A special kind of flexible fibre that carries light from one end to the other, fibre optics have a myriad of uses, both practical and aesthetic. Fibre optic lamps have become more popular in recent years as decorative items in homes and businesses. Existing in all forms from small, bedside lamps to massive fibre optic chandeliers, this form of lighting has proven attractive to various customers. While some models remain expensive, you can create one from home cheaply.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Bundle of fibre optic cables
- Acrylic base
- Light source
Trim the individual fibres to the desired length using the scissors. Gather the fibres together into a bundle, assembling them into their preferred form. Arrange the fibres so they all retain the same length at the bottom of the bundle and create a relatively flat surface.
Firmly grasping the bundle, take a lighter or other heat source and carefully melt the bottom of the fibres into a smooth surface. Hold for a few minutes, and set the bundle down on a safe surface to allow the melted fibre optic cables to finish cooling.
Clean and dry the surface of the acrylic base. Glue the smooth bottom end of the fibre optic bundle to the acrylic base. Hold firmly in place for a few minutes until the superglue dries completely.
Take the base and set it atop a light source. The light will illuminate the base and travel through the fibre optic cables to create an aesthetically-pleasing fibre optic lamp.
Tips and warnings
- -Instead of just melting the ends of the cables together indiscriminately, you can make the lamp more luminous by melting the ends together in short columns of individual fibres. Then melt the columns together to create a square-shaped bottom. Called a "light pipe," this set-up transmits light more efficiently.
- -The smaller the fibre optic cables you use, the higher quality light your lamp will transmit.
- -You may apply a translucent coloured screen to the bottom of the acrylic base to make your fibre optic lamp shine with coloured light. Alternately, you may use a light source with coloured light.
- -Avoid the ultra-tiny fibres. While smaller cables make better quality lamps, some fibre optics are incredibly tiny. The smallest fibres can puncture your skin and may even require surgical removal. The tiny scraps from cutting can also get into your eyes and damage them.
- -Exercise caution when you melt the ends of the fibre optic cables together. The melted bits of cable and the flame itself can cause severe burns and you should handle both with care.
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