Help my cats chase the rainbow
January 20, 2019 11:52 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to get a prism to hang in the window to cast rainbows. Ideally it would be a few bright rainbows instead of a ton of tiny rainbows. I've bought a few from shops and they either have many tiny, or no actual rainbows cast. Can you help me?
posted by rebent to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I love this one. We have it in a high bedroom window and there are large rainbows everywhere on summer mornings.
posted by amro at 12:00 PM on January 20

I have found vintage chandelier prisms in antique & "antique" stores, for example these on Ebay. They work well, are inexpensive and easy to hang with a push pin in the top of the window frame and nylon fishing line.
posted by Botanizer at 12:18 PM on January 20

Yeah, I was going to suggest lead crystal, few facets, so +1 vintage chandelier; sometimes they show up in the jewelry cases of thrift stores.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 12:30 PM on January 20

And I meant to note, you might have to move them seasonally to catch a bright enough beam to cast.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 12:35 PM on January 20

Here are some equilateral prisms 2- 4- and 6-inches long. The site also has that suncatcher rainbow maker, and is not Amazon.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:44 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

I have something similar to these glass beads. I got mine really cheaply at one of those super discount random home-wares type stores. It hangs near the window and if I shake it little rainbows spin across the walls and floor and blow my cats' minds.
posted by kitten magic at 3:55 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

A straight triangular prism will cast a large but single rainbow, and a multiply faceted 'prism' will cast multiple smaller rainbows. The problem is the sun and a single prism often won't line up right, except at certain times of day, but the prism with many faces stands a better chance of lining up.
I have seen a prism that was curved so that it would always be able to catch the sun. They're basically like a regular triangular prism, but longer, and bent into a semicircle, like a, well, like a rainbow, then you hang them in a window. IIRC, they might have been flared on the end. They used to be common in the sort of science catalogs you see prisms in, but I couldn't find it right away. But I think that might be what you're looking for.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:20 AM on January 21

We have these!

We love them. We've bought tons over the years and have them on five different windows. They also make great presents for babies & cats --gives them something to look at and chase around (mainly the cats.)

They really go bonkers for us in the spring; just the windows we happen to have them in, but they go all year if they get at least some light. They're magical.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:36 PM on January 21

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