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Would like to build a simulated water effect light for an undersea themed prom. Any ideas? Answered

Our prom is an undersea/underwater theme.  I would like to make a water effect light to shine on the dance floor and sunken ship to enhance the ambience.  Am looking for something inexpensive.  Overall color is blue so multi-colors are not necessary. 


i´ll probably post an instructable about it, my way consists in a plastic box with water and something to move it (some kind of mechanics)then you put a blue spotlight over the box and you're done.
another way is to install a computer fan on the box but the effect is worse


8 years ago

Theater people are probably a good source for  a solution.

Here are a couple of untried, but 'seems like it might work'  ideas...

1- Bouncing a strong light off a pan of occasionally stirred water onto something that would then reflect it onto the ship and dance floor.

2- A transparent disc rotating in front of a strong light. The disc would need streaks of something to cast shadows...  acrylic medium (possibly with some titanium white added) might work.

Generally, any smoothly-but-unevenly warped reflective surface will give you the sort of dilution and concentration of light that surface waves produce; the hard part is keeping it in motion since water never stays still.

One traditional approach is to attach reflective mylar over a backing disk. Carefully use heat to sag and distort the mylar. Bounce a focused blue light (eg from a slide projector) off that, rotate, and you'll get a wave effect. Experiment  with different disks and rotation speeds and distances from the projector's lens until you get an effect you like; experiment with slides having different mixtures/distributions of shades of blue.

You may be able to do something similar by melting and warping a CD, but the smaller size will probably produce less detail and hence larger "waves" -- maybe too large to be recognized as such. Again, experiment with alternatives.