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Description: Light pipe is very cool stuff. It transmits light along its length, like fiber optic cable, but it also "leaks" light along the way, causing the entire length of tubing to light up when a bright light is shined into one end. It can be easily cut to length with a pair of scissors or a knife and by using a piece of shrink-tube to attach a super bright LED to one end, you can produce an EL-like effect.

Light pipe is great for decorative applications, you could even sew it into an e-textile project. It's also a good way to 're-route' an indicator light that's buried inside an enclosure, so that it's visible on the surface. Putting different colored LEDs at either end produces some very cool effects as well!

This is a 1 foot length of 3.5mm diameter light pipe. This light pipe has a white core that reflects light out and makes it visible in slightly brighter conditions. It can be easily connected to a basic 3mm LED with a length of shrink tubing or some tape.

Comments 15 comments

  • Not available in five feet length?

  • Would it take the light better if I were to drill a hole in the end and jam the LED in there, rather then just stick it on the end?

    • The optics of it all is pretty complex, but I still had a piece of mine laying around so I just tried it instead, and I would say… marginally (it’s a ‘white core’ one, though). It does make it easier to physically seat the LED to the pipe, but for what I used it for so far that hasn’t really been an issue.

  • Do any of the staff bother to read any of these posts?
    I have similar questions to those already posted and I see they have been completely ignored by the Sparkfun staff.
    Is Sparkfun interested at all in making any sales?

    • These comments are meant more for customer reactions and such. If you wish to know more about a product, we have a tech support department that does exactly that. For direct questions for us, you must use our tech support department.
      You can contact them at techsupport@sparkfun.com.
      We do care, but we have almost 2000 products and do not directly read and respond to everyone’s question. However, our tech support department is there to answer every last question that is asked to them.

  • Is this 3.5mm or 3mm? The title says one, the description says the other.

  • How about a super bright RGB LED?

  • Can I buy this in 5' lengths?

  • is the side-lighting bright enough to be seen in normal indoor light conditions?
    What if the end is capped with a reflector?


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