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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there, so for my haunt this year, I want to have a room where I have a light shining and then thunder is heard, with strobe lights and the light goes out. And I also want to make the light "spark''. Basically I want sparks to go flying off the light on demand. Is there a safe way to make this effect, because I have seen it in professional attractions. I want the same effect as if you were going to arc weld with a car battery started... Holding the + and - ends together and sparks go flying, how to make this effect... Safely??

Biggy
 

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Sounds like you are looking for something along the lines of a spark fence. Might pop that term into the search bar...we've talked about the various safety and technical issues quite a bit.

If you really want to shoot sparks, you might build a Tesla coil into the light fixture...but of course, your safety drops to about zero there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I looked at the other threads and they are all saying that car batterys are potentally very dangerous, but they have no alternate ideas. Is the car battery really the only way to go to get true, free flying sparks and risk some safety factors? Because the safety of the guests/ trick or treators is my number one priority. And is it safer for the car battery to be running for 2-3 seconds. Or is that still a potential danger?
 

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A grinding wheel on steel is slightly safer as long as the room or environment is otherwise fireproof. The effect can emulate electrical sparks quite nicely especially in short bursts. Of course it's still sparks and heat and... well spinning object(s) at high speed. Standard disclaimers apply LOL

Now with that said... I saw some AMAZING sparkling icicles for X-mas this past year... Only on expensive homes so I assume these are on the pricy side. they would really do well for sparks if they could be hacked.

Joisey Girl did a spark glove / cage earlier this year.. Perhaps she has some input about her contraption that will help you
 

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I can tell you that the folk's on this site Know what they are talking about. I have learned a great deal from them. I make my living as a bona fide "Hollywood Stuntman" and I can also tell you this. DO NOT use live sparks in your haunt. Just don't do it.
With a little creativity you could find a better way.
 

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I'm afraid there really is no such thing as a safe short circuit. The risk with using a car battery for this sort of thing is that the battery can overheat and explode, spraying shrapnel and acid on you and your guests - not pretty. I had a friend in high school who lost an eye that way.
You could use a car battery charger. They're expensive & you run the risk of damaging it, but at least it should have some safeguard against any kind of damage that could hurt someone.
Have you looked into flash crackers?
 

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Safest Way For A Spark Effect

Safest way to get a spark effect would be to use a hyper bright LED focused to a small 7'' round area and have a high powered mini fan with shiny foil streamers in front of the fan.
When the light hits the thin streamers with the fan violently blowing on the them you'll get pretty close to the effect your looking for.
You will need a small fan capable of instantly moving a lot of CFM on near start up.
Kind of like a fire bowl but with a extremely bright but small light and a hopped up fan.
A air hocky table fan would do the trick as you can over voltage the fan a little for a quick kick in on start up.
Be for warned though those little table fans are not forgiving so make sure you have the thing mounted secure when you apply power because they kick.
One other time consuming idea to consider ( that we have done before with very good results ) would be to chain link side by side in long weird patterns by black wire some real bright L.E.D.'s and have them twinkle in a chain effect, that would be another option.
The LED option while more realistic would be way more time consuming.
Either way would be pretty safe and would serve as a good option for a spark effect.
 

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Safest way to get a spark effect would be to use a hyper bright LED focused to a small 7'' round area and have a high powered mini fan with shiny foil streamers in front of the fan.
When the light hits the thin streamers with the fan violently blowing on the them you'll get pretty close to the effect your looking for.
You will need a small fan capable of instantly moving a lot of CFM on near start up.
Kind of like a fire bowl but with a extremely bright but small light and a hopped up fan.
A air hocky table fan would do the trick as you can over voltage the fan a little for a quick kick in on start up.
Be for warned though those little table fans are not forgiving so make sure you have the thing mounted secure when you apply power because they kick.
One other time consuming idea to consider ( that we have done before with very good results ) would be to chain link side by side in long weird patterns by black wire some real bright L.E.D.'s and have them twinkle in a chain effect, that would be another option.
The LED option while more realistic would be way more time consuming.
Either way would be pretty safe and would serve as a good option for a spark effect.
I like the way you think.

I have wanted to do a giant blade-type electrical switch for a couple of years for my Christmas display. I wanted it to be a total of 3-4 feet tall. (Kind of like what you would expect to see in an old Frankenstein movie) I wanted it to appear to spark when it is closed.

My Idea was to get some leds (5-6) and glue fiber optic cable to them so that they have 3 or 4 strands coming off each of them. I would then cover all but the fiber optic cable with shrink-wrap. Next I would scuff up the last 1/2 inch or so to make the end glow when the led is on. I would then have to flicker the LEDs for a fraction of a second.

I have played with it some on the bench, but I need to get me some more fiber optic cable before I actually tried it enough to work out the bugs.
 
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