A new light by designer Richard Clarkson puts two elements together that are ordinarily kept well apart. The Rain Lamp combines water and electricity, with light shone through a reservoir in the bottom of a large, clear, acrylic globe. The light creates "mesmerizing ripple patterns" on the floor or surface below.

Part of Clarkson's "harmonious contradictions" series, the Rain Lamp concept was inspired by the patterns that fish-tanks make on the ceiling, with their lighting refracted through the water.

Clarkson describes the design itself as "attractive and minimal." A micro-peristaltic pump is used to draw water up from the bottom of the sphere, before droplets fall around a waterproof LED lightbulb. As the droplets hit the pool of water, ripples are created and light is refracted through the surface of the disturbed water.

The pump allows the individual droplets to be precisely timed, but Clarkson says it is most impressive when three fall in quick succession, their ripples overlapping. In addition to creating an ever-changing projection of ripples on the floor below, the light is also said to produce a subtle rainbow effect.

Clarkson explains to Gizmag that the housing of the lamp is completely sealed to ensure that no water comes in contact with the electrics. "There was a lot of product testing in terms of pumps and bulbs and things – working out appropriate dripping speeds, a mechanism to suck the water up the tube and into the top of the bulb, numerous globe types," he says. "There were a number of different prototypes before we reached one we were happy with."

The Rain Lamp, which was recently showcased during New York Design Week 2015, comes in two sizes and is available to buy direct from Clarkson. Prices start at US$940 and buyers will need to allow 3-4 weeks for production.

The video below shows the Rain Lamp in use.

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