Playing with water
Shanghai, 18th March 2010
“Playing with water” for today’s subject is brought up by some lighting issues we faced over the last two days in regards to illuminating some water bodies. Coincidentally three of our projects have different types of issues in regards to lighting and water so my mind is kind of into this frame at the moment. Water bodies always have water proofing and maintenance access issues, besides the obvious electrical safety that is needed.
The first one is about a swimming pool where the client wants something different from your standard wall mounted under water lighting, so we are exploring different lighting systems such as fiber optic and unusual locations and configurations. However regardless, any pool lighting need early coordination to assure electrical power provisions and light fitting block outs are provided where we want it so that waterproofing is not compromised. When it comes to applying fiber optics the optic cable installation needs to be done before the water proofing as well.
The second is about a reflective pool. Interestingly some clients do not understand or appreciate the meaning of a reflective pool. As the name says it should be reflective, so there should be no lighting in the pool but what it’s what we put outside and around the pool that is important for the effect to work. So this needs understanding of viewing directions and reflection properties. Where water is moving the reflection is obviously dynamic with ever changing reflection patterns.
The last one is about a water fountain. Water fountains can be beautiful and mesmerizing to look at as the lighting is captured by a continuously moving mass of water…if we do it properly. Hence they are generally a focal feature at entrances or key vista in garden areas. As water “conducts” light to a certain extent, location of light is critical but often fountains are not designed with integration of lights in mind and we end up with disproportionate underwater fixtures being an eyesore, certainly in daytime. Hence the challenge. ..
Water is and remains one of the favorite elements to play with light, but unfortunately many water bodies find themselves without lights working shortly after installation due to poor quality, workmanship and maintenance.