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Hi, My 12 year old son, Ryan had a great idea of making a waterfall coming off the house. I figured it could come off the house or a tree into a pond of blue lights with a deer or two drinking from it. I would had some green around the pond and maybe a lit up 3-D Christmas tree( I have white , blue, and green to choose from, 4ft.) I have search the chat room and haven't found any info on waterfalls, I have on ponds.

My question is how do I get a waterfall effect? I know the best way is probably with LOR, but I don't have the funds to go that route yet. Is there a way to use chasing light that are blue and some how create the right effect. I figured I would need several strands. The height of the waterfall will be between 8 and 14 ft high. If you have suggestion for this project I would appreciate it. I want to encourage my son in this area. This could be something we could do together.:)

Michael

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If you bought a few strings of the multifunction chasing lights and replaced all the bulbs with blue it may work. LOR would turn them all on, but they would use the individual strings to give the effect. You could possibly MOD a controller to all do the same chase effect on all strings, but not sure if it would look better with all the same chase or the random chase effect you would get with multiple strings.

Just a thought.

Chris

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I too thought your son's idea was a really good one. The idea I came up with uses a LOR controller though. I was thinking about getting the wire used to make wire frames. Bend them in a kind of J shape. Get two planks with evenly spaced holes the same distance apart as the spacing on a string of 35 minis. Then place the wire through each hole with one board on top of the gutter, and the other on the ground. On the top board, stick the wire through the hole an bend it over then staple it. Go through the bottom board and into the ground. I think it would take about half as many wire supports as lights on the string. Then evenly string the minis horizontally across the wires and wire tie them in place. Then repeat this all the way to the ground. I bet it would only take four or five channels repeated to make it look like it was flowing over the edge of the gutter. The biggest drawback I can see to this is having to cut and replace the wire ties every year.

My wife like this idea so much, that I'm going to give it a try for my first LOR Christmas this December. Thanks for sharing a great idea.

Jeff
PS Sorry Daniel, after I wrote and posted this, I saw you already had this idea.

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If you did do LOR you could do a 5 channel parallel sequence so every 5th string is connected. And not just one channel on at a time but when not lit for the effect they can shimmer or fade to look more like water.




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--Daniel L

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cvyvial wrote:

If you bought a few strings of the multifunction chasing lights and replaced all the bulbs with blue it may work. LOR would turn them all on, but they would use the individual strings to give the effect. You could possibly MOD a controller to all do the same chase effect on all strings, but not sure if it would look better with all the same chase or the random chase effect you would get with multiple strings.

Just a thought.

Chris

I think I would do the one of the mods to the multifunction controlers. I don't think I personally would do it with wireframe wire just because I would like the effect that the strands would make while they are swawing a little because of a breeze. Here are the two mods thou. MOD-1 & MOD-2 and if you needed just the controller I am sure there are a few of us on here with extras we might be willing to sell.
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Wow! Thanks to all four of you for the suggestions. They have me thinking of what Ryan and I could do. I appreciate you sharing and helping me learn. If you have any other ideas please keep them coming. This is helping me think of possibilities. I love my son and I hope that we can have fun learning and working together. Maybe this can bring us closer together and we can become a better team. :)

Michael

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I think I would set up most of the lights on a twinkle effect. then have some lights spread out to chase the sets to make it look like it is moving...



Don't forget about a couple rocks in the waterfall with the water going around it...

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I was thinking about having some blue minis constantly on, with blue chasing. I like your suggestion of twinkling, chasing, and add a few constantly on. Also, I have thought about the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall, too. In Florida it is a little harder to find rocks. We joke about broken concrete being "The Florida Rock". :laughing: If I can locate some rock, I was pondering using white lights on them or maybe elevate the rock slightly and place white mini lights underneath. I'll have to play with the effect and see.

I may tinker with trying to use another color in the waterfall or pond to give it a better effect. Maybe white and blue, but I am worrying about the white washing out the blue. I would only use a little white with a lot of blue.

Thank for the great input!

I read my son the postings so far and he was thrilled about the response. I could feel him smiling through the phone. Maybe this project will make him feel special.

Michael

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I wonder what color would be the best for it. It seems blue is popping up in most of the discussions. I have a bunch of white minis from a 90% sale. So I think mine is set for 2006. I guess I know what to look for after the next holiday season. As for the wire frame idea, I think that it will be a nice way to shape the thing. I'll let the animation give it the motion effect. I've tried a couple attempts at animations, and I'm not realy happy with what I've seen from my inexperience. I'm not sure, but I think the motion can be acheived by dips in intensity from 100%. So far I've tried it with fades up from 50% and it just doesn't look right to me.

Once again, I really like this idea. I was planning to have a pool of blue leds on the ground with deer around it. This will really set it off.

Jeff

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This past Christmas a house around here had a reindeer on the roof with a yellow stream coming down the side of the house and ended up in a pool at the bottom. All I can say is that reindeer must have had a lot to drink before he left the North Pole.

Anyway he used some twinkle, blinking, and some constantly on...I would say an even amount of each...randomly placed. It gave the illusion of what it was suppose to do, which is run down the side of the house. The pool was constant on lights.

On another thread on here I remember reading that someone had a pool of blue lights and they put Saran Wrap overtop of it and it give a rippling effect...that might look nice over a waterfall. Although I think they might have used minis or LEDs...don't know how much heat Saran Wrap can take before it would melt onto a light.

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If you decide to go with LOR and still use some white, you could dim the white down so that they would not be so intense. I like the idea. I was going to have "water" flowing over a three foot planter wall and into the pond. I really like the idea of the water flowing off of the roof, I think that would be a magnificent part of the display.

Jason

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Instad of florida rocks think about maybe styrofoam that is painted, or fiberglass, there are a lot of alterntatives to real rocks...

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In model railroading they have a material that is used for scenery. I think it is called Hydrocal. You use this by dipping strips of paper in it and then place the strips over a corrugated paper frame. In your situation that would be shaped to whatever size rocks you desired. If I am not mistaken Hydrocal is made from rocks. The end result is that it is very strong.

I don't know how this will stand up to weather.

Bob

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Jeff,

I have been going back and forth from using the roof or a tree branch. I do not have a gutter on my house. How would I attach it with out damaging my roof? I liked the wire idea because I can give the waterfall a little direction and different texture. I thought about using a 2X4 and screwing a power strip upside down onto it with another board screwed into the first to help hide the power strip and protect it. I would use heavy screws or some kind of hook at the top to attach the wires and string of lights.

Using a tree branch would be easier to attaching the wood and wires to. I could wire the wood to the branch after I make a sleeve for the branch with all sides except the bottom. I would put the power on the back side of the branch with a wooden cover. I also have some ferns at the bottom of the tree that I could put green lights on by the pond of lights.

Michael

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Unfortunately, I don't. I need to borrow my friend's digital camera and figure out how to attach them. I know it isn't difficult. I just need to do it. I'll work on it.

If I do the roof it would be at an angle about 10-12 ft high. I don't want it in the front of the house because It would be in front of my lighted bushes and columns. I have an acre property that is horizontal. I like to keep my lights spread out so each part stands out more. It would be on the side near the front of the house on the left. It has a good view from the road.

The tree is at a better angle, on the right and more isolated from the house. This might be better because it would create balance to my yard. I have a branch that is about 10 ft high and about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. I'll work on the pictures.

Michael

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Hello,
I have been planning this for awhile, I am having a 60ft wide waterfall about 15ft tall comming off the peak of my roof. It will be controlled by LOR and can change colors and chase down to look like moving water. These details are not for sure, so we will see.

Zac

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Michael B wrote:

Jeff,

I have been going back and forth from using the roof or a tree branch. I do not have a gutter on my house. How would I attach it with out damaging my roof?

If you don't have a gutter, consider a sort of trellis. If you could build a 1x2(or 1x3) frame to lean against the house, then prop it with boards placed at an angle. I made a big sign lit with mini's that way once. We had 30mph winds that blew my neighbors shed over, but the sign held.

Jeff
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Michael:

Another thought would be to have it coming out of a window.

If you put a Surfer Dude or a Santa at the top it will look like it is coming out of your house.

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If you get clear lights and bundle them up like when you bought them, you can use the stained glass spray paint on the lights. In stead of making them all solid, you can do passes with different color paint (green, blue).

This might achieve the color mix of water. Also to make it more real, youmight consider mixing in some of the tinsel type garland.

I have a miniature mountain scene for my inside nativity and I used a blue/green color mix to paint the clay background of the waterfall. I then attached individual strands of tinsel on the leading edge of the waterfall. It is not in motion, but the effect looks pretty decent.

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MichaelC wrote:

"you can use the stained glass spray paint"

That is a great idea! I completely forgot about that paint. Does it come in a can so the lights can be dipped in it? The white minis I bought are all bundled with half of them pointing out each end. It would be really easy to dip an end in color and get every other light a different shade...

Jeff
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