Monday, June 4, 2012

Disney Takes LED to New Heights

If you're still not convinced that LED light strips are one of the best ways to create dazzling lighting displays you need to check out videos of the brand-new Dumbo ride at Walt Disney World (you can find them all over the Internet by doing a Google search). The ride is actually two rides in one; a brand-new ride that just recently opened while the old one is being remodeled to create an identical experience. Once the old ride opens both will be operating simultaneously, in opposite directions, providing an incredible visual effect.

At the center of both rides is a water fountain feature including hundreds of submerged RGB LED chip lights. All during the ride the lights change colors and angles to create beautiful and unique patterns on the cascading water.

At one point the angle of the red light is such that it makes it appear as though it's floating through the water as it tumbles from the fountain to the pool below. The video shows just what you can do with LED strip lights when you have a great imagination. We can't say whether the creators of the ride used a three chip LED system or not, but the lights are brilliant enough that we suspect they did.

You could create your own water feature for your yard using much the same creativity and a handful of tri-chip LED light strips. You don't even have to spend a large amount of money like the creators at Disney World obviously did. You can purchase a fairly decent water feature at your local hardware store for under $100; the light strips are available for just a couple of dollars per foot.

The key to this type of water feature is to get lights as bright as possible. Though some designers tried to accomplish the same thing with incandescent lighting decades ago, the light just wasn't bright enough to penetrate the water in a manner that was truly spectacular. The brightness of LED chips has changed all that. Even an RGB LED chip, which changes colors if you program it to do so, still gives brilliant reds, blues, pinks, and purples that shine brightly through the water.

If this is a project you think you'd like to try, just be sure you employ the help of someone who knows electrical wiring. The last thing you want to do is set up your system in such a way that it poses a danger to yourself and your neighbors. With the right plans and a little bit of help, you can have a spectacular water feature that will be the envy of your entire neighborhood.

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