Fibre-optic lighting refers to the use of optical fibre, and its ability to transmit light, as a source of light for decorative or practical applications. When optical fibres are used for illumination, they are sometimes wrapped in bundles, thereby giving them the ability to transmit images as well. Fibre-optic lighting utilizes the principle of total internal reflection, transmitting light throughout the length of an optical fibre with negligible dimming or loss of energy.
Optical fibre itself consists of several inner layers, including the core, which transmits the light waves, and the cladding around it. The cladding is made of a material which has a lower refractive index than the core. This means that for light to pass from the core out through the cladding, it would have to slow down. Instead, the light waves take what might be called the path of least resistance by reflecting only in the core through the length of the fibre, to then be visible at the other end. This means that optical fibre can be bent around corners or in a spiral shape and still only emit light at the end of the fibre.
Fibre-optic lighting is widely used in the architectural lighting world, such as Starry Sky’s (star fields), Under Water lighting as zero maintenance is required and no electricity transmitted through the fibre, just pure light!, landscapes and of course its great low voltage capabilities. There are even ways to incorporate fibre-optic lighting into works of art. Simple, yet striking chandeliers for homes and businesses can also be made with optical fibre. If you would like some samples of ideas, please contact us direct and we would be only too happy to update you on the latest designs.