Rain chains are not only a better looking alternative to the conventional downspout, they can also be a central part of truly creative and sustainable landscape design. Rain chains can be used to funnel rooftop water runoff into either rain barrels, where water can be collected and stored for later use in the garden, or can be funneled directly to the ground or a rain garden (see pictures).
The beauty of a rain chain is that it is also a fully functional downspout, which is a necessary part of many household drainage systems. Unfortunately conventional downspouts aren't usually very attractive and as a result usually must be installed in the most inconspicuous manner possible. But with a rain chain you can have your drainage system right out in the open and it will enhance the look of your architecture and garden. Also, incorporating your rain chain into a rain garden or rain barrel scheme lessens the impact of harmful stormwater runoff in urban areas.
With a variety of designs available, rain chains can be incorporated into virtually any garden landscaping project or architectural design. Following are some places to explore various rain chain styles: