As our commercial water design series continues, we explore the use of refraction lighting to create unique water fountain elements. We hope you’ll be inspired to utilize the incredible characteristics of water in your future projects. As you decide which water element best fits your architectural needs, you can explore more of your options in some of our most recent posts, The Effects of Illumination on Water Fountains, Mirror-Like Reflections in Water, and The Visual Element of Mist.
My favorite type of lighting effect is refraction. This is when underwater lighting is used to illuminate a water effect. This water effect causes an agitation of the water surface which then allows the underwater light to refract, creating a flickering light movement onto solid surfaces adjacent to the fountain area. The resulting random shimmering off ceilings and surrounding walls is mesmerizing to watch and really communicates that there is moving water in the space.
Refraction Lighting is Unlike Any Other Water Fountain Design Element
Indoor water features, which are typically less aggressive water effects, benefit greatly from this type of light movement. This is due to the actual water textures being less visual. This lighting movement communicates to patrons that water is in the space even before they actually see the moving water and reaches beyond the water element to expand effects into an entire space design. The fascinating effects on surrounding areas caused by refraction lighting create what some would consider almost theatrical, with an ever-changing art show of movement, possibility, space, and light.
“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.”~ John Updike
If you are interested in designing visual effects using mist, you can take advantage of our complimentary Concept Validation and Budget Analysis.
This Water Design Series is by Greg Stoks, Principal at Commercial Aquatic Engineering. The purpose is to help our readers better understand design considerations when utilizing water as an architectural element. Read more about this Commercial Water Design Series.