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Project Help and Ideas » LED mount for fiber optics ?

June 13, 2011
by uml_12
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So recently Iv been on the mission of using fiber optic tubing (side glow type) for electronic art initiatives. I'm sure it is reasonably easy to do, but I'm looking for the most efficient way of mounting my LEDs to maximize the distance the light will travel down the tube at full brightness. Note that in 'side glow' fiber optics, the length of the tubing is lit up as opposed to just the end for 'end glow'. So, maybe in my inexperience, I think it is reasonable to assume that you need an efficient way of mounting said leds to maximize potential seeing that some of the light is dispersed as it travels down the length of the tube.

My first guess at what I will be doing is to use leds with a small viewing angle to channel the majority of the light in one particular direction. Although I have not really explored much of that with rgb leds. meh. okay and next I'm feeling the possibility that the use of pvc pipe tubing will aid in fixing the fibers to the direction of the light .. maybe end caps with drilled holes.

Anyway, if anyone has ideas please let me know what you have in mind. Or links .. or pictures .. or tutorials would be great. Or even if you know of other projects using the same type of fibers. Anything really would be nice. I have not really had many keyword ideas to type into google besides led mount for fiber optics. I'm not so much into the idea of actually buying a rgb controller specifically for fiber optics b/c obviously where is the creativity in that.

Thanks !!

June 14, 2011
by hevans
(NerdKits Staff)

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Hi uml_12,

I think your best bet here is to experiment. When you are trying to get signals across fiber optic cable with minimal loss, then the angle at which the light enters is very important, but if you are just trying to get visible light across it's much more forgiving. I don't know if you found the light panel project by ddoyle. He just use shrink wrap to attach a bundle of fiber optics to each LED and it seems to have worked for him.


June 14, 2011
by uml_12
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yeah i figured the best thing to do was experiment. ah well we will see how it goes. thanks for the link :)

June 23, 2011
by 6ofhalfdozen
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Just my somewhat late 2cents worth,

For the high end fiber-optics, they actually grind/polish the ends of the diode and fiber to extremely smooth and then use optically clear for the desired wavelength epoxies to mount them together. That being said, if you have "flat face" LED's with low angle viewing angles, either the heat shrink or optically clear epoxy should work to mount the diodes to the fibres. I haven't tried mounting them to fibers, but I have some green flat face/square LED's with 20 degree viewing angles that I sanded with 1200grit emry cloth and when I epoxied them to a small prism with optically clear epoxy, they worked like a champ giving me a nice pretty darn clean and smooth light junction. just a thought.

June 26, 2011
by uml_12
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Interesting. flat would have been ideal but I eventually went with round 15 degree leds. Have not touched the actual mounting yet but prism sound nice. hmm.

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