Friday, March 28, 2008

Coming soon: first video of fiber+panels


The parabolic reflector hasn't arrived in the mail yet, but I did get five feet of fiber from starceiling123.com, just to play around with. I got the cheapest kind, ($0.74/foot), but man is it small. It's essentially a bundle of 8 0.75 mm fibers. Check it out. It makes me wonder how many fibers I'll need to get sufficient light into each panel. It gets me thinking about the placement of the fibers on the panel. It makes me think that I'll need to spend more money and get bigger fibers. I'm eyeing another site, called TriNorthLighting.com that might have better deals. Hrm, on closer inspection, it looks like it has better deals in some cases but not others.

Okay! This weekend I'll play around to see what works. I'll post video too.

6 comments:

Anna said...

look at you go!

This is such a good idea. Best of luck this weekend...

Anna xx

Kate Greene said...

Thanks, Anna!

Random White Dude said...

YAY! I had the same idea about 2 years ago and while there was some small technical probs with focusing and fiber connections, i just couldnt find enough cheap large dia surplus cable. The smithsonian air and space in DC uses a similiar lighting system, but it cost millions and they use a HID bulb rather than the sun (lame). I have since figured out a waaay better method that is easier and doesnt need the dish or some of the connections, but i still need alot of spare fiber op cable. if youd like someone to help tinker with it, lemme know!

PrettyNoiseLab said...

We could sure use these panels in our house. Same situation as you have in your place in SF. Keep me updated via your twitter. Thanks

Kate Greene said...

@random white dude: I agree about the fiber. It's bizarre that strands of plastic can be so expensive. I'm leaning toward buying about 65 feet of EG25 fiber for $2.50/ft. This fiber is actually a bundle of 25-0.75 mm fibers, which is good because I'm going to need to distribute the light throughout the panels.

@prettynoiselab: thanks for the comment. If this works, it'll make all the difference!

Fiber Guru said...

One thing you have to ask yourself is where is the fiber made? Tri North Sells Super Vision (American Made) Fiber which is a very high quality architectural cable in is actually better than the medical grade. The starceiling123 site sells a lower grade fiber (Chinese Made).

Lower grade fiber (Chinese Made) is typically more brittle and even very cloudy. We did a study a year ago with some lighting equipment with both of these companies and found American fiber (Supervision) that Tri North Lighting sells is far superior. Typically Chinese based fiber has a 3% light loss per foot where the American made fiber has less than a half of a percent light loss per foot. That is a huge difference in quality!
.

Sure, you can save a few dollars but the Tri North Lighting fiber optic lights are higher in quality and is a lot better!