How Do Fibre Optics Work?
Read on to find out...
Fibre optic lighting systems are generally made up of 3 main components. Unlike most fibre optic lighting suppliers, we manufacture each of these component types ourselves, so you can be sure of high quality, British made equipment.
The Light Source
- The light source is where we turn electricity into light which is then fed into the fibre optic harness.
- Light source power is expressed in Watts - the higher the wattage, the more powerful the light source is and the brighter the light output from it is.
- The light source also contains any effects wheels, such as a colour or twinkle wheel.
- The light source is the only part of a fibre optic system which contains electricity, and therefore must be housed in a dry environment. Weatherproof enclosures are available which allow you to house the light source outdoors.
The Fibre Optic Harness
- The harness is the 'fibre' part of a fibre optic lighting kit. It is made up of many strands of optical fibre which are usually wrapped in a flexible black sheathing for protection.
- The harness is used to transport the light from the light source to the end fitting. One end of the harness has a 'common end' which is the connector used to plug it into the light source. The other end is normally terminated with a number of metal 'ferrules' which are used to connect the end fitting.
- No electricity runs through the harness making it safe to route it through wet or humid areas. It is also safe to touch.
- If the harness is to be routed underground or through concrete walls (for example a pool wall) we recommend that armoured conduit be used to protect it.
- Universal Fibre Optics polish and properly terminate the harness which results in much greater light output. This is one of the reasons that UFO lighting systems are far superior to those from other suppliers.
- The end fitting is where the light that was generated in the light source is output after travelling along the harness.
- End fittings come in many shapes and sizes from tiny star ceiling fittings to large stainless steel pavers. Larger fittings, such as pavers and downlights, have screw threads on the back. These are used to connect them to the harness. Small fittings are generally push fitted on the bare fibre strands.
- As with our harnesses, there is no electricity or heat in the end fittings, making them safe to touch or walk on. They can also be installed in wet or humid areas without the normal dangers of mixing water and light.