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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Has anyone made a rainfall display? If so, how?
Has anyone made a rainfall display? If so, how?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 242
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2016-07-29 5:39 pm   Permalink

I'm thinking about installing a rain device behind an exterior window. I'm pretty sure construction would be simple, and I'll describe here how I imagine doing it, but I wonder if I'm missing anything, if there are kinks I'd need to worry about, or if others have found better methods or ways to improve the effect.

I imagine mounting a rectangular plastic planting box, such as might go on a railing, under the window, and caulking up the drain holes. A pump would send the water up a PVC pipe to just above the window, where I'd install, I don't know, another similar planting box, or maybe a section of rain gutter. I suppose I'd just drill holes in the bottom, but I'm not sure if some sort of nozzles make the effect better. And what to do about their layout? Randomness, or even rows? How dense, so that I can still see the plants beyond? A bit over a foot beyond the window, and with its top just below it, is a chain-link fence, and I plan to hang another planter on that and fill it with some lush, large-leafed plants. And then, to lighting: I intended to place a spotlight above, to shine on the plants. Is the effect better when it shines only on the plants, not on the rain? Is green any better than white, or maybe blue for that mysterious vibe of artificial night (which should still make the green leaves stand out)? And last, I think a screen is in order in the lower reservoir, to prevent splash, but I've used screen door-type screen in a small fountain before, and the water bounces off it and splashes, too; is there a better way?

Advice from those who've tackled this sort of thing afore me is much appreciated. I know fountains well, but not so much this sort of thing.

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8FT Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1409
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2016-07-30 12:50 pm   Permalink

I love the rain on the window like they have in the Molokai Bar at the Mai-Kai and the storm effects like thunder are really cool too but I don't have the proper window location to do one in my space. Hopefully someone who has built this type of system will give you a hand. Good Luck and show us pictures.
I once was lost.....but now I'm found.....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 242
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2016-07-30 7:18 pm   Permalink

Thanks. I've seen that version, too (though not at the Mai Kai) where rain runs down the window itself, but cannot do that in my case.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5324
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2016-07-31 08:07 am   Permalink

I have yet to implement mine, but here's what I was/am going to do.

I bought a misting hose. It's meant to be put into an umbrella I guess and then attached to the hose and make cooling mist. Instead I'd attach it around the exterior of the window and carefully aim the nozzles/opening at the windows.

The water will be a waste, but it won't be on much and the mist is not a lot of water. We have 4 misters on the patio we use time to time already.

Getting the nozzles positioned will be the important part. But also, we're looking for the water on the window thing, not rain drops, to obscure the outdoors more. I'm not sure rain drops could be seen well.

The Mai-Kai also used to have an indoor rain storm. If you could make a faux thatch "roof" that's seen outside the window as though it is your roof overhanging and the water dripped off that, it would make a great effect. That's how it worked in the Mai-Kai. Would make the rain more visible as it dripped off the thatch.

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2012
Posts: 1351
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2016-07-31 10:02 am   Permalink

There a ton of different ways to do this--- you can catch the rani and recirculate it with a water pump (on a smaller scale):


Look forward to seeing this happen!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 03, 2007
Posts: 249
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-08-13 9:54 pm   Permalink

I was going to make Molokai Bar-type rain windows for my tiki room and was thinking I'd use a gutter or something similar shaped but smaller attached to the bottom of the window to catch and recycle the water through the pump. Decided my window flashing might not be up to snuff so didn't do it.

If you are not going to have the rain run down the window, perhaps a possible splash fix may be to have the water hit a piece of metal that is steeply sloped and then run into the catch basin?

I would try both blue and green light aimed at the plants to see which you like best. If you're using low voltage lighting and you can't really see the bulb you can make diy light gels with colored cellophane. Blue seems more nocturnal maybe? Can you put any tiki torches out there? Look at pics of the Molokai's windows. To me the idea is to see the scene outside, but blurry through the rain. If you aim the lights at the rain I bet it obscures the view too much.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1636
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2016-08-14 5:59 pm   Permalink

Guillermo del Toro created a rain room in his Los Angeles Bleak House by using the method below. He currently has an exhibit of some of his home decor at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
There are several different methods on youtube. Bamboo Ben has also created a rain window.

The first 2 pictures are from a Facebook post by MeduSirena Marina on her visit to the museum.

His rain window at home.


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