes, I've seen it done (on TV, and they were very high voltage). Might work there but probably not much place else. L

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lemonieKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Yes, that's the sort of thing I meant! Those are very high voltage lines and the tubes are in close proximity, you would have to be walking underneath them more or less to get good ignition. L

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NachoMahmalemonie

Reply 10 years ago

. They don't ignite like when hooked up to a ballast. The EM field of the HV lines is doing the exciting. You have to be almost directly underneath the lines for it to work. I never could get a tube to fully light (it would flicker up and down the tube) but I'm not sure what the voltage/current through the lines was. And I didn't try grounding one end of the tube as Box's pics show.

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lemonieNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

As I said you would have to be walking underneath them more or less, could be 400KV supergrid? L

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whatsisfacelemonie

Reply 10 years ago

Wouldn't one end have to be in the ground?

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Kitemanwhatsisface

Reply 10 years ago

Holding the end should be enough - you provide the connection to ground. I have a sneaking suspicion that macmaniac's idea would work, but would also make you vulnerable to lightning strike, since you are providing an easier route to ground than the air beside you...

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whatsisface

10 years ago

You'd need to ground one end of the tube somehow, preferably not through the user :-P Neat idea though.

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macmaniac

10 years ago

Thanks for the responses! The user being the ground connection was what I'd thought, and thinking about the lightning strike thing - surely it would be no more dangerous than a normal umbrella - probably even less so (???). It's a bit like the little electrical testing screwdrivers - would a large tube just have the same effect? (albeit probably not with really HV)

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Kiteman

10 years ago

Thinks of the rainy-street scenes in Bladerunner...